This Sunday, New Orleans will be featured on Matt and Ted Lee’s new Ovation series “Southern Uncovered With The Lee Bros.” This episode highlights the culinary diversity of the city, with stops at a New Orleans East Vietnamese farmers’ market, a crawfish boil, and bites at MoPho, Shaya, and Cane & Table. We caught up with the two Charleston, South Carolina, food writers while they were filming the show back in May, and talked about their latest culinary impressions of the Crescent City.
Louisiana Cookin’: What have you been shooting so far?
Matt and Ted Lee: We spent the morning with [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Chef Mike Gulotta]. He took us to the market and introduced us to the lady who makes the tofu he uses at MoPho. Then we went back to his restaurant and he made us this crazy fusion dish that’s a mash-up between gumbo and a fermented black bean preparation. It was so flavorful. He also had a lamb roasting on a spit outside, which is a normal Saturday thing for them.
Louisiana Cookin’: Have you seen international influences coming into Southern food in general?
Matt and Ted Lee: In the Atlanta episode, we explore the ways in which Korean influences have worked into the food scene there. There’s a Korean pop star who married a Georgian, and they’re doing a barbecue restaurant that incorporates Korean spice and kimchi and pickles. They serve a straight up, correct barbecue sandwich with a mass of beautiful radish pickles and some other tart elements. We’re trying to show the breadth of Southern food culture in 2015 because we feel that’s missing from a lot of television explorations.
Louisiana Cookin’: How does this New Orleans episode fit in with the rest of the series?
Matt and Ted Lee: New Orleans is exceptional. It stands out for being totally deep and new to us in so many ways. I think we could stay here another few years and feel like we’re just scratching the surface. There are all of the institutions, second lines, clubs, and parades. It’s so rich we could do a whole Southern Uncovered season just on New Orleans.
Louisiana Cookin’: What are you looking forward to seeing the next time you’re back in town?
Matt and Ted Lee: The Vietnamese community here was a revelation. I definitely want to go back to New Orleans East and check out Dong Phuong Bakery and connect the dots from New Orleans East to the West Bank (because there’s another Vietnamese community over there).
Catch Matt and Ted Lee’s Southern Uncovered New Orleans episode this Sunday, July 19, at 7pm Central.