Cassandra Harrell remembers watching her grandmother, Big Mama, fry hot-water corn bread in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet on her electric stove. Only four years old, Harrell had to crawl onto a kitchen chair to see the yellow cornmeal batter skillfully dropped into sizzling oil. Once fried to a golden brown, the bread was served with one of Big Mama's many delicious meals like a plate of turnip greens and smoked meat or a bowl of beef stew. Growing up in a small, close-knit community in southwest Tennessee, Harrell received a culinary education from her family, learning her trade by example: she listened to her mother and grandmother and watched them in the kitchen as they cooked tomatoes, onions, and cabbage they gathered from the family's large backyard garden. Over the next forty years, Harrell honed her appreciation of good food through cooking, both at home and as a professional caterer.