Sunday, May 1, 2011

Haute Stuff: Meeting the Neelys!

As a Haute Travels girl I’m not the type who spends a lot of time in the kitchen although I love good food. So it may be surprising to know that I spent today at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show in Atlanta.

My mom came along because she loves cooking and picking up a great cookbook. But she also loves the Neelys… she watches their show Down Home with the Neelys on The Food Network and even picked up their cookbook. If you love good food and entertainment… this power couple puts on a great show while preparing an amazing meal. I have never watched a cooking show and laughed so much while being taught how to grill pork chops. Gina is a clown! She was so much fun to watch and the way that she and Pat engaged the audience was sheer comedy. But more importantly, I love the example that they set when it comes to African American couples who truly love and respect each other.

I loved when one woman asked Gina how to prepare a meal to make a man “put a ring on it.” Gina told her that it depends on the man… but what they eat may not be the same thing that we should be eating. After all, you gotta learn how to keep him so cooking, staying attractive and making him happy is what she calls multitasking! She told the girls in the audience to hit her up on facebook to learn more as she started her Beyonce routine!

After the show, I surprised my mom by taking her backstage to meet them. Let’s just say she was so excited especially when both Pat and Gina gave her a hug and a kiss southern-style. So I want to say thanks guys for making my mother’s day.

Now you might ask what’s next for the couple with an appetite for food, fun and affection… a new restaurant, Neelys Barbecue Parlor with partners Merchant’s Hospitality, Inc. set to open in New York City in June! I can’t wait to check it out… I’m sure it will be HAUTE!

The restaurateurs also operate three family-run barbecue restaurants in Tennessee with two more in Memphis. They are also writing another cookbook.

To learn more visit

What’s your favorite southern-inspired dish?
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