Pableaux Johnson’s Secrets to Making Cast Iron Butter Cornbread with Papa’s Cornbread Recipe

The first time Pableaux Johnson asked his grandfather to teach him how to cook the family’s coveted cornbread recipe, he ran into a few snags.

Baked in a cast iron skillet and served with plenty of butter, the recipe is pretty straightforward – it’s a quick bread, after all. But, it took a while for Johnson to get the recipe right because his then 80-year-old grandfather wasn’t using a recipe or measuring spoons.

“He did it all by feeling,” says Johnson, a New Orleans-based writer, photojournalist and host of a long dinner series. “So when I wanted to learn how to do it, I said, ‘How much cornmeal are you putting in?’ And he just took a few out of the bag and said, “That’s a lot.”

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