A B O U T

 

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I was raised in Cajun Country, experienced the boldness of Texas fare, tasted the light cuisine in Florida, plunged my fork into the various influences in Alabama, and am now enjoying the harmonious city of Nashville . I grew up in the small town of Lake Charles, Louisiana where the women in my family taught me the importance of our Cajun heritage and, of course, our cuisine. My grandmother’s kitchen will forever smell of homemade roux, and my memories are filled with boudin, crawfish boils and laughter. I will always carry these moments with me in my pocket.

My love for the environment began to grow into a career plan as my college years commenced, and my passion for food became a favored hobby. My dream was to work for NASA since I was a tike and, so, I began pursing a bachelor’s degree in geography. During my senior year at Samford University in Birmingham, being completely frustrated with the lack of ideas for a senior thesis, I turned to the most reliable source of peace, The Cooking Channel.

Making a mental note of John T. Edge’s new book that was ALL about fried chicken, hello. I began to do more research on the author. I realized that he was one of the top experts on Southern food. Volumes and volumes have been written on the subject, which had always been a passion of mine. Could this really work? While all of the gentlemen in the class were doing geography projects using GIS, I pitched an idea that centered on how food defines the South. My research included digging to the depths in my own Southern food memories, learning about the geography of the South and tasting one dish after another of local food in Birmingham. I had my work cut out for me (and a gym membership in my very near future.)

Then, with the encouragement of my family, friends and professors, I rejected an offer with NASA to pursue writing, Southern food writing to be exact. I began my blog www.fortheloveofthesouth.com in January of 2012, which treasures my most precious Southern food memories. I am blessed to have the opportunities to share my love with so many people. Saveur has voted me as one of the Best Food Blogs of 2012, and  I’ve been blessed to partner with brands like Tabasco and Emeril Lagasse. I am also a contributor for The Southern Coterie, have been featured on Bon Appétit.comFood 52, Fox News and Zeit Magazin. I have been blessed to write for Louisiana Cookin’. I hope to encourage all of you to pursue your passion; you never know what will come of it.

“For I know the plans I have for you…”- Jeremiah 29:11

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”-Dr. Seuss

Contact me at: abryder (at) gmail (dot) com

47 thoughts on “A B O U T

  1. I love the South. I was born and raised in the south. Many memories I have have been fond memories much like Skeeter in “The Help”.

  2. As a military brat, who was born in Montgomery and spent 4 years there both as a baby and a junior high / high schooler and then lived in Birmingham for my first job out of law school, I appreciate this! I’ve since relocated to Washington, DC but have a great deal of love for all things Southern and particularly, all things Alabama – including the football team 🙂 I just stumbled across your blog from Food 52 and am really enjoying it!

    • Thank you so much for sharing and for your kind words! Even if you leave the South, the South never leaves you. It becomes part of who you are, which I consider a blessing!

  3. I just found your blog through the Saveur Food Blog Awards, and I’m so glad. Being Southern comes along with so many food memories. It’s so nice to find someone who appreciates them as much as I do. Congratulations on your many successes, and best wishes from one southerner to another.

    Natalie
    oystersandpearls.net

  4. Hi Amber,
    One reason I’m glad we met at the Southern C Summit is because it gave me a chance to find your blog. And I just nominated your lovely site for a Super Sweet Blogging Award on my own blog! It’s a pleasure to read.
    Nicole

  5. All your recipes look delicious and have tried a few. Everyone loves them at my home.
    Can you tell me what camera you use and your lighting source. They are so soft, no harsh flash or light. Do you use an editing program. I would just like to take photos like these of my loved ones. Forget the food I cook – tastes good but not always pretty! Thanks 🙂

    • Belinda,
      Thank you so much for the sweet words! I use a Canon 20D for all of my photos. I also ONLY use natural light. There is a particular window in my home where I have tracked the light, and I know exactly what time of day to take great pictures. I also use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to edit my photos. I only do small adjustments in the editing program though. A rule for my photo editing is if a photo takes more than 5 minutes to edit, it wasn’t great to start with! I also have studied other great resources on food photography. My favorite source so far is Plate to Pixel. I hope you have found these tips helpful!
      x
      Amber

  6. Your mother-in-law posted about your blog on Food52 and I am so glad she did. I’ve found new cooking inspiration in your photos and your words!

  7. It was so nice to meet you while you were on vacation in Wyoming seeing family and to hear them talk about how amazing you are. I am enjoying reading your blog and feel lucky to have had you in my kitchen. I will be trying many recipes of yours soon.

    • Kimberly,
      It was so nice to meet you as well! I loved your kitchen. So adorable! I’m so grateful to hear you say you enjoy my work. So happy I could bring a little Southern charm to Wyoming!
      X
      Amber

  8. Just read your “Welome home Darlin”. You have a real talent for finding the right words for the feelings some people could never express. Keep speaking for us all!

  9. OH, I just love everything about your blog! I am from Baton Rouge, so not too far from where you grew up:) I work farther down south now in the wetlands of Louisiana doing GIS work, but I blog about food and crochet to give my creative side some attention. Your blog is incredibly inspirational, and I just wanted to say thanks! I am looking forward to trying out that delicious okra recipe you recently posted (okra is the greatest vegetable that ever was)!

  10. Fantastic blog Amber!

    I’m a chef myself and have only been blogging for a little over one year. My dream is to do much of what you do- write, test, etc. If you did it with your background, then I have no excuse for not trying my absolute best. Thanks for reminding me to keep pushing!

    How did you manage to start up? Did people start coming to you or did you pursue others first? Any pointers greatly appreciated, I have no idea where to go from blogging!

    Loved reading about your passion for southern comforts. X

    Ashley

    • Ashley,
      Your words are so kind! Thank you so much!

      An editor actually suggested that I start a blog. I replied, “I’m not a blogger!” She assured me that people would relate to the stories and recipes I had to share.

      Honestly, I’ve been so blessed with this space. It has been a platform for so many lovely connections and job opportunities. I’m always encouraged by God to just show up, share my stories and recipes, and the rest will take care of itself! I hope this helps you! I wish you all the success in the world!
      X
      Amber

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  12. Amber,

    I stumbled across your blog when I found the recipe for the apple pie with bacon lattice. Though I am a healthy food recipe creator and writer by trade, I also have a deep love for Southern cuisine (being born and raised in Arkansas), and this pie just HAS to be given a shot in my kitchen! I am so inspired by your story, it is people like you who make me work harder each and every day to not only hope to one day inspire others with my love of cooking and food, but also to stretch my imagination in creating new and enticing recipes. Thank you!

  13. So glad I stumbled across your blog!
    All your pictures and posts are simply gorgeous (and not to mention the mouthwatering recipes!)
    looking forward to your future posts 🙂

    Bec {Daisy and the Fox}

  14. You writing is rich and beautiful AND you have an elegant and delicate taste in photography and recipes. These are the type of blogs that are food for the soul.

  15. Love your site. I am doing some research as moved forward in learning the heritage of southern cooking as I try to get back to my roots (grew up in NC and FLA.). I am learn people’s perspective of southern cooking to be fried food is far from reality. To me looks to be the foundation of farm to table. Of course the foodies probably don’t look at it that way. I am curious if in your research you have come across anything relating to pasta role in th we south other than mac and cheez. Keep up the great work. Mark

    • Mark,
      Thanks so much for the kind words! Yes, I grew up with dishes like Crawfish Fettuccini and fried bowtie pasta served with crawfish dip for the holidays! Since I’m from Louisiana, most of the dishes bulk came from rice instead of pasta though.
      x
      Amber

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