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.com, Food 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