I could not be more excited about today's Q&A subjects: the Lee brothers. Food writers, cookbook authors, food purveyors, pimento cheese advocates, and all-around Southern gentleman, Matt and Ted Lee reside in Charleston, South Carolina. Their latest cookbook, Simple Fresh Southern features "100 easy, healthy dishes for every day" plus techniques like pickling and cheese making. Here, they share their thoughts on dinner parties, including soundtrack favorites and the one entertaining tool that's worth a little extra cash. Thanks, guys!
1. Name, occupation, and city
Matt Lee and Ted Lee, cookbook authors and boiled-peanut proselytizers, Charleston, SC
2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?
We just cooked a 70th birthday dinner for one of our closest friends and mentors, with 26 of his best friends.
3. What is the best menu you've ever made for company?
Matt: Turkey Mole for Thanksgiving
Ted: Whole roast pig.
4. What's your preference: wine, beer, cocktails?
Matt: That would depend on the time of day: beer if 3pm, cocktails if it's 6 and wine at 9.
5. What's your favorite dinner party soundtrack?
Matt: Ted's wife makes these kickass soundtracks that trip from AC/DC to Peaches to Iggy Pop to Arcade Fire. They're motivational and appetizing (and played at a volume that encourages conversation).
6. Some friends are coming over for a last-minute dinner. What do you make?
Matt: Boxed pasta with a kickass homemade sauce.
Ted: Skirt steak with parsley sauce and our updated take on ambrosia salad: orange segments, julienned endive, toasted coconut.
7. Do you usually cook everything yourself, or do you have help?
Matt: We find help if it's 10+. This is key, the best money you'll ever spend.
8. Do you ever buy store-bought food, or is everything on your table made from scratch?
Matt: It's all from scratch including the ice cream but excepting the crackers and the cheese.
9. What do you like to serve for dessert?
Matt: Homemade ice cream flavored with whatever fruit, liquor or seasoning we're grooving on now.
10. If you could invite anyone over for dinner (living or dead), who would it be?
Ted: My in-laws. They always lick their plates clean, and tell me what a genius I am.
[Photo:] Ben Fink