Oxford, Miss., is a town steeped in Southern identity.
"In many ways this is an archetypal Southern town," says John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, which is based in Oxford. "There's a courthouse square at the center, there are beautiful homes with rolling lawns framing it."
And there's the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss, a campus once rocked by deadly riots over racial integration. To some, Oxford might seem an unlikely place for a native of India to achieve star status as a chef.