I was born and raised in the college town of Auburn, Alabama—often referred to as the heart of Dixie—with family spread from the swampy bayous of Louisiana to the rocky-topped Carolinas. If you’re from the South, you know traditions run deep. Sweet tea, soul food, and SEC football are not only revered, they’re religion.

Wide-eyed and raring to go, I packed my bags after college graduation and headed to sunny Los Angeles in pursuit of “the American dream.” As luck and fate would have it, my independent self went off and fell in love. Turns out I traveled thousands of miles just to meet a good ol’ boy from Georgia.

As we’re taught down South, the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I started cooking what I knew best, and a lot of it. I became enamored with all forms of Southern cookery, and it became my mission to share it with the world. Next thing I knew, Dixie Caviar was born.

Rest assured, I am no Paula Deen. I support eating by the season and knowing my farmers, but I also live a busy life like the rest of you. I try to find a balance between navigating the farmers’ market stalls and the grocery store shelves. (And yes, I even keep Papa John’s on speed dial.) That said, most of the recipes here are not for quick fix meals. I find great pleasure in cooking from scratch, be it canning fresh Georgia peaches or baking a loaf of piping hot country white. This doesn’t mean that cream cheese and casseroles won’t show up here (long live cream cheese! Long live casseroles!), but it does mean you won’t find too many cans of cream of mushroom. 

As for Los Angeles, that same love I mentioned earlier has led us back home. I sure will miss that Meyer lemon tree in our Venice Beach backyard, but I look forward to continuing my Southern food mission, this time from the front lines of Atlanta. You’ll find me exploring the local food scene, searching for the best meat-and-three’s, and of course, in the kitchen.

So welcome to my little corner of the internet. Feel free to kick up your sock monkey slippers and stay awhile. Don’t be scared to send over a favorite heirloom recipe of your own, either. I’d love to share it with the world!

Warm regards,
Nealey Dozier, a.k.a Dixie Caviar

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Arnold July 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Love your writing , recipes , and your site !

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Dana August 13, 2009 at 11:29 am

I get SOOOO hungry any time I go to any of your websites. I guess that means they’re doin’ their job!
Website looks amazing! Love it!

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Justin Lewis August 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Really like the recipes and the site, nice work!

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Blake Turnham September 30, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Great recipes, Great directions, Great results…all I can say is THANK YOU for making me look like a chef!

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Emily February 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Hey Y’all…Georgia/Florida Gal here, nice to meet ya.
I did your sister’s hair a few weeks ago…I think I remembered correctly that it was your sister. She at least knew you. She told me to check out your blog, so I did and I LOVE IT! Check out mine too and maybe we can share stories. Happy Bloggin southern goodie!

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Stay-At-Home-Chef March 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

Great site! Will be following along for sure. Oh and good luck with the Saveur Blog Awards…

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Glenda March 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm

As a native of Alabama transplanted into the frozen (sometimes) north, I envy you moving back to Dixie. That said, I send compliments on your website. Interesting, informative and delicious!

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Debbie Garrett March 14, 2010 at 10:13 am

Hey Nealy, I am one Mrs. T’s old friends from the “Happy 14″. Had lunch with her yesterday to celebrate her birthday a little late and she told us about the blog. I love it! What is the mane of the magazine she wants us to go to so we can vote for the blog. I think you might just be the next Julie Powell. You will have to solicit the “Happy 14″ for entries for your blog. We have one member who had her on Cajun restuarant for a while as long as a catering business. Now Laura can really cook. Another member ran a local facility(I guess you would call it an old fashioned woman’s club) for a while and they specialized in old south foods for luncheons, etc. Good luck . Debbie Garrett PS T is soooooo glad to have ya’ll back home!

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Tammy May 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Just discovered your site and I love it! I also have a blog and will be adding a link to to your site!

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Allan May 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Hey Nealey and all ya’ll!!!

Was out cruising the web…looking for a new bread pudding recipe, just something with a little twist…and found you. Nice to meet you.

Have family from the swamps of Mississippi, Florida, the Car-o-linas and all thru Jawja (my home, over near Augusta)

Will have to get in touch with you soon…see if you can use any of my recipes. Thanks for the site.

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Joey June 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Laura and I will be by to see you soon! I hope everything is going well.

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Sweet Pea Chef July 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Hey there, Nealey! I’ve lived in SoCal my whole life by I find myself yearning for some good ‘ol southern hospitality and living. I’m actually considering relocating to Austin, TX in the near future. Not as southern as Alabama, but it’s a start!

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Jay Shapiro August 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Heard about your site through a friend of mine who is a chef in Alpharetta Ga. I too live in Alpharetta and am trying to bring a more traditional and local menu to my restaurant and the tables of my friends and family. My brother is in the catering business and i turned him onto your website. Thank you for profiling a deep tradition as well as bringing a lot of us home to our roots.

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Heather May 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

It was so great to meet you this past weekend! I love your blog :)

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Drew Goodner August 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

Love your website Nealey!

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Mama Jane August 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

From one southern girl to another, I love your website/blog and hope there will be more recipes to come…love to cook!!! Can’t wait to try the Skillet Coffee Cake!!! I too went to Auburn University years ago and grew up right up the interstate in “The Valley”, Langdale, AL to be exact. After college, I married and lived in Sandy Springs so am familiar with Alpharetta…loved it!!! Was in the Atlanta area for about 5 years before moving ‘about’ as far south in Alabama as one can go… where I’ve been since. I’m thrilled to find a young woman who values southern culture and tradition enough to want to share it with the world and has the know how to do it!!! Love the term ‘Dixie Caviar’ but then, what southern girl wouldn’t??!! Wish you the best with your endeavors Nealy!

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Barbara April 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hi Nealey,

We met a couple of weeks ago at Sur la Table for the “Dinner with Friends” class. I wanted to let you know that both my friend and I had a blast and I can’t wait to take more. I’d love to keep in touch with you and learn more about your experiences and your culinary ventures. Keep up the great work, and I’m glad all the “glitches” on the site were fixed ;)

Regards,
Barbara

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Nealey April 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Hi Barbara,

So glad you had fun in the class! Please keep in touch, and feel free to ever let me know if you have any questions or requests!

Talk soon,
Nealey

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