Siblings Matt Lee and Ted Lee were raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and after college found themselves struggling to make ends meet in New York City. They tried, without much luck, to sell boiled peanuts to bars and restaurants, but the mail-order business they founded on the rebound—selling boiled peanuts and other southern foods to expatriate southerners around the country—hit a groove, and they set up shop full-time back in Charleston, shipping grits, greens and peanuts around the globe from an old hotel room.
The writing in their catalogue attracted the attention of editors back in the Big Apple, and when Travel + Leisure asked them to write a story about road-tripping their home state in search of great food, they embarked on a second career as food and travel journalists. They have written regularly for The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Garden & Gun, and Martha Stewart Living, among others. Their three cookbooks, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook (2007), The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern (2009) and The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen (2013) have collectively won six James Beard and IACP Awards.
The Lee Bros. are on-air commentators for The Cooking Channel show Unique Eats and their show “Southern Uncovered With The Lee Bros.” airs on Ovation Network. In 2012, they began the first Cookbook Boot Camp, to educate food and beverage professionals about the best practices in book publishing.