Chef’s Coast to Coast is highlighting a past favorite interview on this week’s episode. The “Chef’s Special,” typically a dish that uses the season’s best ingredients, is our version of bringing to light the stories of chefs that really spoke to us.

Chef Darnell Reed talks about his biggest influence on his cooking career, his great grandmother, Luella, for whom he credits his recipes and restaurant namesake- Luella’s Southern Kitchen. Having been in the industry for over 18 years, traveling the world and working in many prestigious hotels, Darnell still found his passion for cooking in the southern dishes of his childhood. His food has been described as “hug” inducing, and has in fact, made grown men cry. Listen on to learn about Chef Reed’s 15 years-in-the-making perfected roux, why his wanderlust and his dishes are rooted in New Orleans, and who his all-time favorite WWE wrestler is on this week’s Chefs Coast to Coast.

Try This Week’s Recipe!

Text Version of the Recipe

Luella’s Southern Kitchen 

Maple Pecan Pie Filling 


  • 2/3-Cup Lightly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 6 Eggs Beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
  • 2 Tbs Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Maple Syrup
  • 3 Cups Pecan Halves
  • Whisk together the brown sugar and eggs
  • Continue to whisk adding the melted butter, cornstarch and salt until there are no visible lumps
  • Add the pecans and maple syrup

Maple Pecan Pie Dough


  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cake Flour
  • 1 Tbs Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 oz Chilled Unsalted Butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 oz Chilled Lard cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs Ice Cold Water
  • In a food processor blend the flours, sugar and salt. Add chilled butter and lard and pulse until well combined
  • Sprinkle water over flour and pulse until dough forms moist clumps
  • Gather dough together and wrap tightly into a round dough
  • Flatten dough into disk and wrap in plastic wrap
  • Refrigerate for about one hour
  • Roll into a buttered and floured pie dish and freeze for at least one hour.  This helps prevent your crust from shrinking during baking
  • Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes
  • Remove the paper and beans and you are ready to fill and bake your pie.


  • Fill the crust with the filling.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes

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