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Southern food is fast becoming the nation's new "it" cuisine. New York restaurants are all trying their hand at fried chicken, and eateries with a Southern theme are popping up in each of the city's boroughs. Based in the Big Apple, Bon Appetit Magazine called the South "America's New Food Capital" in its February issue. Southerners have long known we have a special cuisine and some downright good food down here, but Southern food used to be limited to home kitchens, with mothers and grandmothers serving as the keepers of family recipes. Now that the rest of America is discovering the cuisine, chefs are stepping up to the plate to show that Southern food can be modern and healthy.

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Mississippi’s capital city prepares for its moment on the big screen with “The Help” filming in town last week. by Erin Z. Bass People were talking when native Kathryn Stockett published her bestselling book about white women and their black maids in 1960s Jackson last year, and now the town is abuzz again over filming of the movie version. Producers, including locals Tate Taylor and Brunson Green, came to town last December to scout for locations, but news was kept under wraps until townspeople began to notice changes in the city’s Fondren district last week. “We all knew they were going to film sometime soon,” says Chris Myers, who lives in Fondren and works on North State Street as an architect. “It wasn’t until they started painting the yoga studio, turned into a gas station, that I got really interested.” Myers could view the progress down the street from the breakroom of his office building and began chronicling Fondren’s transformation to a scene from another era (not that big of a stretch as the row of businesses down State Street, called the Fondren Strip, sport neon and a generally retro look anyway). “They started with the gas station and slowly started working down the

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