The Chefs: 5 Southern-Bred Chefs Making Waves in Northern California

By Christina Mueller & Gibson Thomas / Photography By Clay McLachlan | Last Updated June 01, 2014
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Stephen Barber, Executive Chef, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena, in his pantry

Barbecue or fried chicken? Bourbon or California Chardonnay? Pie or cake? Mayonnaise or pork fat? The Allman Brothers Band or Southern Culture on the Skids? Read on to learn the answers to these and other burning questions as five Southern-bred chefs making waves in Northern California reveal how their Southern upbringing shaped their craft, and influences their cooking today.

To see more on the age old pie vs cake issue, check out the Southern Foodways video for an extensive, and hilarious, staged debate on the matter between Kim Severson of the New York Times (and formerly a food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle) and Kat Kinsman, the managing editor of CNN’s Eatocracy.

Stephen Barber, Executive Chef of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena

Chef Stephen Barber at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena, butchering meat
Stephen Barber grew up in an area of Kentucky where hams hung from the ceiling of every grocery store. During his childhood, smoke wafted...

Tyler Florence, Chef of Wayfare Tavern and El Paseo, Cookbook Author and TV Personality

Tyler Florence, Chef of Wayfare Tavern and El Paseo, Cookbook Author and TV Personality
In the childhood home of chef Tyler Florence, there was always a reason for celebration. “My Dad was the youngest of eight kids,” Florence...

Sarah Scott, Private Chef, Culinary Consultant and Cookbook Author, Napa

Chef Sarah Scott in her kitchen garden in Napa
A simple act is all it takes to change your life. For Sarah Scott, a serendipitous walk into Napa’s Cuisine Renaissance was “all” it took...

Brandon Sharp, Executive Chef of Solage, Calistoga

Brandon Sharp, Executive Chef of Solage, Calistoga
Not everyone savors, or even appreciates, Eastern Carolina–style barbecue. Served chopped, with a thin, vinegary sauce, it is an acquired...

Jared Rogers, Chef of Restaurant Picco in Larkspur

Chef Jared Rogers, Restaurant Picco, Larkspur
Larkspur, in more ways than one, is a long way from the Blue Ridge mountain town of Floyd, Virginia. But it was in Floyd that Chef Jared...

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