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In Her Soul: Lee brings her cooking skills to Millington

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
BUS Sarah Lee 2 BUS Sarah Lee 3

Sarah Lee puts the final touches on an order featuring the trio of fried orka, candy yams and steamed broccoli.

Sarah Lee puts the final touches on an order featuring the trio of fried okra, candy yams and steamed broccoli.

Sarah Lee has loved the smells, sights and creative genius of cooking since she was a little girl growing up in Macon, Miss.
It started with her grandmother and continued with her mother Ema. Now Lee is the matriarch of the kitchen in her family. Years ago Lee’s husband Roosevelt Mitchell encouraged his wife to share her skills and gifts with the masses.
The couple opened up a restaurant in Frayser almost a decade ago.
“We were planning to retire but my wife loves cooking so much,” Mitchell said.
After closing their eatery in Memphis, Lee and Mitchell made the decision to open Sarah Lee’s Southern Cooking at 6646 Highway 51 Suite 1 in Millington.
“The first time we had a family dinner,” Mitchell recalled as the time he knew his wife needed her own restaurant. “Everybody was so impressed. If you can get pass that family…you know you’re good.
“It’s something she actually has in her blood,” he continued. “She wanted to open up her restaurant. So we worked it out with the help of the good Lord. He made it possible.”
Now Lee has brought her talents to the Millington area. Southern Cooking opened in late June to rave reviews.
“Millington has given me a real warm welcome,” Lee said. “I want to thank each individual for giving me such a warm welcome. They have showed up and showed out. I’m really, really grateful to Millington.”
Lee’s journey to Flag City started at 7 years old when her Mom allowed her into the kitchen. Since then she has taken pride in continuing the tradition and sharing her joy of cooking.
“It means a lot to me,” she said. “It’s the hereditary stuff I’m looking at. The fact that the name Sarah Lee speaks very well for me and my family means a lot. It’s telling me that all my upbringing was good.
“I like the family oriented thing,” Lee continued. “I love family and I like to see people happy. My cooking makes me feel like I’m helping somebody. That’s what I like to do. I love to see people happy, sitting down enjoying a meal, them enjoying themselves. I want them to feel like they are just at home. When you come to Sarah Lee’s, you’re not at a restaurant. You’re at Grandma’s house.”
In Grandma’s kitchen, Lee can be found chopping greens, dipping fish for the fry and peeling sweet potatoes.
“It makes me feel great,” Mitchell said. “I know it’s something she wants. It makes me feel good to know I have a wife that can not only cook for you but everybody else.”
Mitchell’s personal favorite from his wife’s kitchen is chicken and dressing. That might be on the menu this fall during Sunday buffets.
The menu features specials of the day, large burgers and a variety of side-dishes with each entree’.
Mitchell said his wife wants to create an environment of great homestyle food in a friendly atmosphere.
Lee said her home back is back in her kitchen.
“It makes me real happy,” she said. “When I was a little girl I watched my Mom cook for years and my Granny cook for years. And when they were in the kitchen cooking, they would always hum.
“I was thinking, ‘Why are they humming so much?’” Lee concluded. “So now when I get into that mode of working in the kitchen I find myself humming. I’m like, ‘Now I know why she was humming. She was at peace with herself. She was happy and content with herself knowing she was doing something that would bring joy to her family.’”

One Response to “In Her Soul: Lee brings her cooking skills to Millington”

  1. Herbie says:

    Well it is about time something like this has come to Millington besides Mexican and Oriental….I wish them much success.


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