By Southern Living
September 01, 2020
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Southern food is often thought of as fixed in time—as if there were only one correct way to bake biscuits or cook grits. We can find these long-held cooking tenets in weathered recipe cards, in the margins of spiral-bound cookbooks, and in our treasured memories of family members long gone. But as the following talented cooks from across the South show, there is a way to marry the past and the present. And it’s delicious. In Tennessee, Mee McCormick makes gluten-free fried chicken that rivals any traditional recipe. In Kentucky, Samantha Fore has earned a following for her vibrant Sri Lankan-meets-Southern dishes. And in Texas, Vianney Rodriguez gives Tex-Mex food the respect and recognition it deserves. Through cookbooks, food blogs, pop-up restaurants, and more, all seven of our 2020 Cooks of the Year are expanding the way we define Southern food and making sure that there’s a seat at the table for everyone. —Lisa Cericola