Southern food fans likely know brothers Matt and Ted Lee, and the outline of their story: siblings who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and were stranded in dead-end jobs in New York City after college. They founded a mail-order source for southern snacks (The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue), and became food writers when one of their customers, an editor at Travel + Leisure, asked them to road-trip South Carolina in search of great food. They have gone on to write more than 25 stories for T+L, in locales as far-flung as New Zealand and Ethiopia.

But it was their first cookbook that put them on the map: The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook swept the 2007 awards season, winning Amazon Editors' #1 Best Cookbook of 2006, two IACP awards (including the Julia Child Award) and two James Beard Awards, including Cookbook of the Year.

In their two next cookbooks, The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern and The Lee Bros Charleston Kitchen they moved a deeper discussion of southern food into the mainstream.Their new book Hotbox is a deep dive into a subculture hiding in plain sight, the high-stakes world of catering in New York City.