I must repeat myself: I'm thrilled to be a contributor to HipCompass Escapes. The Fall 2009 issue, our third, is the best ever, in my opinion, thanks to the far-reaching talents of the production staff and of my fellow contributors.
The far-ranging explorations included in the new issue cover every turn of the globe, from North Africa to the Straits of Taiwan, from Laos to Tahiti, from Maine to Hawaii, from Spain to Argentina to Mexico.
Please take a look and enjoy the depth and breadth of the offerings.
I'd just ordered the shrimp and grits for dinner at Hot and Hot Fish Club. As Mary Evelyn, our server, moved to the other end of the table, I began raving about the grits I'd had for breakfast that morning at Jones Valley Urban Farm, where Chef Clayton had catered for a group of visiting journalists.
"Chef Clayton's grits," I said, "are the standard by which I'll judge all grits in the future."
My dining companion, an Alabama native, had to differ.
"Grits," she decreed, "is a singular, collective noun that takes a singular verb." Examples followed. "This grits is good," she offered. "Grits is often served at weddings in Alabama." My friend continued, "I was an English major, and I was born in Selma. I know what I'm talking about."
I love this stuff. As a student of descriptive linguistics as well as an obsessively meticulous copy editor, I appreciate every instance where the living language refuses to follow a style guide.
I also love grits, but only when prepared in the best and most proper manner. Chef Clayton gave practical advice: Cook your grits for 20 minutes. If you need more help, watch the film My Cousin Vinnie.
Breakfast by Chef Clayton, served al fresco at Jones Valley Urban Farm
Alabama food, Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt, James Beard Best Chef of the South, organic farming, regional United States cuisine, shrimp and grits, southern chefs, southern cooking, southern cuisine, southern united states cooking, urban farms