The Dish: Savannah's Mashama Bailey

The Dish: Chef Mashama Bailey

Mashama Bailey was born in the Bronx but also spent time with family in Georgia where she learned the art of Southern cooking. After culinary school she worked at top restaurants in the Big Apple. In 2014, she and a partner saw a unique opportunity in Savannah's old Greyhound bus station and opened The Grey. This year, Time magazine named it one of the world's greatest places to eat and drink.

Here are some of Bailey's signature recipes: 

Roasted spicy eggplant


¼ cup Red palm oil with extra for roasting eggplant
¼ cup smashed ginger
¼ cup  smashed turmeric
1 large yellow onion, small diced
4 pieces of chili d' arbol
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
1 tsp cracked black peppercorn
2 pcs. Cinnamon Sticks
¼ tsp fenugreek seed
3 whole cloves
2 tbsp tomato paste
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup Plum tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock  
3lbs of baby eggplant
Sliced fresh chiles
Sliced scallions
Basil leaves 


1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice baby eggplant lengthwise and place in a large mixing bowl. Lightly salt cut eggplant and let stand for at least 30 minutes.

2. Drain any liquid in the bowl and lightly pat dry the eggplant. Toss a small amount of palm oil over the eggplant, toss the eggplant until evenly covered. Place eggplant on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes until tender. Set aside.

3. In a heavy bottom saucepan heat palm oil over medium heat add ginger, turmeric, onions and chile d'arbol. Cook until translucent and everything begins to turn caramel in color. Add ground spices, cook and stir until fragrant. Add tomato paste and also caramelize.

4. Stir in peanut butter, chicken stock, and tomatoes and bring to a boil then reduce to a med-low heat. Cook for 15 minutes until peanut butter no longer taste chalky and all the flavors are melded together. Remove the cinnamon sticks and half of the chilies. Puree the ingredients until smooth. Reserve.

5. Add roasted eggplant to peanut butter sauce.  Gently toss and season to taste. Garnish with chiles, basil and scallions

Simple okra with berber spice


1 large sweet onion 
½ cup olive oil 
2 lbs. okra 
2 cups chicken stock 
2T of spice mix 
Chicken stock   

Spice ingredients
1/3 cup coriander seed
1 1/3 cups cumin seed
¼ clove
2/3 cup cardamom pods
1/3 cup black peppercorns
2 tbsp + 2 tsp allspice berries
2/3 cup fennel seed
1 ounce dried chili d' arbol
1/3 cup ginger powder
2 tbsp + 2 tsp turmeric powder
2/3 cup kosher salt 


1. Heat a cast iron skillet dry on high heat. Slice okra in half and char cut side down in a cast iron skillet until okra become dark in color.

2. In another saucepan, heat olive oil. Cut the onions in a small dice and cook down slowly at a low heat until they become soft but no color. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and 2 T of spice mixture. Once the spice have dissolved in the chicken stock/olive oil/ onion mixture but hasn't evaporated add your okra. Reduce heat and cook slowly stirring okra to coat with your seasonings. Salt to taste and cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot. 

Lima beans with yogurt 


2 qts fresh or frozen lima beans
3 qts water with 2 T of salt
Sachet with cinnamon stick, bay leaf, black pepper, onion and carrot 

Sofrito ingredients

3 onions, diced
1 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ c chopped parsley
1T chopped oregano
1T chopped marjoram
1 tsp ground black pepper

Tzatziki ingredients

16 oz yogurt
1 grated clove of garlic
1 cups green tomato, diced
2 tbsp dill
2 sprigs parsley
5 sprigs mint 


1. Bring salted water and satchet to a boil and 2 qts lima beans with 3qts water skim any scum that rises to the surface. Cook until limas are soft and creamy throughout. Drain lima beans and set aside.

2. Cover sofrito vegetables with oil and add a pinch of salt. Cook slowly with pepper until soft. Add herbs and cool. In a small pot combine combine Sofrito and lima beans. Adjust seasoning and serve hot with tzaziki.

3. Combine all tzatziki ingredients in a mixing bowl, blend together and taste for salt. Store overnight before using. 

Porterhouse pork chops


1 cup salt
1 gal water
2 lg sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme 
Porterhouse pork chops
1 cup cane syrup
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp black pepper 


1.Heat the water to dissolve the salt.

2. Cool completely and brine your pre-cut pork chop over night or for 8 hours. Remove from brine and pat dry.

3. Combine cane syrup, butter, cayenne pepper and black pepper

4. Grill pork chops to your preferred temperature we do 130 at the restaurant. 10 minutes before they are ready brush with mixture and continue to grill on both sides until ready. Serve hot.