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Chef: Kevin Douglas Ouzts

Way Back In History

I was fortunate enough to be influenced in food by my entire family. My Mother, who was an amazing cook, would have elaborate dinner parties that filled the house with bouquets of flavorful aromas that have stuck with me forever. She was influenced by classical French cooking and was always pushing the envelope to offer her guests cuisine that was both unique and a challenge to her. On the other hand, my Southern influence came from my Grandmother in the dinners and special holiday gatherings she had at her home in Decatur, Georgia. There was always a bounty of southern goodies at every celebration and everything was homemade – the meats, the smorgasbord of fresh vegetable dishes, and all of the pickled and canned goodies.

My first memory of the business I am now dedicating myself to came from my father, who was also an amazing cook. He introduced me at a young age to the wonderful world of cured, salted, and smoked meats – even building by hand a huge brick pit smoker in our yard; complete with a pulley and lever attached to a giant steel trap door at the top to regulate the powerful flumes of hickory smoke. It was a castle that awed me and captivated my attention in the world of smoked food. At the impressionable age of 9, I first had the privilege of experiencing some of the finest classical charcuterie that was brought home from trips to Louisiana– Tasso Ham, Head Cheese and one of my favorites, Andouille.

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