Video: 'Mind Of A Chef' Returns September 7 With April Bloomfield And Sean Brock

According to press materials for PBS television series The Mind of a Chef, which debuts its second season on September 7 with chefs April Bloomfield and Sean Brock, Brock's mission in life is to expose the world to regional varieties of Southern cuisine, and to erase the misconception that it's all just fried chicken, biscuits and grits. We can get behind that, Mr. Brock. He joins Bloomfield for what we are sure will be some pretty inspiring food television, all narrated by Anthony Bourdain. Here's a teaser video, and descriptions of the first five episodes featuring Brock. [Disclosure: Mind Of A Chef is produced by Zero Point Zero, the parent company of Food Republic.]


Chef Sean Brock

Through his cuisine at Charleston's McCrady's and Husk, Chef Sean Brock is perhaps the best-known spokesperson for both expanding and preserving the integrity of traditional Southern food ways. His cuisine shines the spotlight on the untold varieties of rice, beans and grains which once made America the envy of the world. Brock's obsessive and ever-growing collection of seeds and recipes, along with countless hours of research, help to ensure that these long-forgotten heritage varieties are resurrected. In short, Sean Brock is on the front line of restoring the South to its former culinary glory.

  1. Southerners

It is Sean's mission in life to expose the world the regional varieties of Southern cuisine and to erase the misconception that southern cuisine is all the same. In this episode, Sean explores a few of the unique regional cuisines in the South. Sean explores the ever so painful ways of Prince's Hot Chicken. Chef John Currence makes tamales—you read it right...tamales. Tennessee Pastry Chef Lisa Donavan makes a buttermilk pie. Sean and fellow South Carolinians, the Lee Brothers, make deviled crab, before visiting Fishnet's Seafood outside of Charleston to enjoy their more wholesome version "Jesus crabs".

  • Seeds
  • It all began here when Sean went looking for Jimmy Red Corn. That simple journey turned into a lifetime of searching, archiving and reviving lost crops of the South. His partners in crime are the legendary owner and operator of Anson Mills, Glen Roberts, and University of South Carolina professor, David Shields; a tri-fecta of seed nerds hell-bent on preserving Southern food heritage. In this episode, Sean makes Jimmy Red Corn Grits and a Chestnut Bread and Red Sive bean salad. David Shields visits Sean's R&D lab to experiment with seeds, and to tell the story of the Bradford Watermelon, a near extinct fruit with a delicious and deadly history.

  • Rice
  • This episode is all about rice and its essential role in Southern cuisine. Sean visits Anson Mills, where Glenn Roberts is blazing a trail to reintroduce the world to the Carolina Rice Kitchen. Carolina-Gold rice was once the primary crop in South Carolina and sought after worldwide. Using animation and archival images, a timeline will highlight how the Civil War as well as changes in the agricultural economy caused Carolina Gold to all but disappear. Glenn is the reason for it's resurrection and Sean is its biggest champion. In the fields at Anson Mills, Sean and Glen prepare an Appalachian classic, pilau. And in Nashville, Sean makes Hoppin' John fritters and Chef Ed Lee shows how to make Korean BBQ.

  • Louisiana
  • This episode focuses on the heavy influence Louisiana cuisine has on Sean. Historian and food-writer John T Edge of the Southern Food Alliance takes Sean to his "favorite place on Earth", Middendorf's Restaurant, where they shave thin slices of catfish into the fryer to create a catfish chip. In the kitchen, Sean makes a gumbo and his version of the catfish chip. Chef Donald Link takes Sean frogging then cooks up a frog dish.

  • Preserve
  • Sean often describes how his family ate growing up this way: "If we were eating, we were eating food from the garden or the basement–it's a way of life." In this episode, Sean shows us what it means to be eating from the basement by exploring and utilizing the preservation techniques that are critical components to southern culture: drying, salt curing, canning, fermentation, and jamming.