Sara’s Weeknight Meals: Season 07

Episode 701: Soul of the South


Sara and Melanie Alston in front of Martha Lou’s Kitchen


Sara travels to Charleston, South Carolina to learn the secrets to the Southern Fried Chicken at Martha Lou’s Kitchen as well as Martha Lou’s Cabbage and Ham. Then she talks with several culinary experts to learn about the hidden history of Southern cooking and ingredients developed by African American cooks. Back in Sara’s kitchen, she’ll make her version of a Southern classic, Red Beans and Rice Soup.

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There were many people who helped us with this episode. Big thanks to them all!


Martha Lou’s Kitchen

Martha Lou’s Kitchen

For 30 years Martha Lou’s Kitchen has been a soul food institution in Charleston.  Housed in a little pink building by the tracks, it’s been praised by the New York Times, Travel Channel, even Martha Stewart Living for it’s delicious fried chicken, made and served by three generations headed by 84-year old Martha Lou Gadsden.   Her daughter Debra is both cook and server; granddaughter Melanie Alston handles the catering. Its Melanie who shows us the secrets behind the fried chicken and a side of steamed cabbage and ham

1068 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 577-9583
Website:  http://marthalouskitchen.com/

Carolyn “Jabulile” White 

Website: http://thegullahstoryteller.com


Sara and Charlotte Jenkins

Charlotte Jenkins

Charlotte owned and ran Gullah Cuisine in Mt. Pleasant, SC for many years. She is widely respected and has received accolades from The Washington PostThe New York Times, and Southern Living.  She literally wrote the book on Gullah cuisine:  Gullah Cuisine: By Land and by Sea, available on Amazon.

Tory C Ascue is Charlotte Jenkin’s nephew and the crab fisherman in the episode.

To find out more about BJ Dennis   http://www.chefbenjamindennis.com/

To find out more about Joe Randall   http://chefjoerandall.com/


  • Accommodations provided by Fulton Lane Inn and John Rutledge House Inn
  • Beaufort County Library
  • Beaufort.org
  • Wikitongues.org
  • Historic Charleston Foundation
  • Southern Foodways Alliance
  • Cut-Chop-Cook
  • Joe York
  • Low Country Digital Library
  • Library of Congress


At Subaru we build vehicles like the versatile Outback, with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard and plenty of cargo room, letting you fit more into your week and get the most out of every day. Because some of the most adventurous days fall in between the weekends.

Thanks to

Kitchen Equipment provided by: | Chantal | Dream Farm | Le Creuset | Silpat | |