Hidden F&B: Lauren McDuffie

This month, Charleston Grit's Hidden F&B podcast episode features brand new cookbook author Lauren McDuffie.
Lauren McDuffie


By Helen Mitternight


Editor’s note: Charleston is such a foodie town that food and beverage superstars are hiding in plain sight, out of theJames Beardlimelight, but still very much creating and serving amazing food and drinks. This series profiles Charleston’s “Hidden F&Bs.”


Southern Lights, debuting June 6, both celebrates — and lightens up — Southern food.


Don’t call Lauren McDuffie a chef. She says she’s a professional home cook and wants to keep it that way so she can continue to enjoy cooking. McDuffie, who shares recipes on her blog calledMy Kitchen Little,has a new cookbook coming out based on her home cooking experiences. Southern Lights, debuting June 6, both celebrates — and lightens up — Southern food.


Lauren’s take


Favorite kitchen tool or gadget


My fish spatula. You can do so many things with it!


In my refrigerator (three things)


There are always leftovers, especially now that I’m testing recipes for my third cookbook! Also, hot sauces, and I’m obsessed with this dressing calledKat the Farmer,who sells at a farm stand in Blacksburg, VA!


In my pantry (three things)


Chili crisp, peanut butter — I eat creamy, I don’t like the interference of crunchy and I’ve had a spoonful or two every day of my life — and coconut milk.


Comfort food


Cheeseburger and fries.


Favorite smell


Garlic and onions cooking in butter or olive oil. It always means something good is coming!


Favorite drink


A Paper Plane — I ordered that cocktail at Husk, and it was delicious!


Most underrated ingredient


Parsley. It’s such an afterthought but it’s delicious and it’s good for you.


Favorite meal to cook at home


I make a Creole-style etouffee. I make it with chicken and andouille sausage and serve it over cheese grits.


Best advice a mentor gave you


It’s more of a mantra and it’s from my swim coach when I was on the swim team. He used to tell all of us: Attitude is everything, and you can change your circumstances by changing your attitude.


What’s next


I would love to know! I’m working on my third cookbook and maybe I’d like to get into some other food writing.


McDuffie has more to say on the latest Hidden F&B podcast sponsored byCharleston Grit.Tune in now to hear from the home-cook-turned-cookbook-author onEpisode 95.And, if you want to uncover heroes hiding beyond Charleston, check out the national podcast athelenmitternight.com.