Welcome to the Fat Hen Cookbook, a celebration of French Lowcountry cuisine and Charleston's rich Huguenot culture. The Huguenots were French Protestants influenced by the teachings of Martin Luther who established the French Reform Church in the 16th century and fled France to avoid persecution. In the late 1600s ships carrying dozens of families arrived in Charleston creating a Huguenot community that would attract hundreds of French Protestants over the next several decades.
The Huguenots who fled France were educated and skilled artisans, merchants, craftsmen, bakers and chefs coming from all areas of France - from the busy streets of Paris to the rustic French countryside. Along with their skills and religion, the Huguenots also brought with them their love of food and the combination of French cuisine and local ingredients became French Lowcountry cuisine. French cuisine is characterized by its devotion to fresh ingredients, expert preparation, and complete flavor combinations. Coupled with the bountiful produce, meats, and seafood of the area, French Lowcountry cuisine creates a regional character of cooking found nowhere else in America.
Fat Hen is committed to honoring the culinary history of French Lowcountry food through the creation of classic French preparations with the freshest local ingredients and by creating new classics in the spirit of the Huguenots. Examples of French Lowcountry include Duck Confit with Collard Greens and Squash, Flounder Nicoise over Bacon Cheese Grits, and Seared Grouper over Succotash.