Many chefs have their first exposure to cooking at a young age. For Sean Brock, who was born and raised in rural Virginia, it was the experience of his family growing their own food that left a deep impression. “This was a coal-field town with no restaurants or stoplights,” he explains. “You grew and cooked everything you ate, so I really saw food in its true form. You cook all day, and when you’re not cooking, you’re preserving. If you were eating, you were eating food from the garden or the basement– it’s a way of life.” These were the building blocks that Brock remembered as he began his career as a chef, inspiring a lifelong passion for exploring the roots of Southern food and recreating it by preserving and restoring heirloom ingredients.
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