Born and raised in Georgia, Chef Steven Satterfield is renowned for his love of Southern culinary traditions, dedication to seasonal cooking and unwavering support of local farmers, purveyors and artisans. A 2017 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Best Chef: Southeast, Chef Satterfield did not pursue a full-time career as a chef until the age of 30, after pursuing a career as a recording artist and musician in the band Seely. (Fun facts: he is also a classically trained woodwind musician and he studied architecture at Georgia Tech.)
Chef Satterfield’s food philosophy is to make the most out of the edible parts of each ingredient, from “root to leaf” -- a riff on the whole animal cookery term of “nose to tail” -- at Atlanta’s award-winning Miller Union, where he is co-owner and executive chef. In his first cookbook, the lauded Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons, Chef Satterfield celebrates the beauty and bounty of seasonal vegetables with a delicious Southern flair.
We checked in with Chef Satterfield for some culinary advice for our Mariani home chef community:
What does ‘eating well’ mean to you?
I like to have a lot of produce on my plate and eat seasonally. Any time I can incorporate more fruits and veggies into my meals, I'm gonna do it.
What is always in your pantry?
In my pantry, I always have nuts, dried fruit, salsas, canned beans, tinned fish, whole grain crackers, tortilla chips, nut butters and granola bars. In my fridge, I also always have goat cheese and an assortment of jams and hot sauces because you can do anything with these staples. And I always have Topo Chico chilled and ready.
What would you say to a home chef intimidated to try something new?
I like to try new things and experiment with ingredients. If a dish seems difficult, I'd recommend reading the recipe through first and ask yourself: do I have the time and patience for this? If it's a new ingredient, I recommend tasting it on its own, googling it to find a recipe that really speaks to you and making the dish. There is so much recipe information out there and available that it's easy and fast to research ingredients you've never worked with before and get inspired.
Chef Satterfield has created three unique and delicious recipes using Mariani Prunes – a personal favorite - “Prunes are simply dried plums, specifically derived from a European variety called Prunus Domestica. Unfortunately prunes come with the reputation that they should be eaten only when your digestive system is a little sluggish. But this is an idea that I would like to shake off. They are incredibly delicious and nutritious as a snack, and so versatile in cooking. They add sweetness, tang and depth to sauces, braises and stews or can be used in desserts or served with cheese and charcuterie. Prunes are one of my all time favorite ingredients.”
Buy Chef Satterfield’s ‘Root to Leaf’ here and start cooking seasonally!