Meet Your Instructor
Lesson time 06:16 min
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey shares her story and the story of The Grey, the restaurant she co-owns in Savannah, Georgia, and how it fits into the legacy of the American South. She also describes what she is about to teach.
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Topics include: Mashama Bailey Teaches Southern Cuisine
[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR 1: Mashama Bailey was born in the Bronx but also spent time with family in Georgia, where relatives taught her the art of Southern cooking. NARRATOR 2: She and her business partner, John, turned an old Greyhound bus station into The Grey. "Time Magazine" has recognized it as one of the world's greatest places for food and drink. NARRATOR 3: "Food & Wine Magazine" recently placed The Gray on its list of the world's best restaurants. PRESENTER: And the Beard Award goes to Mashama Bailey. [MUSIC PLAYING] MASHAMA BAILEY: I remember the smells in my grandmother, Geneva's, kitchen. It smelled warm. It smelled like sugar and honey, grits and bacon in the morning, biscuits. It smelled like greens cooking on the stove. It smelled like cheese and pork and just good food. I gotta be honest. I didn't really identify myself as a Southern cook. But I never really was looking at French chefs or American chefs for inspiration. I was always looking at my family because I thought that they were the best cooks that I knew. I always was looking for dishes that represented my grandparents, my grandmothers, in particular. All those things really influenced my outlook. I think the reason why I cook Southern food is because my grandmothers are my anchors. By doing that, it allowed me to really look at what Southern food is, what Black food is, what American food is. And it also allowed me to accept my own journey. [MUSIC PLAYING] I was a career changer when I started cooking, had already gone to college and gotten a degree and started a career in social work. And I thought it was going to be so fulfilling. I thought helping people was really going to keep me centered and engaged. And I thought I was going to change the human condition. It really became clear to me very early on that that was not my passion. What was my passion was making people happy and keeping people fed and also receiving some praise for it. Growing up in the South and moving to the North, learning to cook in France and coming back to New York City in order to really hone my skills has really given me a unique perspective that I want to share with you. I want to demystify Southern food. When I think of Southern food, I think of a region that encompasses the Appalachian Mountains and the Gulf. I think of all the ingredients that are grown and celebrated there. And I think the people who were forced to live there and the people who were pushed out really understood how to grow the food and really had a heavy influence in what we call Southern food today. [MUSIC PLAYING] Being in Savannah and cooking at the helm of a Greyhound bus station that was segregated is really special. It's amazing. I think about how I am in a really unique position to tell a really unique story from a perspective that no one really wanted to give room to before. And I often ...
About the Instructor
Through her award-winning Savannah restaurant, The Grey, Chef Mashama Bailey has brought worldwide acclaim to the rich, layered traditions of African American Southern cooking. Now the James Beard Award–winning chef shows you traditional and reimagined techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes. From pork shank and collard greens to gumbo and grits, explore a world of history, texture, and taste.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey teaches you techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes—from grits to gumbo.Explore the Class