kalexander's blog

Party Season Prep: The Perfect Hostess Gift

By Haskell HarrisBelle DecorOctober 20, 2014

Nine years ago, Robbie and Angie Cook launched Hester & Cook, a collection of tabletop, kitchen, and home goods out of Nashville, Tennessee. Their products that take cues from Southern epicurean accouterment of the past, from sets of salvaged silver-plate serving utensils—much of it sourced from estate sales across the United States—to paper placemats emblazoned with vintage botanical drawings and custom-commissioned illustrations that double as art for the table.

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Historical Harvest: Thomas Jefferson’s Sesame Seed

By CJ LotzBelow the LineOctober 17, 2014

In the rolling hills of central Virginia not far from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate, horticulturists are harvesting one special seed that traces back to the third president’s own collection: a tiny sesame seed that packs a punch of legacy.

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My Town: John Fleer’s Asheville, NC

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineSeptember 25, 2014

After fifteen years in Tennessee as the head chef at Blackberry Farm, John Fleer and his wife Katy, both North Carolina natives, were eager to return to the Tar Heel State. “We’d had our eye on Asheville for a long time,” Fleer says of the Blue Ridge boomtown. “When we lived in Tennessee, we’d always stop on the way home to Winston-Salem. And over the years we watched it change and grow into this really vibrant community.”

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Video Premiere: Lera Lynn's "Out to Sea"

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsAugust 25, 2014

The intimate, quivering twang in Lera Lynn’s vocals might bring to mind another, better known Lynn. But the Nashville-based singer-songwriter is not necessarily a country musician, she says, at least not according to the modern-day definition. “Out to Sea,” from her upcoming album, The Avenues (out September 9), is a track that bears some resemblance to her adopted hometown’s famous honky-tonk laments, carried along by airy harmonies and slide guitar, but it's also kin to the independent sounds of Athens, Georgia, where she cut her teeth.

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Get On Up: The James Brown Story

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsAugust 1, 2014

It’s one thing to try to be like James Brown. Everyone from Bootsy Collins to Michael Jackson to Justin Timberlake has cited the Godfather of Soul’s enduring creative influence. But actually stepping into those patent leather shoes to try to be James Brown—well, that’s a different measure of daunting altogether. Fortunately, Chadwick Boseman loves a challenge. Under the direction of filmmaker Tate Taylor (The Help), the actor embodies the unshakeable ambition and charisma of the Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness as the breakout star of Get On Up, the James Brown biopic that hits theaters nationwide today. 

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5 Reasons to Enter the Made in the South Awards

By Jessica MischnerBelow the LineJuly 25, 2014

Looking for a reason to enter the Made in the South Awards? We’ve got five good ones right here.

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A Meeting of the Barbecue Minds

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJuly 15, 2014

Last Thursday night, at Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina, two giants of Southern barbecue met for the first time. As the sun went down, John Lewis, the lanky head cook at La Barbecue in Austin, stepped around the pits where whole-hog veteran Rodney Scott smokes more than a dozen pigs each week. The Texas pit master peppered the South Carolina pit master with questions: How much space do you keep between the hogs and the coals? How do you keep the temperature steady? Lewis helped Scott move a piece of furniture. They walked to the picnic tables across the street, sat down, and ate together.

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Bastille Day Southern-Style

By Lindsey ReynoldsGood EatsJuly 14, 2014

Though some of the biggest Bastille Day festivities went down yesterday, today is officially France’s commemoration holiday. To celebrate, we’re highlighting the new wave of French-inspired brasseries that have recently begun popping up across the South.

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Made in the South Awards Winner Update

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJune 30, 2014

When Bittermilk nabbed the top spot in the drinks category of our 2013 Made in the South Awards last year, the Charleston, South Carolina, line of craft cocktail mixers consisted of three products: a smoked-honey whiskey sour mix, a hopped and elderflower-perfumed Tom Collins mix, and an outstanding burnt-sugar Old Fashioned mix, all carefully positioned at the intersection of bitter, sweet, and sour. Demand for the mixers soared, and founders Joe and MariElena Raya, buoyed by the company’s quick and early success, set to work on a fourth formulation. “Did the Made in the South Awards change our business? It launched our business, basically,” says Joe Raya, who also runs the Gin Joint, one of the Holy City’s best bars, with MariElena. “We were bottling by hand when we got into the magazine, and suddenly, I swear, I was working twenty-four hour stretches some days. But it was amazing, and really got us off the ground.” 

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Behold the Bisnut

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJune 26, 2014

If you’ve kept even a wandering eye on the culinary world over the past year, you’ve probably heard something about the cronut, the flaky croissant-doughnut hybrid that made a minor celebrity of New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel in 2013. The cronut has inspired plenty of imitators, but none have hit quite as close to home for us here at Garden & Gun as the latest, from fast-food chain Carl’s Jr.

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