"Southern palates are the best palates," says singer and Alabama native Taylor Hicks. This American Idol star now tours around the country with his show State Plate on INSP, filling up a plate in each state with the best food he can find. So, it's no wonder that he – among many others – champions the South's music and food for being a 'warm blanket' of comfort. Hicks co-owns a few restaurants in his home city of Birmingham, Alabama including Saw's BBQ and Saw's Juke Joint. In case there's any doubt that this musician knows his barbecue, he's been traveling all around the South to taste-test the best Southern food. And, although he does love his home state's offerings, there's another state that he thinks has the best food in America. Can you guess which state he picked? We joined Taylor Hicks at his restaurant to chat about his journey around the country, why he values Southern culture, and why the best food in the United States comes from below the Mason-Dixon.
Favorite State to eat in? I would say Louisiana. I mean there's so many different styles of food and [MUSIC] they got some really good music. Well I co-owned restaurants in the past here in Birmingham, Alabama. Obviously this one being Saw's Juke Joint and Saw's barbecue. [MUSIC] You know southern pallets are the best pallets. [MUSIC] Its kinda like music her in the state of Alabama. We're right in the middle of everything. So I love the barbeque here in this state, because I think it pulls off of a lot of different ingredients and tastes that are around the sound. [MUSIC] State Plate is all of the wonderful food in travel shows combined. We go to each state and we fill up a plate of food that is iconic to that state. [MUSIC] I love everything in the south, I haven't found one food that I don't like. I've always lived in the south, I've always Perform in the South. But travelling and being able to educate people and viewers. Not only myself, but viewers on these iconic state foods or it's something that I just have fallen in love with. [MUSIC] It makes you feel good, it's comforting. When people know good music and good southern music, it just makes you feel like you got a warm blanket around you. There's no difference in foods. Southern food, especially, makes you feel like you have a warm blanket around you. [BLANK_AUDIO]