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Charleston

Charleston signing during the Festival, at Blue Bicycle Books!

Drop in before your Festival dinner plans to join Matt for an early-evening beverage and bite at Blue Bicycle Books’ King Street store, and to pick up a copy of our new book project, a reissued, upsized edition of Princess Pamela Strobel’s masterful and poignant 1969 cookbook. It’s the first in a new reissue imprint, “The Lee Brothers’ Library,” with Rizzoli Publications. THURSDAY, March 2, 5:30PM – 7:00PM. 420 King Street. For more info on Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook, read this story about the project at Food52.

Lee Bros Dining Experiences!

We’re often asked, “Where’s your restaurant?” and though we don’t have one (thank heavens!), we’ve recently found a solution to the challenge of how to share our food with groups of people, both visitors and locals, in Charleston. Thanks to our collaboration with Duvall Events, the preeminent caterer in the Charleston area, we are able to bring breakfasts, lunches and dinners of our own design to you, in settings ranging from restaurant-like dining rooms to private homes, yachts, creekside shrimp docks, large halls—you name it. We design a menu (with wine pairings if you wish) for you and your group, and supervise and help produce, from purchasing to quality control to prep—we even chop onions. We can host or preside at your event, say a few words or an entire lecture, mingle at cocktail hour or sit down and join you for the entire affair. Duvall Events’ expert chefs, service staff and logistics experts make it happen with professionalism and grace.

Groups who have booked us in the past especially appreciate the “high touch” we bring, the depth of information about Charleston, its people, ingredients and traditions, that extra connection to the place that makes the time you spend here truly distinctive and meaningful. If you are interested in finding out more about this kind of experience, please give Duvall Events a call at 843-763-9222 and ask for Emma Lesesne-Booth. We look forward to working with you!

– Matt and Ted

In Memoriam: Mrs. Sassard

Charleston lost a culinary icon last week with the passing of Gertrude Sassard, who along with her late husband, Dupree, her son, Allen, and daughter-in-law Dayna, ran “Mrs. Sassard’s Handmade,” a Mount Pleasant-based manufacturer of premium pickles, preserves, jams, and jellies, founded in 1917. In addition to being a tireless worker, Gertrude was a great storyteller and wit, whose bemused skepticism about the capabilities of those around her—particularly her wholesale customers—kept everyone laughing around the production kitchen. A great part of the pleasure of collecting our cases of Iced Tomato Pickles and Pickled Peaches from the Sassard house on Church Street was visiting with Gertrude, who typically could be found in the production kitchen peeling sunchokes with a paring knife— and she could peel fast. “Made its way by the way it’s made” is the company slogan, and well describes the effort that goes into everything Gertrude touched, from the artichokes, to the hand-peeled Pickled Peaches, to the whole fig preserves, Jerusalem artichoke relish, and the rare Pumpkin Chip Preserves. We are saddened greatly by her passing, but thanks to her son Allen, who continues in her footsteps, we know the products we love so much will remain on Lowcountry tables for years to come, in the company of great memories of Gertrude Sassard.

Lee Bros. Announce Partnership with Duvall Catering & Event Design

The Lee Bros. are pleased to announce a partnership with Duvall Catering. Together the partners will produce one-of-a-kind events that combine Duvall’s hallmark finesse with the Lee Bros.’ sense of Charleston flavor and style.

“We reach a wide audience with our cookbooks, but rarely do we have the opportunity to show
people, in person, our cooking,” said Matt Lee. “Teaming up with Duvall allows us to share what
we do, in real time, with groups of all sizes and interests.”

From intimate luncheons to full-scale weddings, planners will be offered the opportunity to
incorporate The Lee Bros. elements into their special events. Planners may select from a number
of menus designed by The Lee Bros. and even book the duo to appear at their event.

“Matt and Ted have drawn a bead on what makes Charleston and its cooking so unique,” said Steve Wenger, Duvall CEO. “We’re excited to tap their expertise and give our clients added options, value, and a connection to the Lowcountry for their events.”

Matt and Ted first partnered with Duvall and the company’s Executive Chef, Matt Greene, last
fall for a fundraiser hosted at GrowFood Carolina. The meal that resulted—a six-course dinner
for 150 people in GrowFood’s wholesale produce warehouse on Morrison Drive—elicited raves
from diners and set off light bulbs in the minds of the two parties.

“We’ve always admired the technical expertise of professional caterers, but Chef Greene’s team
raised the bar for us,” said Ted Lee. “Duvall took our vision for a rather complicated menu of
rarefied Lowcountry ingredients and never flinched from the challenge. If anything, Chef Greene
pushed us to take bigger risks than we’d planned with the recipes.”

Duvall’s new 10,000 square-foot facility on Azalea Drive gives the team access to back-of-house
amenities as well as a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen able to accommodate up to 60
guests. The Lee Bros. will commemorate the new alliance with a demonstration for Charleston-based event planners and tour guides later this month. There are also plans to work with Duvall to create retail products in their USDA-inspected kitchen.

“We’ve been searching for a way to package boiled peanuts as wedding favors and we think we
have the tools we need now,” Matt said.

This spring, Matt and Ted published their third cookbook, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen,
which Pat Conroy called “a work of art” and which The Wall Street Journal called “a
gastronomic tour-de-force.” Their first two cookbooks, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook and The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern have won a combined five James Beard and IACP cookbook awards.

Matt and Ted: “Ok, that was the official announcement, but we just have to add that we are stoked for this!! Our association with the company began in the 1980s: Mom and Dad were frequent customers, and the original owners became close family friends. In fact, the sewing machine we used to stitch up the first Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue was a gift from Peter Milewicz.”
The business was sold to the current owner, Steven Wenger, in about 1990, and Duvall’s role as the category leader in the Charleston area has only grown under his keen leadership in the decades since. Duvall’s staff is super-smart, incredibly hard-working, resourceful and fun. Their gigantic new facility just north of the city will give us the resources—including a USDA inspected food processing kitchen—to pursue a wide range of projects and opportunities that may come our way in the years ahead. We have already pulled off some spectacular dinners for Family Circle Cup and for HGTV, and are excited beyond belief about the possibilities. Visit Duvallevents.com or phone 843.763.9222 to get the ball rolling on an unforgettable Charleston food event.

Cooking Charleston-style on the Today Show, with Kathie Lee and Hoda!

Tune in to NBC Thursday morning, May 2nd, at around 10:45AM as we welcome Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb to Charleston with shrimp, corn whiskey, boiled peanuts, more shrimp and Huguenot Torte! Broadcast live from the Cistern at the College of Charleston. We’ll post the video link as soon as it becomes available. Thanks for watching!