Mama Dip's is a traditional country cooking restaurant located at 408 W. Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. Mama Dip's also offers an extensive take home menu. They also sell some distinctive items such as: barbecue sauce, poppy seed dressing, pecan pie, tee shirts, aprons, caps, mugs, and gift certificates at the general store located within the restaurant. Mama Dip makes, bottles, and distributes her own special barbecue sauce and dressings to many local specialty foods shops as well.
The restaurant opened in November 1976 and is still very popular today.
Mildred Council, better known as "Mama Dip," started and owns the restaurant. Mama Dip's cooking and life story have earned her a large fan base beyond the community of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She opened the restaurant with $64: $40 for food and $24 to make change. The morning's profits were used to fund lunch, and the lunch profits to make dinner. At the end of the day, Mama Dip took home $135. Mama Dip learned to cook by watching her family members and is famous for her "dump" cooking style. Dump cooking involves no recipes, just measure by eye, feel, taste, and testing.
She has written two noteworthy books: Mama Dip's Kitchen and Mama Dip's Family Cookbook. Her books share not only recipes, but also great stories about her life in food. Mama Dip celebrates the importance of family and community based around cuisine, Southern cooking in particular. She has been featured on Good Morning America and on the Food Network's Cooking Live. She also appeared on an episode of Rachael Ray's $40 a Day. She said, referring to Mama Dip's Kitchen, that if it were not for the restaurant, then she would have not have put her books together. Craig Claiborne, a food critic for the New York Times, has written about the restaurant as well. Mrs. Council died on May 20, 2018, after a period of ill health.
- "Mama Dip cooks a casserole" Archived 2011-04-10 at the Wayback Machine, The Chapel Hill News, April 06, 2011, accessed May 01, 2011.
- "Mama Dip's Country Cooking" Archived 2011-04-06 at the Wayback Machine, N.C. Arts Council - Creative Workforce Profile, accessed May 01, 2011.
- Council, Mildred (1999). Mama Dip's Kitchen. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0807825085.
- Council, Mildred (2005). Mama Dip's Family Cookbook. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807889527.
- Sara Moulton's Cooking Live - Thanksgiving Secrets Archived 2011-08-28 at the Wayback Machine. The Food Network - Episode HCSP03
- "Sophistication Spices Southern Food", The New York Times, June 26, 1985, accessed May 01, 2011. Paywall.