Lisa Dupar - Farm, Carrot Photo 7 10.jpg
Lisa Dupar digs her Southern roots.
Lisa Dupar might be the best under-the-radar chef in the region. She's been catering upscale comfort food with a

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Lisa Dupar's Got a New Cookbook, and It Just Pops

Lisa Dupar - Farm, Carrot  Photo 7 10.jpg
Lisa Dupar digs her Southern roots.
Lisa Dupar might be the best under-the-radar chef in the region. She's been catering upscale comfort food with a Southern accent for years and her Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond is weekend brunch central for Eastsiders, the fare tasty enough to coax folks from Seattle across one of those bridges. She's introduced diners in this part of the world to the down-home delights of shrimp and grits, pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. Those sweet savories and much more are in Lisa's new cookbook, Fried Chicken and Champagne. That title just pops, doesn't it?

SW: Congrats on the release of your new book! What were some of your favorite cookbooks when you first got interested in food?

Lisa: FIRST interested? I was about 6 - I still have my first cookbook! It's Betty Crocker for Kids! It's from the '60s. Then there were my grandmother's recipes. During my professional apprenticeship, I couldn't live without this book from Switzerland called The Pauli. Today, I absolutely LOVE Pork and Sons, Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard, Momofuko by David Chang and the CIA's The Modern Café is fun!

SW: How do you think cookbooks have changed in recent years?

Lisa: I like the books that show off the personality and character of the chef and their shop or restaurant such as Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts, Michael Recchiuti's Chocolate Obsession, any of Rick Bayless' books. I feel like a friend reading and using his books. A fabulous trend is books that delve into a specific topic to the point of obsession! Sausage making, bread baking, muffins, chocolate techniques. If you want to master something these days there is certainly opportunity!

SW: Speaking of celebrity chefs, do you watch the Food Network?

Lisa: I love watching my chef friends --Tom Douglas, Thierry Rautureau, Maria Hines, Jerry Traunfeld, Duskie Estes. If I don't know someone personally, not so much. But I have to say I'm in love with "Cake Boss." Maybe it's the accent, but I love that guy!

SW: Have you ever tried out for a reality cooking show?

Lisa: We are currently being pitched to both the Food Network and TLC for a catering show. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

SW: Tell us about your Southern roots.

Lisa: Though I was raised in Atlanta, being an only child, I was shipped off to the beach on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina to my aunt's beach house with six cousins every summer of my life for three months. I really feel a connection to Charleston because of that. It represents wonderful memories of crabbing, fishing, playing on the beach for hours and hours, tennis camps and great times around the dinner table with my family. My father's side of the family is from Augusta, Ga. and serving lemonade at the Masters was a spring ritual. (Guess we didn't realize how cool we were!) My Southern Belle granny made clear that we understood our roots and spun historic tales of relatives who were rice plantation owners, or fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War.

Check back for part two of this week's Grillaxin Q&A with chef Lisa Dupar.

 
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