If we had to name a Book of the Decade on the subject of Southern cuisine, this would be the one. It is an intimate collaboration between two passionate and masterful cooks who shared a close friendship for almost two decades. Lewis’s previous books (including The Taste of Country Cooking and In Pursuit of Flavor) captured the tastes of her rural Virginia childhood in lyric prose. Peacock, executive chef at Decatur’s Watershed, won the 2007 James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southeast. Gift’s personal writing, the meticulously researched recipes, and the book’s clean, soothing design coalesce so satisfyingly. Try the salmon croquettes for a weeknight supper, and the Country Captain (a Southern port-city curried chicken dish) and ethereal banana pudding for company.
The Gift of Southern Cooking
By Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
Alfred A. Knopf
RECIPES: Banana Pudding and Country Captain