The Purist

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - For many years, Kevin Kilburn lived and worked in Nashville with several of the big stars of The Grand Old Opry. While music was a big part of his life, so was food, but somewhere along the line the music and the meals changed. After leaving the music industry, he moved to rural Lauderdale County and set out to right what was wrong with cooking in the modern age. Today at his Southern Farm Table Restaurant, he serves the food he was brought up on.

“My folks are all from The South, close knit family, and of course, cooking was a huge thing with all the families,” remembered Kevin. “And so, there was a love that developed with me early on. When I moved to Nashville, we’d have dinner parties and I’d cook and that sort of thing. Food like it was before it got like it is - kind of our motto.”

There are people of a certain age who understand the significance of an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. That’s just a small slice of this story. It is a Southern Thing.

“We are living in a society now that has changed so much from what our roots were, and they always profess to have something better,” explained Kevin. “Earlier on they said get rid of butter because we have this new stuff that looks like butter, and when you stir it around and it spreads on toast better, and then later, we find out it’s hydrogenated. We don’t need to be eating it. I wanted to get back in our Southern food because there’s condensed soups, plastic cheeses and all that shows up on our table all the time, and our young people have lost the art of true Southern cooking from scratch.”

Kevin’s Southern Farm Table Restaurant includes an old country store and meals done the old way. “We don’t bake. We fry, but we know how to fry. If frying is done correctly, you’ll ingest very little oil in frying chicken or catfish or whatever. I think we’re back to Grandma’s cooking in that sense, of a true grandmother that cooked, and families would come together, and they would eat, and they would enjoy each other’s company, and that’s kind of what we have here. It’s a delightful experience that takes people back home. They eat with real napkins. There are tablecloths and then there’s old country music and old bluegrass music playing in the background.”

Now Kevin is spreading the word through his new book.

“I would sit on the front porch and just write all these stories. I put together a cookbook with those stories and that’s the book, The Southern Farm Table, Stories Of The Life, Recipes From The Table. I consider myself to be a purist. I want the same kinds of food that Grandma had. I want to give my patrons and my customers that exact same experience.”


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Fred Hunter

Fred Hunter

WBRC First Alert Meteorologist Fred Hunter was born in Alabama in the historic town of Ft. Payne. He has lived, attended school, raised his family and worked in the South all his life.