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!
Nealey Dozier, a.k.a Dixie Caviar