Chef Kardea Brown is the face behind Food Network's Delicious Miss Brown. Known for her Southern charm and tasty dishes to match, she's the host of one of the network's top-rated and most-watched shows. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, she is of Gullah-Geechee descent—and like many—uses her platforms to preserve much of her heritage through her cuisine.

Like most chefs of Black and African ethnicity, Chef Brown was raised around the traditions of large family gatherings over food. That influence as a young girl was ultimately her inspiration for breaking into the culinary industry.

"Cooking has always been at the center of my life and family. I was raised in a family of extraordinary home cooks," Brown shares. "But it wasn’t until a very dark time in my life, when cooking became a passion. I used cooking as a form of therapy. I would cook to escape from the reality of what was going on. I hated my job back then, and it took a toll on me. So cooking was my way out."

Chef Kardea Brown. Image: courtesy of Food Network.

Calling herself the queen of comfort foods, the Food Network Spring Baking Championship judge makes approachable and flavorful food—otherwise, known as down-home cooking. She's currently using her expertise to help other rising chefs and food stars reach their highest level on the current season of the show, which airs Mondays at 8pm ET.

"Eight of America's top bakers step into the Spring Baking Championship Kitchen to prove they are the best. There are 2 rounds, the preheat and main heat. It’s an intense competition, but extremely fun to watch and participate in," shares Brown.

As we gear up for our Easter brunch spreads, we asked Chef Brown to share one of her all-time favorite dishes to prepare.

"Gullah style shrimp and grits is one of my go-to dishes," she reveals.

Check out her recipe below:

Kardea Brown's Gullah Style Shrimp and Grits

Cook time: 50-minutes | Serves: 4
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Miss Kardea Browns Charleston-style Shrimp & Grits. Image: Courtesy of Food Network.

Kardea Brown's Gullah Style Shrimp and Grits

  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove and set aside, reserving the drippings. Add the onions to the skillet and cook on medium-low, stirring, until slightly tender and the skillet has browned bits, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the uncooked shrimp with a few pinches of salt and pepper in a large bowl, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and the garlic powder and toss. Set aside.
  3. Turn the skillet up to medium-high heat and add the canola oil. Test the oil temperature by dropping in a dab of flour. When it sizzles, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Brown the flour and onions, adding more oil if too dry, until slightly dark brown. Add the shrimp and bacon, breaking the bacon into small pieces, and stir with a wooden spoon. Slowly whisk in the hot water and bring to a slight boil, then stir and reduce the heat to a simmer until the gravy thickens and browns, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste the gravy and add more salt, pepper or garlic powder if needed.
  4. Serve the shrimp over the prepared grits topped with green onions.

Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour

Price: $4

Quaker Quick Grits

Price: $3