Serenbe Style and Soul

with Marie Nygren

Southern Chef Series



January 2010



Southern Chef Series

Written by , Posted in inn at serenbe, Southern Chef Series

I am so excited today! We just began to publicize our newest addition to the Southern Chef Series, Kevin Gillespie from Woodfire Grill and Top Chef when yesterday we were featured on a posting by Garden & Gun’s blog Talk of the South.

And today we are SOLD OUT for Kevin and Linton Hopkins is very close to being filled up as well…only one opening left for him.

Wow, I didn’t even have time to get Kevin listed on my blog before he sold out…. so amazing.

Click on picture to see full size press release.

There is still time to sign up for other chefs in our series. We can also add you to a waiting list in case we have any cancellations for Kevin. Call 770.463.2610 for reservations.

Because of all the interest in our series, yesterday I also had the most amount of one day hits to the blog than ever before!!!…….754 for one day. I hope all of my new readers continue to follow….. lots more fun things to come.



December 2009



Southern Chef Series with Linton Hopkins

Written by , Posted in inn at serenbe, Linton Hopkins, marie nygren, Southern Chef Series

I am very excited about our second event in our Southern Chef Series.

Our first of the series with Nathalie Dupree was such a great experience and I am so looking forward to having Chef Linton Hopkins here in my kitchen and sharing that time with an intimate group of guests.

We are welcoming Chef Linton Hopkins on January 24 & 25 to our community of Serenbe.

Spend time in the kitchen and at the dining table with Chef Linton Hopkins, learning to create some of his favorite dishes and hearing stories of his culinary history and passion for good, local food.  This small group experience takes place in my home and at the Inn at Serenbe. 

Linton Hopkins is the chef/owner of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, has competed on The Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” is a two-time James Beard Award Nominee, and was crowned on of Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2009. He is also proprietor of Holeman & Finch and H&F Bread Co in Atlanta.

For details and reservations, call 770.463.2610. I look forward to you joining us.



October 2009



Nathalie’s Arugula and Herb Salad

Written by , Posted in marie nygren, nathalie dupree, Recipe Articles, serenbe, Southern Chef Series

Here is one of the wonderful recipes from Nathalie that we cooked during our Southern Chef Series. I know you will enjoy it as much as we did!
Nathalie Dupree’s Arugula and Herb Salad

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 4 dried figs, cherries, or cranberries
  • 1-2 Bosc pears
  • 8 cups wild and/or fresh arugula, baby spinach, Bibb and/or Boston lettuce
  • 1 cup lemon balm leaves, mint, thyme, and/or basil
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (optional)
  • 3/4 cup croutons (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced or roughly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Whisk vinegar and mustard together; add salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Cut off tough parts of figs and chop into small pieces. Peel and core pears and slice. Add fruit to dressing to soften figs and keep pears from turning color. Toss cleaned and stemmed greens and herbs together and set aside. Just before serving, add dressing to greens gradually, spooning in fruit. Toss until leaves are coated but not soggy. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Toss well with pecans, croutons, and cheese.



October 2009





September 2009



Sign up now to cook with Nathalie Dupree and me

Written by , Posted in marie nygren, nathalie dupree, serenbe, Southern Chef Series

The Southern Chef Series Welcomes

 Nathalie Dupree

Sunday, October 11 & Monday, October 12
                       The Inn at Serenbe

An intimate group of 10 guests will settle into their accommodations at the Inn at Serenbe on Sunday afternoon, then walk through the wildflower meadow to my home, where you will prepare dinner side-by-side with beloved Southern chef, cookbook author, & James Beard award winner, Nathalie Dupree. Dinner will follow this hands-on experience, complemented by wine and Nathalie’s stories of food and cooking.

On Monday morning, participants will enjoy breakfast at the Inn at Serenbe, then work with Nathalie & me to create a farm-fresh lunch for the group. The afternoon will be spent with Nathalie, sharing secrets and stories before heading back home that evening.
Update: the event with Nathalie has sold out. Please call the inn if you are interested in being placed on a waiting list in case of any cancellations.

To register, please call the Inn at Serenbe: 770.463.2610

Check out more stories about my friend Nathalie throughout my blog.



September 2009



Southern Women are great cooks

Written by , Posted in marie nygren, nathalie dupree, serenbe, Southern Chef Series

My mom, Margaret Lupo was invited to be a guest on Nathalie Dupree’s cooking show when she was here in Georgia and doing her show, New Southern Cooking for Georgia PBS.
Mom went on the show to cook fried okra which was a specialty at Mary Mac’s so mom demonstrated in a cast iron skillet how to make corn meal crusted fried okra, a major southern delicacy.
While on the show mom told one of her favorite stories from her days at Mary Mac’s which was in the late 70’s when she had a streaker run through the entire restaurant.

One of the elderly female patrons who was dining in the restaurant, upon seeing the streaker, didn’t hesitate to blurt out a very revealing comment which mom told on live television!

 After sharing the story on her show, Nathalie received more mail about the streaker story episode than any of her other 300 episodes. It was and still is a well loved episode of Nathalie’s show. In fact, just last week at the Serenbe Inn we had a conference with Chick Fil-A and one of the executives who was attending related to me that was the one show he had seen and recalled  just how funny and charming it was. His favorite memory was how watching  two icon southern cooks was a great treat.
For more information on spending 2 days with Nathalie when she teaches in Serenbe, click here!
From Nathalie’s book here is a copy of my mom’s fried okra. To see the full recipe, click onto arrow on the right side of the box.



August 2009



Southern Chef Series with Natalie Dupree

Written by , Posted in inn at serenbe, marie nygren, nathalie dupree, serenbe, Southern Chef Series

We have updated some of our original dates for our Southern Chef Series with Natalie Dupree.

Our new schedule is Sunday, October 11- Monday, October 12.
Natalie will be teaching “mastering the art of southern cooking” to a group of 10 guests. Days will be spent with Nathalie both cooking, learning her favorite recipes and hearing her wonderful stories of her many cooking adventures. 
 The chef series features Sunday and Monday afternoon cooking with Nathalie, lunch and dinner including wine and a one night stay at the Serenbe inn for each guest will be $295.
Please call the Serenbe inn at 770.463.2610 for more information and reservations.
We are very fortunate to have this opportunity to share Nathalie with 10 lucky guests! Please don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. This will be a wonderful event to plan with your friends for a lovely little get-a-way.
As a personal friend, stay tuned to my blog for some memories and stories I have of Nathalie and her history with my mom.