Special Sauce: Lazarus Lynch on Writing Son of a Southern Chef [2/2]

In part two of Ed Levine’s conversation with Lazarus Lynch, who goes by more titles than any 25-year-old has any reasonable expectation to have (cookbook author, performer, singer…the list is incredible!), they delve into how Lynch decided he wanted to write his book, Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul.

Lynch tells Ed that he came up with the title in his junior year in college, long before he even thought about what the book would contain, during a meeting in which a campus advisor asked him to think about his dream profession. “And I remember I kept bringing up my dad,” Lynch says, “and I…went to my room that evening and woke up the next day with ‘Son of a Southern Chef’ sort of on the tip of my tongue.”

And while Lynch adopted the phrase for his overall brand, producing a cookbook was just a natural extension of the many projects he’d already undertaken. But the process of writing the book was a bit mystifying, particularly since he didn’t see any other book like it on the market- one written by someone who was in their early 20s and, as Lynch says, “who just came out of college, who’s a part of the LGBTQ family, and who’s talking about soul food.” Add to that the skepticism he initially faced from publishers, many of whom rejected the book pitch out of hand. “We sent it out to about ten different publishers,” Lynch says, “and…everyone was like, ‘No, no, no.'”

Eventually, he found a publisher, and had to navigate the process of getting the book written and edited, but to hear more about what that was like, and how the book changed over the course of its writing, you’re just going to have to tune in.


Ed Levine: Welcome to Special Sauce, Serious Eats podcast about food and life. Every week on Special Sauce, we talk to some of the leading lights of American culture, food folks, and non-food folks alike.

Lazarus Lynch: For the recipes, I wanted to keep my dad’s mac and cheese as classic, as unhealthy, as greasy as I remember it. Having my nutrition background and all of that and also being trained as a chef, I knew it didn’t take six eggs to bind the mac and cheese.

EL: We are back with Lazarus Lynch. Author, performer, singer, dancer, drummer. Man, like I’ve run out of nouns. I don’t know what to say. So let’s talk about the genesis of the book. Now how did it come about and why?

LL: I like to say that I started writing this book the day I was born, because that’s true. I think that looking back at my life there’s been a series of synchronicities that have led me and prepared me for that moment in time. You know, if I go back to the early days of high school and learning about… You know, of course people write cook books. It’s one of those things where like you know someone wrote it, but it didn’t click until high school that I thought, “Wow, someone actually wrote this book and they have a name and they have a story.” That early time planted the seeds for maybe one day. Maybe one day I’ll write a book. Maybe one day. I loved cook books and it was really a maybe one day.

EL: What were the cookbooks that you loved early on?

LL: Well, you know, I had the Bon Appétit Cookbook. Bon Appétit. It was about 500 recipes, or something.

EL: Yeah, yeah. Those are big books.

LL: It’s like a huge text book bible. I would go in there to find out how to make everything from scrambled eggs to, “How do you temper chocolate sauce?” So, that was an instrumental book. Then I had a lot of curriculum in high school, which weren’t technically cookbooks with personality but they were more instructional.

EL: Yeah, they were technique books.

LL: Technique forward. You know, those books sort of carried me in the early days and then just being inspired by the people that I watched on television. The Emeril Lagassés and Bobby Flay. I graduated college. 2016. And I had already-

EL: I graduated in 2015.

LL: Did you?

EL: No, no. No, no. No, no. I’m just kidding. Just kidding. Just kidding. Keep going.

LL: So those were great days. I remember I came up with Son of a Southern Chef, the title, sort of my moniker, I came up with that my junior year of college.

EL: Wow.

LL: And I sat in an office with woman, very smart woman, who worked on the campus at the time, Tammy Crusky. She was one of my on campus advisors and teachers, and we sat down and we just sort of brain stormed. Like, “If you could have the career of your dreams what would that look like?” And I remember I kept bringing up my dad, and I kept talking about the restaurant and the story, and went to my room that one evening and woke up the next day with Son of a Southern Chef sort of on the tip of my tongue. It was that easy. I wouldn’t say easy, but it was that apparent that that’s sort of what I should call things. So the book was, “Okay, now I’ve done an ABC project. I’ve worked with Tastemade. I’ve done a lot of traveling-“

EL: And you still can’t legally drink.

LL: No, I think I, well, how old was I?

EL: It was really close.

LL: I was 21 at the time. I was 21. But I don’t drink anymore. That’s another story. But, anyway. So I decided, “Okay, I want to do something else with Son of a Southern Chef. At this point it’s only a YouTube series and it could be something else.” And I talked to a friend, very good friend of mine and mentor, Ellie Krieger, who I said-

EL: A dietician.

LL: A dietician. She actually wrote a letter of recommendation for me. She wrote a letter of recommendation back in the day when I was applying for colleges. God bless, Ellie. But so I said to her, I said, “You know, I think I’m ready to do something else.” I said, “Either a book or you know, I don’t know.” And she said, “Well, I’ll introduce you to my literary agent.” She gave me the email, and I don’t remember sending her an email for months and months and months.

LL: Then I did a Today show appearance, late 2016. I went on and I made fried chicken sandwiches. And I shared it with Jane, my literary agent, and she said, “You’re ready.” She said, “You’re absolutely ready”. And then we just got to work. I wrote the proposal, and I thought, “Okay, the story I want to tell is about my father. It’s about the restaurant. It’s about all the soul food that’s been passed down, Caribbean food. And how I’ve taken a spin on all of those dishes and how I’ve modernized soul food.” So, we sent it out to about ten different publishers, and we got ten noes. Everyone was like, “No, No, No.”

EL: Hey, welcome to everyone’s world. Dude, okay? You think because things came easy to you in college they were going to stay easy?

LL: Well, I wouldn’t put it that way and I know you’re joking.

EL: I know.

LL: You know, I didn’t quite understand how the book world worked. I didn’t understand that what was also as important as the idea was how you were going to differentiate it from another book that’s been out there on the market or how you were going to market the book. No one ever gave me that crash course on how to write that and how to language that and frame it. I think in part, it was part of the challenge of getting the proposal right where it needs to be. But I will say the book that you look at today is a really different book than I had proposed.

EL: You know what?

LL: It’s a totally transformational-

EL: I’m going to tell you that I’ve written six books. It happens every time. You actually don’t know what the book is about until you’re finished.

LL: Until you’re finished.

EL: And it’s so weird.

LL: Isn’t it weird?

EL: It’s totally … I just wrote a memoir and that was true.

LL: Wow.

EL: Okay, so…

LL: Is it a personal memoir?

EL: Yeah, yeah. It’s called Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption.

LL: Oh my goodness.

EL: But it’s totally true that you don’t know what the book’s about until you… And I thought that was a revelation and I told my wife who’s a literary agent, and she said, “Oh, that’s always true”.

LL: Yeah, yeah. I think the agents know. I think the publishers know that too. But being the new kid on the block there’s a word called risk, and so I think that’s what we were dealing with a lot of too. I mean the feedback was, “He’s too young. No one knows who he is.” Or, “We’ve done something like this before. Soul food doesn’t really sell”. I mean, it was all of it. It was all of it and I hated reading it and I thought, “Okay, this is clearly a failure. This is not going to happen.” And then we got a yes. And then we got another yes.

EL: Yeah, that’s what happens.

LL: And that’s what happens.

EL: And so you wrote in, I think maybe it was Elazar’s piece, that you couldn’t find a model for the book. I was wondering what you meant by that. You said, basically, and I may be paraphrasing but, “A book that had the heart and soul that you were looking for.” By the way, it was the same experience I had with my memoir.

LL: Yeah, really.

EL: I read a zillion memoirs and I was like, “None of them are like the book I want to write”.

LL: Actually when I read that quote too, I said, “What did I mean by that?”

EL: That’s why I’m here.

LL: So you’re asking me. I’m asking…

EL: To ask you to clarify.

LL: Well, I’m asking myself. But I think what I meant is that there was no book out there… First of all, that was written by a 23, I was 23 at the time when I started writing the book, that was 23 years old, who just came out of college, who’s a part of the LGBTQ family, and who’s talking about soul food.

EL: You know what?

LL: Like, name me someone, okay?

EL: That’s hard. I can’t figure out somebody else who could check off all those boxes.

LL: Right. So then I started to question, “Okay, well, what else is out there that I do like?” I think Chrissy Teigen’s book, her first book, Cravings, came out. I don’t know, it was like 2016 or something like that. And so for the first time, looking through her book… It was actually a graduation gift. Also, Questlove’s book, Something to Food About. Both of those were graduation gifts for me. And for the first time I was able to see, “Oh, yeah.” Like, what a modern cookbook looks like. Not even soul food, but just like a modern cookbook. And even Questlove’s book which was storytelling and interviews, but the cover was so interesting and provocative.

EL: Mm-hmm. I remember the cover.

LL: So, you know, I thought, “If there’s a way to sort of marry this idea of high artistic value, meets editorial, meets traditional, and create a book like that…” But again, it’s like that’s harder to put in word form and convince a publisher when there’s no other template.

EL: Yeah, because you have to check off other boxes for them, and then you get to checking off that box which is, “What is my book really about?”

LL: And-

EL: It almost happens invariably after you sell the book.

LL: Yes. Exactly. And I was also met with the pressure of, “This is not going to be the book I want it to be. It will be the book the publisher wants it to be.” Because people who have published before told me, “It’s not going to be what you want. You’re not going to get the cover of your dreams. You’re not going to…” And I just thought, “I mean, wow. This is intense.” I have to say I’ve been blessed with a great editor, Lucia Watson. I’ve been blessed with a great team. They love the cover that we chose. It actually was not my first love but it became my love. I feel as though I really got the dream walkthrough here with writing the book. I mean, it was totally not what anybody told me it was going to be like.

EL: And you didn’t use a co-author, right?

LL: No.

EL: Like, you wrote the book yourself.

LL: I did. Many nights and hours and all nighters. It really did feel like I was in college again. Staying up all night, just trying to meet that 11:59 deadline. But you know, that was one of the first questions that I was asked by my agent, Jane Dystel. She said, “Do you want to write the book yourself?” And I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Well, if you don’t…” I was very green. But she said, “If you don’t want to write the book we can talk about that. But if you do want to write it we can talk about…” And I thought, “No, why wouldn’t I want to write the book?” : And I’m glad that I did. I’m really glad that I did.

EL: It’s interesting that you mention Chrissy Teigen’s book because now that you mention it, it actually makes perfect sense that that’s what you’d respond to.

LL: Does it?

EL: That’s a book you’d respond to. It’s a very personal book. It’s a very unpretentious book. You know, “This is the food I love to cook for my family, my friends, and myself.” That’s sort of the jumping off point for your book as well.

LL: Yeah, and I also didn’t want to feel that I was doctoring up things too much for the recipes. I wanted to keep my dad’s mac and cheese as classic, as unhealthy, as greasy as I remember it. Having my nutrition background and all of that and also being trained as a chef, I knew it didn’t take six eggs to bind the mac and cheese. So I think I made certain cuts like that. I said, “Okay, we don’t need to use six. We can use three. It will be just as delicious.” But it was important to me to remain authentic to the spirit of the recipes, and also the spirit of my childhood, you know? There’s a lot of visuals of New York and there’s a lot of storytelling about New York even in the titles of the recipes themselves. Like my New York City french toast. So, I wanted to be true to that. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of in the book.

EL: Yeah. I love the fact that you unashamedly talk about using Aunt Jemima cake mix.

LL: Oh. For sure.

EL: So what are the three recipes when someone picks up the book that you say, “God, this is where they should start?”

LL: Well, I would say if you’re looking for… It’s the summer, so if you’re looking for something light and easy and friendly, I would say, “Go to my grilled peach salad with tomato and cucumber.” Super easy to make. If you want something a little bit more decadent, I would say, “People love my no-boil macaroni and cheese.” You don’t boil the noodles at all. You just put into the casserole dish. You put the cheeses on top. You cover it with foil. It’s a real good comfort food.

EL: So the macaroni is cooked using the liquid from the other ingredients?

LL: Right. You use heavy cream, it’s either half and half or heavy cream, and it’s cooked by the steam.

EL: You clearly left the dietician side of you on the side.

LL: Well, then we add parsley at the end.

EL: Oh, I see. Yeah, that takes care of the heavy cream.

LL: And covered in Ritz crackers.

EL: Yeah, that’s beautiful. That’s beautiful.

LL: It’s delicious. And then if you want something sweet, I would say, “Go to my Bama mud pie mousse or my red velvet brownies.” They are delicious. There’s just so many.

EL: But you didn’t bring any brownies for me.

LL: No, I didn’t. I’m so sorry.

EL: I want to talk to you about you and all the video series that you’ve done, because you did one for scripts, right? Called Comfort Food Nation?

LL: Comfort Nation.

EL: Comfort Nation.

LL: Yes.

EL: For a couple years. And you would just explore different communities in the south.

LL: Correct.

EL: Did you find that easy to do because of your experience and inclination as a performer?

LL: So we did two seasons of Comfort Nation. The first season was me going to restaurants in New York and talking to chefs in the kitchen and talking about their childhood. We went to Miss Lily’s and interviewed Chef Andre and talk about Jamaica and his grandmother. It was all very local. Season two felt to me like a very different show all together. We were on the road. We did six different cities in about 10 days. It was a lot. It was like just travel, traveling, traveling. So by the time we got to the location, I mean, we split locations into two days. We would sort of shoot it backwards, forwards. We would do the intro stuff day two. We’d do all the cooking stuff day one or just depending on like what was going on. What was so easy about that show was listening, because 90% of my job was to listen. I literally just listened. And was curious. And that, I think, was the formula for me. It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It was like breathing. The only time I had to talk to camera was when I did my intro, my stand up. But other than that it was just so much fun.

LL: The thing I loved about that show is that we were in the homes of chefs. We were in their backyards and we met their families. We met their fathers. We did a huge shrimp boil and crawfish boil.

EL: I love that woman that you make shrimp and grits with.

LL: Miss Emily, oh my goodness. Miss Emily-

EL: Is she still around?

LL: Oh yeah. 92 years old.

EL: 92 years young.

LL: Years young, years young. And she looks gorgeous, as gorgeous as ever. She’s cooking for herself. Fascinating woman. It was so interesting cooking with her because we were… The camera crew was like, “Okay, we need you to hold,” which means pause for a second, “while we reset something.” And Miss Emily is such an amazing cook and she loves it so much that she just kept going. I would try to tell her, I’d say, “Can you hold for one second?” She’s like, “If I hold the bacon’s going to burn or the butter’s going to burn.” So at the end of it I just told the guys, I was like, “You guys, just let her cook. Like, whatever you miss, sorry. But you can’t tell her what to do.”

EL: Yeah, for sure.

LL: And then she put me to work but it was a lot of fun.

EL: That’s great. I mean, by the time you were doing Comfort Nation you’d already done so many video things. Like, you just toss off,” Well, when I did the Today show…”

EL: So, do you get nervous?

LL: I do. I get nervous all the time.

EL: But it never stops you.

LL: No, it doesn’t. It never stops me. I had a real bad time. It was traumatic. I had to speak at a church event. I was much younger, long time ago. And I just remember I was up there. I had the notes in front of me and literally like no words would flow. Nothing would come out and I was clearly struggling. And you know the feeling of you’re struggling and you know other people know you’re struggling and you’re standing in front of a crowd? It just got worse and worse. But that moment for me gave me such good information. Looking back, that taught me it’s okay to be nervous. It’s even right to be nervous.

EL: Right. You just had to learn to channel the anxiety.

LL: You have to learn how to channel it and you have to learn what works for you. So, I know what works for me. I have techniques that I’ve practiced. I have deep breathing techniques. Being a performer, naturally I understand what it’s like. It is sort of like turning something on. I always feel like I’m being myself but there is another level of channeling that I access. And the more I ground myself in the space, the more I can sort of be myself in the time that I’m on air.

EL: What about Soul Food Talks? Which is your newest enterprise, I would say. That’s more about connecting food to the arts. So tell us about that.

LL: Well, I think it started with me being observant to the conversations I was having with many of my art friends and musician friends. We kept coming back to these ideas of, “Your life is what you dream it to be. You can turn tragedy into triumph.” So all of these sort of themes just kept resonating with me and I thought, “Wow, there might be something here to tell. There might be a story here to tell.” Just interviewed some friends one day. Did a Soul Food Talk series and thought, “Wow, this is something really special.” Then scaled that forward into a second season. Now we’ve sort of been… My team and I are considering season three in partnership with a brand, or partner, to get some higher level guests on the show.

EL: You have a team? You have people?

LL: I have a team. I’ve got a tribe. Here’s what I have. I have a lot of gratitude. When I foster that space, suddenly everything becomes possible. And you know, a team is not just the army of people that are around you. It’s also the energy that they bring to your life. And I feel that because I show up in such a space of gratitude for all of them, that one by one they start getting added to the team. I mean, they just start being added.

EL: So your tribe build. I love that you… Because I write a lot in my book about the Serious Eats tribe. There’s a great book, by the way, by Seth Godin, called Tribes. That if you’ve never read, it’s really short by the way, much shorter than your book or my book. It’s like literally 140 pages. Really small. It’s brilliant. And he explains what a tribe is and why we all need to become parts of tribes and leaders of tribes.

LL: It’s also very overwhelming too. I don’t know if he talks about that in the book.

EL: Yeah. No, he does. It’s a great book. So what’s your ultimate goal? I mean, you’ve done a lot. Dude, how old are you?

LL: Well, I’m not actually old. I’m very-

EL: Young. How young are you?

LL: I’m 25 years young.

EL: Wow.

LL: But here’s the deal. I was sharing today with someone that I had a great weekend and what does that mean? I mean I was so present in the weekend. I ended up roller skating. I ended up swimming in a river. I ended up going hiking. I did not plan any of it. I planned none of it. So, what is my purpose? What’s my goal? Is just to continue to be super observant and present. And I know that that sounds like not really something that you say in the 21st century, but that’s really what I feel. I know what to do next when I am in touch with my instinct. I know that the book is the next thing to do because it feels right to me. I know that there’s another show or there’s a Soul Food Talk that should happen because it feels instinctively right for me. I like to lead from that space. I don’t know that there’s a goal. I mean, there’s tons of things that I want to do. I’m also at a place where I know I don’t have to do everything. And there’s a difference between “I want to use my life for service and I want to do good things with my time” versus feeling a pressure from some external orbit or energy that I must do 10,000 things in order to be happy. I don’t feel that.

EL: That’s good.

LL: And I used to feel a pressure to just do, but now I don’t. And maybe because I have a book but I just don’t.

EL: But it’s amazing that you’ve discovered that at a young age. I think it took me until 60 to discover that.

LL: I always say my soul’s age is like 62.

EL: Okay. So 62. So now it’s time for the Special Sauce buffet. No pressure. Take as long as you want. We don’t have a buzzer or anything.

LL: Is this a game?

EL: No, it’s just a series of questions. Is it a game? I don’t know. Maybe in the large sense of the word. This will be a good one for you. Who’s at your last supper? No family allowed.

LL: One person?

EL: No. Four people.

LL: Four people. Michelle Obama.

EL: Okay.

LL: Nelson Mandela.

EL: Okay.

LL: Einstein.

EL: I love this table already.

LL: And I’m going to do a wild card here.

EL: I’m ready.

LL: Dave Chappelle.

EL: Dave Chappelle. That’s awesome.

LL: Because he loves food, and he is hilarious.

EL: I like this.

LL: Yeah.

EL: Can I come? Like I don’t need to have a seat at the table.

LL: No, you can’t come. I’m sorry.

EL: Oh, okay. That’s okay. So, what are you eating?

LL: Oh my goodness. We’re eating a barbecued duck, which has been going for several hours.

EL: Like on a rotisserie or…

LL: Rotisserie. Just recently roasted.

EL: Like French style.

LL: Yeah, some duck. We’re also eating oysters, May River oysters.

EL: Raw oysters?

LL: Raw oysters.

EL: Okay.

LL: There’s levels to the dinner, actually.

EL: Yeah, that’s good. Mignonette or cocktail sauce for the oysters?

LL: Oh, mignonette.

EL: Okay.

LL: And then we’re doing, you know, we have our butternut squash soup which is all from the ground. It’s totally fresh and seasonal. We’re eating pies. Oh, there’s a lot of food.

EL: Okay. You scored some points with me with the pie, okay?

LL: There’s some good pie.

EL: Okay, what is your favorite? Like what pies would there be?

LL: Oh, man. There’s-

EL: Give me two pies that you know would be there?

LL: Well, there’s got to be a sweet potato pie.

EL: Okay.

LL: And then there’s got to be maybe like a chess buttermilk pie.

EL: I like it.

LL: A key lime. Something like that.

EL: All right. I like the way you’re thinking. And what are you listening to?

LL: Listening to some Al Green. We’re listening to some Prince. We’re listening to some Aretha Franklin. We’re listening to, oh my God, the Beatles. We’re channeling.

EL: I like that. I like that. So what book has influenced your life more than any other? Doesn’t have to be a food book.

LL: Probably The Alchemist.

ELThe Alchemist.

LL: But you know, I have to be honest. That book has really, it opened my eyes so much but I feel I read it so quickly, like it read me.

EL: Mm-hmm.

LL: I processed it almost too quickly.

EL: Did you read it in college or…

LL: When did I read that? Probably 2014. I read it. I got my hands on it and read it. Totally shifted the way I thought about life.

EL: Really? So interesting.

LL: Oh, I think so. Yeah.

EL: Yeah, that’s great. What do you cook when there’s nothing to eat in your house? That you would quickly throw together?

LL: I always have some nuts that I toast myself. I’m a big believer in that. I buy the big giant things. I have usually some hummus on hand. Here and there a kind of bread or flatbread. My latest thing now has been just the pitas. Just like over the open fire. I have a gas stove and so I just put them on the fire and then flip them. That, for me, with a little bit of olive oil is delicious.

EL: So you just put the pita right on top of the flame?

LL: The pita right on the flame. Directly on the flame.

EL: You don’t hold it there too long.

LL: Well, you want a little bit of color.

EL: Color, right.

LL: But you don’t want to go into like Burnville.

EL: You don’t want to go to Burnville. I like that.

LL: Burnville is bad.

EL: Burnville’s always bad.

LL: Yeah.

EL: Do you have a guilty pleasure or two?

LL: I have more than two. I probably have like five.

EL: I’m all ears.

LL: But I love anything dark chocolate. Like super dark chocolate. Brownies. I have like a thing of brownies with sea salt on top. And if it doesn’t have it I’ll sprinkle it on top as I’m eating it. I will go for butter pecan anything. Gelato. Ice cream. Deep fried okra, I love. And potato chips.

EL: You don’t even need to feel guilty about okra.

LL: No, I don’t feel guilty, but it’s all… It’s really just the process. Because it’s the oil. It’s the getting it ready. It’s the frying.

EL: It’s fried okra.

LL: Right. So that. And then last night I took a trip to D and D for a couple donuts that I was just craving. So, I don’t know. I try to just-

EL: Wait. D and D is…

LL: Dunkin.

EL: D and D. I never heard that.

LL: I’ve never heard it either. I just made it up.

EL: You just came up with it on the spot? I appreciate that.

LL: Well, because the handles of the door are DD.

EL: Got it.

LL: So if I said,” I went to DD,” it wouldn’t-

EL: I like that.

LL: But D and D.

EL: I thought you were like Dean and DeLuca’s. Like D and D, man. What is he talking about? Who would you like to have a one on one lunch with just to see how they think?

LL: Brené Brown.

EL: Who?

LL: Are you familiar with her? Dr. Brené Brown.

EL: No.

LL: Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher and she is sort of like the… She talks all about vulnerability. She did the most watched TED Talk ever.

EL: Really?

LL: Brené Brown. And she just did a Netflix special on vulnerability.

EL: Wow. Amazing.

LL: She’s written tons of books about The Call to Courage.

EL: How can somebody 25 years old be schooling me so often, man?

LL: I think a lot of 25 year olds know Brené Brown because she’s talking such truth. I mean, everything from, “How do you show up in your own life? How do you look out for the things that you need while also being vulnerable in relationships?” And she’s also a professor. But she’s, oh my God. I just want to live-

EL: How does she spell her first name?

LL: B-R-E-N-E.

EL: Brené. Okay.

LL: I think there’s an accent over the last E.

EL: This I know you’re going to have a great answer to.

LL: Oh God.

EL: It’s just been declared Lazarus Lynch Day all over the world. What’s happening on that day?

LL: Well, probably that people are outside. It’s a warm time of the year.

EL: Right, okay. That’s fine.

LL: It has to be a warm time of the year because I don’t like the cold.

EL: You can declare whatever day to be it.

LL: You know, people are barbecuing. People are outdoors. They’re dancing. And it’s really about, it’s almost like World Kindness Day.

EL: Yeah.

LL: It’s just that we’re all being super kind to each other.

EL: I like that.

LL: Was that the answer you were envisioning?

EL: I-

LL: Please tell me what your-

EL: No, I-

LL: Your version of-

EL: It’s the question for you. Nobody’s ever asked me that question actually. I look forward to when they do.

LL: What would your day be? I’m kind of curious.

EL: You know… I think people would be outside listening to music. Everything from mid-period Miles to Sonny Rollins to Al Green. The Atlantic Aretha years. I’m a huge Jackie Wilson fan.

LL: Yes. Yes, yes.

EL: I have very Catholic tastes in music. But they would be outside. They would probably be eating fried chicken and pie and barbecue and pizza.

LL: Yeah. A lot of pizza.

EL: Yeah.

LL: And the children are the most important part of the day.

EL: Yeah, for sure. That goes without saying.

LL: Children being happy is the most important thing.

EL: Yeah, for sure.

LL: Children and dogs.

EL: Yeah. Children and dogs.

LL: Maybe cats.

EL: All right. Well. Lazarus Lynch, thank you so much for sharing your Special Sauce with us. It’s been awesome having you here. Pick up a copy of Son of a Southern Chef and check out his digital video series Comfort Nation and Soul Food Talks. It’s been a pleasure having you here.

LL: Thanks for having me.

EL: And we’ll see you next time Serious Eaters.