Nancie McDermott was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and she still calls that city home. After graduating from college, McDermott headed to Thailand—specifically in northeast Surin Province, on the Cambodian border—as a Peace Corps volunteer. Back in the States and living in Los Angeles, she catered, taught cooking classes, and enrolled in a food writing course. Her first book, Real Thai (1992) was one of the first serious compendiums of that nation’s cuisine written for an American audience. Returning to her home state, McDermott penned numerous books on Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese cooking. Always a prolific recipe developer and writer, her cookbook career pivoted in 2007 with the release of Southern Cakes. She has written books on Southern pies, fruit, and soups and stews. Nancie McDermott is also a vocal activist for racial and social equality in North Carolina and throughout the nation.