James Beard Award-winning television personality Nathalie Dupree and her husband, Jack Bass, recently relocated from their home in Charleston to Raleigh, North Carolina. As she’s a major fixture in the culinary community, many Lowcountry fans were sad to see her go, but they did get a farewell gift from Dupree in the form of an estate sale at her Queen Street address.
Starting Thursday, January 7, the general public was allowed to wander around Dupree’s home and comb through her mountain of wares, seeking treasure. There are multiple floor-to-ceiling bookcases crammed with titles, a kitchen full of gadgets and gizmos a-plenty, copper kettles and pans, fancy teacups, cookie cutters in every shape, hundreds of bottle openers — so much stuff, one wonders if she took anything with her.
In the name of journalism (and my own personal gain), I visited the sale several times. Here are the quirkiest things I found inside 100 Queen Street.
A Counter Full of Orphan Le Crueset Lids
Perhaps a chef can explain, but what happened to the pots and pans? Why are there only lids? Did Dupree bring the bottoms to Raleigh with her and left us with the tops? Also, who is buying these? The supply seemed to lessen over the course of my visit. Perhaps they could make for quirky wall decorations.
Two Suggestive Glass Eggplants
It’s hard not to snicker at this glassware, given how the purple vegetable has infiltrated our modern culture as a symbol of horniness. I made sure to include an item for scale, of course. These girthy boys are less than the size of my pinky finger.
Nathalie Dupree’s Cleaning Supplies
Far back in the guest bathroom lies a closet of various cleaning sprays and are priced to sell. Fifty cents for Resolve fabric cleaner from the hands of a James Beard Award winner? It might make for good cocktail party banter. “Oh, you spilled some wine, Barbara? Well, let me go fetch some spray I acquired from the Julia Child of the South.”
Teeny Tiny Toques
I’ve only seen these manchette, or cutlet frills, in cartoons, so I was tickled to see a whole bag of them available for a dollar. The little hats are used to decorate the bone end of meats, like a crown roast of pork. I did not take them home with me, though.
Garden of No Good and Just Evil
Dupree is over 80 years old, so it’s logical that all her yard ornaments have simply weathered with age and all their heads have fallen off. But I like to think she got mad after a biscuit failed to rise and the little Cupid got a swift kick. Kidding — Dupree is the master of biscuits; that would never happen.
An Open Box of Wax Strips
I’m not saying these are Dupree’s personal wax strips, but I am saying that if my estate sale company put my business out there like this, I may leave them a two-star Yelp review. Anyhow, for $2, they can be yours. I’ll grab them if you want me to ship them to you.
The sale goes on through the weekend, and there are still plenty of books, lids, and plate sets to be had. See estatesales.org for details.