There were 6 people in the boot camp, chefs, former chefs, a cooking instructor and yours truly. Now, generally, this type of “workshop” event is set up in some Marriot anteroom with unflattering lighting, bad coffee, and soggy pastry. But this event is a Lee Bros event, proving that it doesn’t matter where you are born, you can always become a Southern gentleman.
The boot camp took place in an old Charleston house, complete with pocket doors, a porch, and a fireplace, that many folks thought was necessary, since it was a frigid 55 degrees! The week before the wind chill in Shirley was 20 below. BELOW! The weather in Charleston was like a spring day.
The night before the boot camp, the Lee Bros. hosted the campers for an oyster roast. The next morning work began at 8 a.m. Not one to complain though 8 a.m. seemed a tad uncivilized, but the coffee was excellent. Charleston has never been a big “bakery” town until the last year or so, when several great bakeries set up shop and Matt and Ted knew them all. No soggy hotel pastry for us.
The first day was a series of hands-on writing exercises to articulatethe reasons and focus of the cookbook. Butcher and Bee, a sandwich shop written up in every food magazine from hell to breakfast, catered lunch. More writing and talking through ideas followed lunch. That night, we met for dinner at McCrady’s, where we were treated to a special Boot Camp Dinner.
If you think you might just be ready to write that cookbook, I can't think of better teachers than the Lee Bros. Check out the boot camp here.