Growing up on my grandmother’s farm in Mississippi, I saw how the
food she ate affected her health living with diabetes. I watched her
get sick when she wasn’t eating well, and feel better when she started
cooking with fresh, local ingredients. Watching her make dishes with
Delta grits and black-eyed peas taught me that you don’t have to cook
masterpieces on fancy dinnerware, but you do have to serve up good,
farm fresh food. Today, I use fruits and vegetables from local farmers
to shape my signature dishes as a professional chef. And at 94 years old, my
grandmother’s still as feisty as a pepper.
However, not everyone in Mississippi had someone like her to set
an example for healthy eating. More than 37 percent of the adults in
my state live with prediabetes. Many of them, especially in
disadvantaged communities, are at a higher risk of developing
diabetes – partly because they don’t have access to fresh produce
and the skills to prepare it.
Thankfully, my passion for local ingredients and southern food
can help make a difference in the community I love! Drawing
inspiration from my grandmother’s kitchen, I show folks in Farmhouse
to Your House how to prepare healthy food with the same flavors they
grew up on. Using fresh wholesome ingredients like carrots,
potatoes, turnips, and herbs you can cook up hearty dishes that are
good for you too. I’ve always seen food as an opportunity to
educate, and every person I teach can take those skills and recipes
home and adapt them for their families.
My grandmother inspired me to provide people with opportunities
to overcome barriers that impact their health and well-being, and
I’m honored to partner with Novo Nordisk and my good friend Dr.
Cindy Ayers Elliott to do that in Mississippi.