The Grande Dame of Southern Cooking
The Taste of Country Cooking (1976), was one of the first cookbooks by an African-American woman to reach a nationwide audience and
is credited for rekindling interest in genuine Southern cooking. Her teaching and cookbooks have influenced and inspired countless young chefs.
In 1948, when female chefs were few and black female chefs were even fewer, Lewis opened her own restaurant. Lewis did all the cooking. Her dishes were simple, delicious Southern food and the restaurant served such famous faces like Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gloria Vanderbilt and Marlene Dietrich.