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Charlestonians say goodbye to cookbook author Nathalie Dupree as she relocates to Raleigh

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Nathalie Dupree takes a picture on her phone as friends gather at the bus shed to see her and her husband, Jack Bass, off as they leave for their move to Raleigh on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Lauren Petracca/Staff

When one of the nation’s most acclaimed cookbook authors and cooking instructors sits in the passenger seat, snacks aren’t an afterthought – even if the road trip is only four hours long.

Nathalie Dupree and Jack Bass on Thursday afternoon packed a box of oranges in their white Toyota before driving to Raleigh, where the couple is moving to be closer to Bass’ children. The box shared the backseat with Dupree’s crated cat.

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Nathalie Dupree says goodbye to Susan Wigley and other friends who gathered to send Dupree and husband, Jack Bass, well wishes as they make the move to Raleigh on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 in Charleston. Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

On their way out of town, the two (plus Kitty) drove through the Charleston Visitor’s Center bus shed at Explore Charleston’s request. Although Dupree shunned any fuss over her departure, Explore Charleston had arranged for friends and fans to wave goodbye.

“This is so hard,” Dupree said as she got out of the car for parting words with fellow members of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s local chapter.

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Lauren Furey blows a kiss to Nathalie Dupree and her husband, Jack Bass, as they leave for their move to Raleigh on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Furey, a personal chef, met Dupree through an apprenticeship while at the College of Charleston, and said she learned everything she knows about Southern cooking from her. Lauren Petracca/Staff

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Dupree, who founded the Atlanta and Charleston chapters, was named a “Grande Dame” by the organization in 2011. In the following years, she was also named Woman of the Year by the French Master Chefs of America and selected for the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

As she got ready to leave, Dupree mused on whether the sale of belongings which weren’t going with her to North Carolina could somehow benefit Les Dames. Dupree has long made women’s mutual support a cornerstone of her philosophy.

Explore Charleston representatives held a banner for Dupree and Bass to drive through, finish line-style, as they pulled out of the shed. They ultimately decided it was more prudent to drive over it. But before they started the engine, Explore Charleston’s Suzanne Wallace presented them with another box of snacks, including Dupree’s signature drink, Diet Coke.

The women gathered for the occasion all agreed it made for a sweet sendoff.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

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