Gigi Burris has exotic taste, both in palette and in millinery. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, milliner, and owner of Gigi Burris Millinery loves to use water snakes and stallion hair when designing her hats, and does not shy away from a good fried up alligator. She grew up in Florida, and although the consumption of gator is not yet the norm, Gigi will make sure to eat it whenever she is given the opportunity. “It tastes like chicken nuggets meets calamari!”

Today, she isn’t frying up a batch of gator herself, but is sticking to her southern roots and preparing a plate full of her grandmother’s classic pecan cheese biscuits.

 

Gigi describes her grandmother as the “ultimate hostess”. “She would have her bridge club over and I would always help her. She would make chicken salad, cheese soufflé, and of course these cheese biscuits.” To wash it all down, she always had a pitcher of “sun tea”. “Instead of boiling water, you put tea bags in a pitcher and leave it out in the sun. It gives the tea such a unique flavor because the water is heated so slowly and subtly. I used to live in an apartment on St. Marks street where I had a patio, and during the Summer I would always make it.”

 

I have a big accordion folder full of all these fabulous old lady recipes!

Many of Gigi’s fondest food memories are those shared with her grandmother, which is why one of her most treasured possessions is a compilation of all of her original recipes. “After my grandma passed away, my aunt, who is a librarian went through all of her kitchen stuff and made copies of every one of her recipes along with the recipes from her bridge friends and PTA members. It’s like the ultimate compilation. I have a big accordion folder full of all these fabulous old lady recipes!”

The one rule that pervades all the recipes is that “they must to be eaten and enjoyed with friends”, and Gigi adds, are intended to be enjoyed over a glass (or two) of wine!

  • THE FOOD LIFE Q&A

  • Last thing you ate

    Jelly Bellies

  • Tastiest thing you have ever made

    Peanut butter cheesecake with chocolate ganache and peanut butter whipped cream

  • Cookbooks & recipes? Or improvisation

    A combination of words of wisdom from Momma and Grandma and Martha Stewart tears

  • Soundtrack in your kitchen

    Chopin

  • Favorite food city

    New Orleans

  • I always have ________ in my kitchen

    Hot sauce

  • Go-to-condiment

    Hot sauce!

  • What is your kitchen "uniform"

    Anything that can get messy

  • What is your food "kryptonite"

    Pizza

  • If you could eat a meal prepared by anyone in the world who would it be

    Anthony Bourdain

  • Weirdest/most adventurous thing you have ever eaten

    Beef tongue in Japan

  • If you had to be the spokesperson for a food or beverage what would it be

    Mountain Dew!

  • Drink of choice (what's your poison?)

    Whiskey

  • Are there any family recipes or food traditions that have been handed down to you

    So many! But mostly- fill your kitchen with love.

  • If it's true 'you are what you eat' - what are you

    Extra sweet

  • What is the "recipe" for success according to you

    That my boyfriend makes this snapping motion and says MMMMMNNN you really did it

  • Last meal

    Japanese from Azazu- our friend is the chef and Im addicted

  • What's your food philosophy

    Everything in moderation

  • What’s your comfort food

    Mac and Cheese

  • Favorite childhood snack

    Little Debbies

  • Favorite part of your job

    Getting to know the women that also love hats

The Recipe