Southern Fried Asian: Cheetie Kumar

Southern Fried Asian kicks off July with a month-long series of food-related episodes! Up first is rockstar chef Cheetie Kumar, the guitarist of indie band Birds of Avalon and the James Beard Award-nominated owner of Garland in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Cheetie compares the lives of chefs and musicians (2:00) and explains why she chose to move from the Bronx to North Carolina as an adult (5:30). Then, Keith and Cheetie describe the connection Southern and Asian cultures have with food (10:00) and break down the day-to-day of operating a restaurant (13:30) and why inspiration requires work (20:30). Later, Cheetie reveals what it was like to receive a James Beard nomination (28:30) before an extended conversation about redefining food culture and the politics of food (32:00). Finally, she describes which food convinced her to move to North Carolina (40:00). BONUS: Listen to the Birds of Avalon track “Cycle Thief,” from the album Operator’s Midnight, at the end of the pod.

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Our official theme music is the song “Top Down” by  ChopsTimothy Flu, and Mic Barz

Southern Fried Asian is produced by Keith Chow and Jes Vu.