London is known for its fish and chips and meat pies, but an American cooking revolution is underway, reports CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata.
Brad McDonald is a long way from his hometown of Yazoo City on the edge of the Mississippi Delta. Now the acclaimed chef is bringing his narrative of down-home, Southern cooking to the good people of Great Britain.
"A lot of British people are enamored by Southern culture. For whatever reason it is, whether it's the blues or Civil Rights, there's a rich history in the South that people are attracted to and want to know about," McDonald said.
Hot dogs and hamburgers have been in London for some time, but this cuisine is far beyond that.
The Lockhart in London serves up Southern staples like mallard gumbo, honey butter cornbread and even shrimp and grits.
The grits have to be imported, but McDonald said it hasn't been that hard sourcing local produce to meet his demanding needs.
"A lot of the heritage breeds that I'm used to working with in the U.S. actually come from the U.K.," he said.
But the house favorite by far is the fried chicken.
"Fried chicken has cannibalized my entire menu," McDonald said.
Now he's got some competition, because in the land of fish and chips, Britain has taken to Southern cooking and American barbecue big time. The city is now home to 65 Southern restaurants and barbecue joints.
Restaurants like the Big Easy are riding a renaissance of American cuisine in all its sumptuous, diet-be-damned glory.
Restaurant critic and food writer William Sitwell said it is a recipe that works.
"I think we're always ready to try something. But I think maybe there's always a slight kind of snippiness," Sitwell said. "It's about replicating traditions from the places they came from, doing it faithfully and not kind of messing around with it. Even if it might scare you, at least it's real. "
New Yorker Jared Male is about as real as it gets. The Big Easy pitmaster was recently poached from a Manhattan restaurant.
"When I started cooking barbecue six years ago I never would've thought it would take me to London. Maybe Jersey, but not London," Male said.
Now London has raised the barbecue stakes, thanks to a few talented colonials showing the British how to get 'er done.
"You want them to come in and sit down and feel the Southern hospitality and feel the American vibe that we have going on within these walls. Then the food needs to compliment that," McDonald said.
And while some of that all-American food might get lost in translation Southern hospitality speaks for itself.