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Presenter : Bobby Chinn

Deep South USA

Bobby Chinn Deep SouthBobby Chinn’s visit to the Deep South starts in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he delves into the culinary history of this fascinating region, dominated by Cajun and Creole cuisines.

First Bobby visits a market in the French Quarter where after sampling a Gator on a Stick, he has a dangerous liaison with some Voodoo spices.

In Tujaques which is the oldest stand-up bar in the US Bobby meets Poppy Tooker, a New Orleans cooking legend, who teaches him the secrets of a Creole seafood gumbo.

Bobby’s Seafood Gumboday ends  in one of the legendary New Orleans jazz clubs where he meets maestro jazz trumpeter, Irvin Mayfield.

Leaving New Orleans behind, Bobby heads into the Bayou and Cajun country,  Hitching a ride with a real-life alligator hunter, through the swamps to his next destination, a charcuterie called Poches.  Here, Bobby meets Patrick Mould, who takes Bobby back to the local speak-easy, where after listening to some typical Cajun music, they cook the iconic dish of this region, a Cajun Jambalaya.

Longwood-historic-House,-NatchezThe next day Bobby heads back to the mighty Mississippi and hops on a working boat heading North, across the county line into Mississippi State.  His intended destinations are the old river towns of Natchez and Vicksburg.  In Natchez, he discovers the fabulous wealth generated by the cotton industry which grew up in this region as he visits one of the seven hundred plantation houses that still exist in this amazing town.

He then moves on to Vicksburg, to learn more about the reason this opulent way of life came crashing down, namely the American Civil War.  Vicksburg’s strategic position on the Mississippi, meant it was at the centre of some of the most vicious fighting in this sad tale, of brother fighting brother and much of the evidence remains to this day.

Vicksburg marks the Southernmost point of the Mississippi delta, a flat alluvial plain, between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers.  And it is here, in the town of Greenwood that Bobby discovers more about the history of cotton and the terrible plight of the hundreds of thousands of black slaves who lived and died in these fields.

Bobby and Mary Hoover the Queen of Fried Chicken

Bobby and Mary Hoover the Queen of Fried Chicken

The Mississippi delta is also home to some dishes instantly associated with the South, and southern food, such as fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, and grits.  It is here Bobby is taught the perfect preparation of these local southern dishes in the antiquated kitchen of an original share cropper’s home.  As the sun goes down, Bobby gets the chance to play some delta Blues, with his new found friends from Greenwood.

Continuing his journey North, Bobby’s next stop is the rather unremarkable town of Tupelo.  Unremarkable that is, until one considers that this town is said by some to be the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, for it was here, in a poor black neighbourhood that a young lad called Elvis Aaron Presley came into this world on 8th January 1935.

Bobby visits Elvis’s birthplace and the hardware store where his mother bought Elvis his first guitar, before Bobby sits down for a burger in Johnny’s Drive-In, for a chat with two of Elvis’s childhood buddies.

The final leg of Bobby’s journey takes him to Memphis, Tennessee where he finishes his Elvis odyssey by visiting possibly one of the most famous houses in the world, Gracelands, Elvis’s home for most of his life.

Bobby then immerses himself in the local obsession with Barbecue, firstly by visiting just about every barbecue joint in the neighbourhood, and then by being taught how to cook the perfect barbecue pork, by a four-times world champion barbecue pitmaster.

This amazing journey ends with Bobby playing some southern blues on a rooftop in Memphis, overlooking the majestic Mississippi River.


Pecan Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie and Butterscotch Cake




Places Mentioned - USA

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