Mindy was on that show CHOPPED a few years back, winning the “Offal Surprise” episode of the Food Network series that premiered October 21, 2014. Episode #251. You can probably find it on YouTube, if you are curious. Min’s secret to success? “When in doubt, roll it in flour and fry it!”
What’s going on here at kitchenpit.com?
Well, we see ourselves as noticers and communicators of interesting and cool ideas. As Phil Lesh said to us one time, “what else is there?” Home cooking happens to be our thing so this site records our discoveries and explorations in the kitchen and the back yard. We believe that home cooking is key to a good, balanced life. Having the skills to cook up a hearty supper for yourself and your family ensures good nutrition and helps develop personal growth, confidence, and self-reliance. It also enhances the care and nurturing of others and creates a foundation for strong families and communities. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun to cook, eat, laugh, and talk around the table.
Why the tabs at the top?
Home cooking is about your place, where you’re from, where you learned about food and cooking. Our places are Nashville, TN, parts of New Mexico, and South County Rhode Island, so much of our work is inspired by these places. We’re not natives but longtime residents of Nashville where Mindy worked for many years with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Martha White Flour and Cornmeal, two of Tennessee’s iconic brands. You’ll find lots of recipes here that slip in a little Tennessee whiskey and everything you might want to know about “Hot Rize” biscuits and cornbread.
RB is a Rhode Island native and we spend as much time as we can in South County where we keep working on our clam stuffies, the family baked flounder and clam chowder, pizza, and every manner of pasta. Mindy’s Carlsbad, NM, family inspires all the content on Hatch, NM, roasted green chile and flat enchiladas. The tequila stuff is just something we figured out together along the way. See, home cooking is fun.
Barbecue, Indoors and Out.
Barbecue is one of our big things because RB is the Balding Eagle Scout, a smoke whisperer, KCBS certified judge, and his initials rhyme with BBQ. Expanding the definition of barbecue, and helping others cook their own barbecue in any situation, is a life mission of ours. We’re the authors of Cheater BBQ, Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, in Any Weather (Clarkson Potter, 2008), a guide for making indoor barbecue with an oven or slow cooker, and some liquid smoke. We believe in barbecue diversity and reject any notion of “secret ingredients.”
Salad Brain Creativity Workshop
Salad Brain is our medium for unpacking and developing creativity through salad making. You have found the site of the Salad Brain Creativity Workshop designed to help you think for yourself, unlock your creativity, and serve it up on a platter. We’ve created an artsy, self-help program to stretch your mind, fire up your creative juices, and feed you well. As we like to say, the salad bowl is the black hole of design. Check out our fun salad brain creativity exercises served up on a platter. They just might change the way you think about salad.
Contact us for workshops! We offer demos and hands-on programs for all kinds of curious groups. Follow Mindy on Instagram @hey.its.min and check out #plattersalad and #saladbrain and join the Salad Brain Creativity Movement!
Biscuits and Cornbread Lab
You want to learn how to make biscuits and cornbread? You’ve found the right place for exploring the rich history and practical beauty of self-rising flour and self-rising cornmeal, gleaned through Mindy’s years working with Nashville’s hometown flour and cornmeal Martha White with Hot Rize, the longest-running sponsor of the Grand Ole Opry. Our labs are full-emersion, hands-on, flour everywhere experiences. Our lab partners crank out hundreds of biscuits and learn how to confidently get the results they want. See and experience for yourself the simplicity and beauty of the South’s favorite hot breads.
We are Nashville-based food writers, authors, and teachers. Mindy is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech and one of the last generations of land grant university home ec majors. For more than 25 years Mindy has been elbow-deep in test kitchens, food marketing, recipe development, communications, and journalism. She has co-authored two cookbooks with the great-grandniece of Jack Daniel, Lynne Tolley, for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. She worked with the test kitchen staff of Tennessee’s iconic baking company, Martha White Flour, and can tell you pretty much anything you’ll ever want to know about southern biscuits and cornbread. Mindy wrote the former weekly Drive-Thru Review column in the Tennessean, dissecting fast-food menu trends for many years.
RB was a driven, impatient child and became an Eagle Scout in 1974 at the age of 13. He’s been cooking outdoors over some kind of fire ever since. His smoked chicken is a religious experience, and don’t get him started about Texas brisket and beef ribs. For years R.B. chronicled his cooking adventures on the patio in his weekly column The Fire Zone in the Tennessean. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and Vanderbilt University School of Law and has been an attorney, a non-profit legal director, and a university professor.
R.B.’s indoor cooking skills, including the ability to whip up side dishes to serve with his grilled and barbecued platters, continue to improve. His food roots and influences span from his native South County, Rhode Island, to Rochester, NY, to coastal Florida, to Nashville, TN, and over to the deserts of Arizona. He’s happiest when slurping down New England oysters that Mindy shucks for him because he’s the guitar player for Nashville’s blues-rock-funk band, Shagbark, and he can’t risk a shucking malfunction.
No photographs or text may be reproduced without written permission. All images and content are subject to copyright protection and are the sole property of Cheater Chef, LLC, and Mindy Merrell and Richard B. Quinn. Backlinks to our website are welcome.