Photography By Ian Curcio | December 28, 2015
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What’s the first thing you learned how to cook?

Adam Kelley
Leopard Forest Coffee Company

“Lately I’ve been making eggs my project. When you roast coffee you have to do a lot with preheating the roaster, getting things ready. So I’ve been following a recipe, getting the standards down. If you drew a picture of scrambled eggs, I want those.”

Ralph Macrina
Executive Chef
Furman University

“Pasta. My mother taught me. Her secret was a wooden spoon. She’d hit me if I wasn’t paying attention.”

Nancy and Joyce McCarrell
The Café @ Williams Hardware
Travelers Rest

Nancy: “Cornbread, I guess. With Yelton’s cornmeal in the yellow bag, an egg, a little milk. A cast iron skillet with a quarter cup of bacon grease in it that came out of a cup on the stove, because, you know, you kept your bacon grease. Cornbread was my job, because you ate it every meal.”

Joyce: “First thing must have been grits and bacon. And I would always start that so Mother could come and finish it up. What it did was give her 15 minutes more in bed. She would make her entrance into the kitchen with her designer housecoat and Daniel Green gold bedroom slippers, and lipstick.”

Katherine O’Leary-Cole Waldrep
Founder and General Manager
The Secret Table

“The first really big culinary breakthrough for me was at Augusta Grill, when I first started doing pastries there. I would do all the house desserts that they had recipes for. But then I started doing ice creams. When you freeze ingredients you lose a lot of flavor, and a lot of ice creams tend to be very homogenous. With frozen chocolate you lose the flavor of the chocolate. I now make a buttercream frosting and stir it through ice cream before freezing.”

Bo Wilder
Henry’s Smokehouse

“Actually, it’s funny. I was 12 years old and my dad bought a Huddle House. Probably an omelet. Dad opened the restaurant, told me I needed to start working, he put me washing dishes and I said that was for the birds. So he said I needed to learn how to cook.”

Ben Pierson
Brewmaster and Owner
Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom
Travelers Rest

“My mom and dad worked a lot and I’d make sloppy joes. I made them with canned soup, cooked the hamburger up. I could do that in my preteen years and I didn’t burn the house down. Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve stolen recipes from other books. Shrimp with Italian dressing, hot sauce, lemon, cracked pepper and butter—people would eat the table if you put butter on it. Cook the shrimp in the liquid, and serve with a big loaf of crusty bread. It’s probably got all the 7 deadly sins except the cheese, but it’s a wonderful dish. I’m not a gourmet, but I am a gourmand. I love to eat.”

Kimberly Baker
Food Safety Associate
Clemson Extension Service

“My sister is 10 years older than me, and my brother eight years older. When they went off to college, and my dad traveled, my mother and I would trade nights making dinner. We’d have competitions, and I still have the bookmarks where she’s marked what to eat that night. I still have those books. I wouldn’t move the markers for anything.”

Article from Edible Upcountry at http://edibleupcountry.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/voices
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