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Introducing Southern Kitchen

Introducing Southern Kitchen

“Everyone always gathers in the kitchen,” said the host of a housewarming party I recently attended. I nodded as I smiled politely and replied, “Of course, that’s where the food is. That’s where people are comfortable.”

I learned a long time ago that trying to get folks out of the kitchen at a gathering is a futile effort; your not-so-subtle suggestion to head into the family room tends to fall on deaf ears as guests continue snacking and chatting around the kitchen counter. Instead of fighting the magnetic pull of the kitchen, my husband and I made the kitchen our top priority in a home purchase last year. A big kitchen that opens to the great room is what we told our realtor time and time again as we were house hunting, and after an embarrassingly long search (nearly two years!), we finally found “the one.” Now, nothing makes us happier than when friends and family congregate at the counter, enjoying appetizers while my husband carefully crafts the next round of cocktails.

Like many Southerners, our kitchen is both literally and figuratively the center of our home. It’s where we spend most of our time, and more important, it’s where we want to be when we’re home. It’s where we dance around in pajamas during Sunday brunch preparation. It’s where I obsess over the optimal table set up and flow for a University of Georgia football-watching party – it should be a smooth assembly line of grab plate, fill plate and head in to watch the game. It’s where I experiment with new recipes, using our family as guinea pigs and always covering my tail by shouting my signature line, “If it’s bad, we’ll order pizza!” The kitchen is where I’m comfortable and I know I’m not alone.

We created Southern Kitchen to share the stories, recipes and heritage of Southern food and culture in today’s South; the South that praises locally-made, rejoices in diversity and revels in finding the perfect balance of traditional and modern.

Everything Southern has a story, and many of those stories take place around the kitchen – whether that’s the actual kitchen, the porch kitchen or the backyard kitchen. At Southern Kitchen we’ll celebrate the chefs who are redefining what it means to “cook Southern.” We’ll sip cocktails made from Southern spirit companies. We’ll share our favorite recipes for old and new staples – and ask you to share yours, too. We’ll help you throw authentic oyster roasts and low country boils. We’ll showcase the craftsmen and artisans in our local communities who share our passion for authentically beautiful and useful goods.

Whether you’re Southern by birth or by transplant, Southern Kitchen is for you. We hope you’ll share in our passion for the dishes, drinks, faces, places, parties and gear that make our region unique. We want to be your go-to destination for all things Southern, and we want you to tell us what you want to read, watch and learn. We know there’s no resisting that magnetic pull to the kitchen, so let’s all gather around the counter and cook up something special together, Southern-style.

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Ashley Twist Cole is the former editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She was also an on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. Ashley rarely makes the same recipe twice and loves to experiment in the kitchen. After graduating from UGA, she spent several years working in digital strategy for brands including Chick-fil-A, Nike and Coca-Cola. Prior to joining Southern Kitchen, she was the manager of AccessAtlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s things to do and entertainment brand, where she fell in love with Atlanta’s dining scene. Ashley will travel almost anywhere for a good meal and great cocktail, but her favorite place to be is in her own kitchen with her husband Josh and son Whit, trying new recipes and mixing up cocktails.