Review: Modern Hospitality by MasterChef Whitney Miller

The other day I caught an episode of Two Fat Ladies the quaint BBC cooking show hosted by corpulent culinarians Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer MasterChefPaterson.  The particular episode I watched the ladies were waxing about how much they love the food of the American South.  I couldn’t help but think Who wouldn’t?

The ladies decided to demonstrate some traditional Southern recipes for their British audience.  They then went on to cook a menu that was anything but Southern.  The Two Fat Ladies are adorable. . .  except when they are butchering your native cuisine.  That got me thinking Why is it UK’ers cannot get Southern food right?

I remember another Brit, Danny Boome, on his old show Rescue Chef for the Food Network showing up in Atlanta to help a young bride make a traditional Southern chicken dinner.  Instead the menu consisted of chipotle-marinated chicken in a cornmeal batter, mango salsa, lemon-sour cream corn muffins, black beans and a raspberry tea cocktail with Prosecco.  Innovative?  Yes.  Traditional?  Hardly.

That’s why I was so happy when my review copy of Modern Hospitality – Simple Recipes with Southern Charm by MasterChef winner Whitney Miller arrived.  Miller is from Poplarville, Mississippi which is not too far from my home in South Alabama.  I went to college just 25 miles from Poplarville.  I knew Whitney would get it right and I was not disappointed.

Modern Hopisitality by MasterChef's Whitney MillerModern Hospitality weaves recipes, tips on entertaining and wholesome narrative with effortless grace.  There are plenty of color photos of both the food and Whitney’s famous smile.  Where the MasterChef cookbook was a chrome-plated amalgamation of recipes from contestants and every judge not named Gordon this book is all Whitney.  And, because I know you’re wondering, there is a foreword by Gordon Ramsay.

Whitney’s recipes strike a perfect balance between tradition and innovation.  She takes indigenous ingredients and gives them a make over like in her Field Peas with Okra and Andouille Sausage – three great ingredients that are seldom put together. When Miller does her version of a tried and true recipe her twists are whimsical yet logical.  Like her Jalapeño Cornbread.  It is cornbread kicked up with corn kernals, cheddar cheese and fresh jalapeño.

When I say it is cornbread I mean it is real cornbread – there’s no flour and more importantly no sugar.  You can play games with the fat in order to make it healthier or more luxurious but flour and sugar are two of my pet peeves.  Well, the flour thing isn’t a peeve as much as it is a philosophical difference.  It’s CORNbread not a baguette.  The sugar, however, is non-negotiable.  Cornbread should never, ever, under any circumstances be sweet.  If you add sugar you don’t have cornbread; you have corn cake.

Here, let me show you what a real cornbread recipe looks like courtesy of Miss Whitney Miller.

Jalapeño Cornbread
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Whitney Miller
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4 – 6
From “Modern Hospitality – Simple Recipes with Southern Charm” by MasterChef winner Whitney Miller.
  • 2 cups fine ground cornmeal
  • 1 TBL baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 TBL canola oil
  • 1/2 cup corn kernals
  • 3 TBL shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBL diced fresh jalapeño
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Mix the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the egg, buttermilk, fat-free milk, and 1/4 cup of the oil and stir until well combined. Mix in the corn, cheese, and jalapeños.
  3. Add the remaining 1 1/2 TBL oil to 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Rub the oil around to thoroughly coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Heat in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour in the batter.
  4. Bake until the crust is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Follow Stuart via “the Online”
Sip & Chew with Mike and Stu

Add to Google


Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99
Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
Subscribe to this blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

ISO 9000 Culinary Arts Certification