Nora Mills Granary // “Georgia Ice Cream” Grits // Helen, GA
We’ve invented the lightbulb and put a man on the moon but when it comes to grits, humanity can’t top the process of a water-powered grist mill, stone-grinding local corn to order. Luckily for Nora Mills they haven’t flinched on the process, as these old hand baggin’ sons of b’s have been up to the same old tricks in the North Georgia Mountains since 1876. New to grits? All good, it cooks up like oatmeal and you don’t even have to rely on us because top chef judge and award-winning Georgia Chef Hugh Acheson helped out and offered up his recipe for Shrimp & Grits (recipe: mantry.com)
Georgia Olive Farms // Arbequina Olive Oil // Lakeland, GA
Georgia is as synonymous with olive oil as Naples is with Nascar, but Jason Shaw has been turning heads since since turning out the first harvest of EVOO east of the Mississippi in 150 years. Leading chefs agree it’s worth the wait as gents like Sean Brock and Hugh Acheson have taken notice to Shaw’s commitment to quality, popping bottles of his small-batch, cold-pressed, extra virgin oil for their patrons.
Jack Rudy Tonic // Charleston, SC
If 2 L plastic bottles of Tonic are the bottom shelf, you’re surely going to need a step ladder to reach Jack Rudy Small Batch. This concentrate features the traditional ingredient of quinine paired with lemongrass and orange peel to create a concoction that dates back to the early 19th century. British officers sought the malaria fighting benefits of quinine but often mixed it’s extract with gin in order to make the drink more palatable. Look no further than Hendrick’s Gin and the recipe on the side of the bottle to re-discover the Gin & Tonic.
Stripling General Store // Pork Jerky // Cordele, GA
For 45 years the Stripling’s team has been raising fresh whole hogs out back and selling hand-crafted sausage out front of their original country general store. Family built over three generations, this roadside stop’s peppery pork jerky is far from general, outmatched only by the store’s slogan “You Never Sausage A Place”.
Pearson Farms // Georgia Pecans // Crawford, GA
Can a lazy day watching March Madness actually be approved upon? Well, sub in a couple pints & pecans for that guy complaining the #11 seed screwed his bracket and there’s a shot. Pearson Farm Pecans get shelled out everywhere from michelin star joints like Per Se in Manhattan to man caves across the Empire State South. Crack em’ like a local: squeeze two together in the palm of your hands and chase with a frosty brew and college sports.
Pork Rub // Hot Hot Fish Club // Birmingham, AL
Chef Chris Hastings is celebrated for bringing modern refinement to Southern ingredients, working closely with local farmers and gulf fisherman to churn out plates that netted him the 2012 JB award for Best Chef South. This gent has also spent enough time in Bama to know a thing or two about pork. Guarded almost as closely as Nick Saban’s playbook, his house blend is a smoky rub that will perk up anything from ribs to a blackened fish taco.
Bourbon Smoked Peppercorns // Bourbon Barrel Foods // Louisville, KY
Matt Jamie uses Bourbon Barrel Staves to slow smoke cracked peppercorns taking pepper in the opposite direction of those sand shakers adorning diner tables. Sub in early and often for regular pepper to add a wispy hint of smoke. We recommend dressing down some arugula with bourbon sorghum vinaigrette to cap off a Smoked Pepper Crusted Steak Sarnie on crusty bread.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Sorghum Vinaigrette // Bourbon Barrel Foods // Louisville, KY
Sure, Bourbon from a glass is pretty damn good, but have you tried it on Bibb lettuce? Well, a purebred Kentucky native offers up as good a reason as any to spike your salad. Made in Louisville, this dressing contains pure Kentucky sorghum syrup, a labor intensive southern staple similar to molasses — that has been cultivated by family mills in the south since the 1850’s. The sweet complexity of sorghum is mixed with Woodford Reserve, apple cider vinegar and tabasco assuring bbq guests will show up for the steak but leave talking about the salad.
Hickory Smoked Bacon // Broadbent’s // Kuttawa, KY
A still sunrise, a mug of strong coffee and the aroma of bacon crisping in cast iron might as well be an American pastime and Broadbent’s has been woven into many such moments for over 100 years. The proof is in the pork, with over 14 Kentucky State Fair Championships. Broadbent’s is dry-cured and smoked the old-fashioned way, resulting in a bacon perfect for our Bourbon Bacon Baked Beans (recipe: mantry.com).