Culinary Q&A – Chef Nathan Lippy
Cobblestone Bread Company
I recently met Chef Nathan at the Shrimp & Grits: Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival when he participated in one of the main events – the epic “Sandwich Smack Down”. Presented by Cobblestone Bread Company, all made in Georgia, Chef Nate went head to head with Southern Living’s Vanessa Rocchio to create the ultimate sandwich in front of a live audience. Though the rain started just about the time the smack down began, it did not dampen the creativity and culinary genius of these two talented chefs!
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Nathan also hosts and produces culinary content for The HUNGRY Channel, Wholly Guacamole and NathanLippy.TV, in addition to being the chef for Cobblestone Bread Company. He has also appeared on Daytime, the Today Show and has traveled throughout the country participating in a variety of Food & Wine Festivals.
After talking to him for only a few minutes under a canopy of oaks with the rain pouring down around us, I knew that I wanted to learn more from the innovative and enthusiastic Chef Nathan and that I had to share with our Southern C foodie friends! Here’s what I learned:
First food memory:
I was 4 or 5 sitting on the counter in my great grandmother’s (Lola Clytie), Clarksdale, MS, kitchen. She had a huge bowl of green beans that came from her garden. They were still warm from the Mississippi sunshine and she had me snapping them in half. Her kitchen always smelled like bacon and hugs.
Five ingredients always in your pantry:
Chipotle powder, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, olive oil, spaghetti
Five ingredients always in your fridge:
Bacon fat, Eggs, Dr. Pepper, sriracha, sun dried tomatoes
What are some of your go-to items you like to serve at a cocktail party?
Lavender roasted figs with bacon and honey
Mini charred fish tacos with jicama, lime and cilantro
Parmesan and rosemary french fries with sriracha ketchup
What would you want for your last meal?
As much as the food would be important for my last meal, the company would be my priority. The right company always makes the food taste so much better. I would want my mother and father there and my wife, Chelsee, and my two sons, Titus and Gideon.
My mother’s curry pork chops with garlic mashed potatoes and garlic bread with a side of fried okra, pickles and biscuits with bacon jam and honey
Dream guest list of three people for a dinner party and why?
Ronald Reagan, Julia Child and Alfred Hitchcock
I would want to know what they dreamed about and aspired to become, because I have held each of them in the highest regard and aspire to be like them in one way or another… trailblazing, unapologetic, brilliant, and determined. Plus, it would be a table full of amazing stories and I imagine a lot of laughter. I would want to arm wrestle Ronald Reagan and talk about America, I would cook and sip wine with Julia and ask her about her childhood, and I would pick Alfred Hitchcock’s brain about how he brings a thought to life with such intensity that others are moved and affected far beyond the initial idea. I would want to embrace each of them and thank them for the massive impact they have made on my life.
Career if you not a chef?
Do you have a favorite Southern dish that is always better “old school” rather than updated or “improved?”
Fried okra and biscuits and gravy
Favorite Cocktail – Pina Colada
Favorite Cookbook – Jaime at Home (Jaime Oliver)
Favorite Kitchen Gadget- pairing knife
Favorite artist/musician to listen to in the kitchen – AC/DC
Favorite culinary destination and why? Key West. By far, the best grouper sandwiches on the planet!
Chef Nathan competing against Southern Living’s Vanessa Rocchio
during the “Sandwich Smack Down,”sponsored by Cobblestone Bread Company
Bonus – a delicious recipe from Chef Nate
Chef Michelle Weaver here
Chef Shawn Kelly here
Chef Chris Stewart here
Chef Marc Collins here
Chef Sarah O’Kelley here
Chef Greg Marks here
Chef Travis Grimes here
Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and a Southern Living contributing editor.
Through this series, she gets to meet some of the South’s finest and most creative chefs all while indulging without the calories.