The Southern Foodie by Chris Chamberlain
100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die (and the Recipes That Made Them Famous) By Chris Chamberlain
This is the new book you need to just keep in your car. Where Southern Belly has stood for years as the tome to identify quaint Southern eateries and celebrated haunts, The Southern Foodie elevates the Southern restaurant go-to map with the current standouts, from comfort to refined.
Covering Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, the book includes a nice sampling from each state. (Okay, it might be a little heavy on Louisiana, but we can forgive that.)
Local Memphis favorites, Restaurant Iris and Sweet Grass, represent well and include the recipes for Kelly English’s now infamous Brussels sprouts and Ryan Trimm’s Frogmore Stew. We’re happy to see great neighbors Big Bad Breakfast from Oxford, Proof on Main in Louisville, and Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, which gives us great faith in the other listings.
The Southern Foodie is nicely balanced with fair representation from each state and equal parts simplicity and elegance. The recipes range from muscadine jelly to a foraged mushroom gratin, lemon icebox pie to chocolate amaretto cheesecake, fried chicken to pecan chicken in bourbon-maple-mustard cream sauce.
With a brief history of each restaurant, a highlights section that includes cuisine, atmosphere, specialties, and insider tips, The Southern Foodie is a visual eat-a-thon and a stellar representation of what’s happened on the food scene — and how it has progressed.
Author Chris Chamberlain is based in Nashville and has created a reference that is part cookbook and part travel guide that focuses on and celebrates the modern food culture of the South. And we love that! — MP