The Boiled Peanut Hour Comes to Durham

By Sarah Mausert

Brothers Matt and Ted Lee are bringing their live show, The Boiled Peanut Hour: A Live Cooking Show About Southern Identities to the Reynolds Industries Theater on the Duke campus during the American Dance Festival on Sunday, July 9th at 7PM.  The show debuted in Louisville with chef Ed Lee; the local production will feature Durham’s own Andrea Reusing (The Durham Hotel and Lantern). Choreographer Mark Dendy, originally from North Carolina, now based in New York City, will join Reusing and the brothers Lee onstage.


The Boiled Peanut Hour features live cooking, storytelling, and trash talking. Southern cuisine will be featured and there will be complimentary pre-show nibbles and cocktails courtesy of Maker’s Mark. Tickets for the hour plus long show are on sale now and cost $50.  You can also buy a VIP ticket for $250 which will include a post-show, four course dinner, with show’s performers, prepared by Andrea Reusing at the Durham Hotel.  Proceeds from the purchase of VIP tickets will benefit the American Dance Festival Scholarship Fund.

Like me, you may be wondering why the ADF is featuring a live food show. Ted Lee commented on this saying, “We’ve always felt-somewhat vainly-that our exertions between the sink and the cutting board had the agility of modern dance.  So we leapt at the opportunity to partner with ADF and a performer and choreographer like Mark, whose work is itself a kind of nourishment.”’  He added, “The people of the Research Triangle, living squarely where southern traditions and southern futures tango, are truly our dream audience for this show.”  ADF Executive Director, Jodee Nimerichter, said, “When this project was proposed, I leapt at the chance…It made sense to me, as I believe food and dance are both necessary ingredients for feeding and sustaining the soul.”

Matt and Ted Lee are natives of Charleston, South Carolina. They founded the Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue after missing beloved Southern pantry staples while attending colleges in the Northeast.  They’ve written hundreds of features about food and wine for publications like The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Saveur, and Bon Appetit.  Combined, their three cookbooks have won six James Beard and IACP awards.  Additionally, they were commentators for all seven seasons of Unique Eats on The Cooking Channel.


Andrea Reusing is the executive chef of The Durham Hotel as well as the chef and owner of Lantern in Chapel Hill.  She was given a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2011.  She serves on the board of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and is the founder of Kitchen Patrol, a non-profit project to improve children’s access to quality food through weekly cooking classes.

Mark Dendy is originally from Buncombe County.  He’s worked in a variety of dance genres and his choreography credits include Taboo, The Pirate Queen (Broadway), Pippen, Hair (regional and national tours), The Magic Flute (The Metropolitan Opera), and Orpheus (NYC Opera).

The American Dance Festival takes place annually in Durham.  Performances take place in various locations around the city.  This year the festival kicks off on June 15 with the Opening Night Performance at the DPAC, 6:30—8:30PM.

Author: Sarah was born a yankee, but has been a Durhamite for ten years now.  She enjoys red wine, bourbon, her dogs, Captain and Morgan, and her cats, Johnny and Walker.



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