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Food Programme

BBC Radio 4

Arts, Food

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Food 19

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

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US Southern Cooking and Chef Sean Brock

March 3rd, 2013

Episode 266 of 628 episodes

Richard Johnson is in South Carolina to meet Charleston chef, Sean Brock, who is on a mission to revive ingredients and flavours not experienced for hundreds of years. It's a story that involves an intricate "food tattoo", one of America's biggest private seed collections, a hog roast and "pick picking" and bowls of delicious peas, beans, rice, grits and fried chicken. Soon after British settlers arrived in South Carolina in the 17th century a cuisine called the "Carolina rice kitchen" was formed. Using the expertise of West African slaves to develop rice plantations, a larder evolved consisting of the main crop along with beans, African vegetables and staples like oats, rye and wheat from Britain. Chef Sean Brock believes it was one of the earliest, and "most beautiful" food cultures in America. In his mid-thirties and sporting an arm covered in tattoos of heirloom vegetables, he's attempting to "reboot" that cuisine and those ingredients which had all disappeared by the 20th century. He's joined forces with historian David Shields and a seed hunter, Glenn Roberts, to source, grow and cook with these historic foods. Richard joins Sean Brock at his restaurant, Husk to hear why "ridiculous flavour" is the driving force behind the mission. Producer: Dan Saladino.

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