cover image My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking 
with a French Twist

My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist

Alex Hitz. Knopf, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-0-307-70152-7

From his Hollywood Hills kitchen, Hitz, entertaining guru and home shopping personality, writes a cookbook combining his penchant for Southern hospitality with Cordon Bleu training. For hosts who want down-home quality in upscale styling and for whom a party is time to “give the people what they really want ,” this first cookbook shows how, with signature comfort food dishes that make Hitz the favorite party boy of the fabulous L.A. scene. More than a nostalgic look at the Southern fare of his childhood, these recipes are genteel and sophisticated enough for entertaining, promising simple-to-prepare “tantalizing menus.” Hors d’oeuvres, like cheese puffs and straws, crab tarts, and fried green tomatoes, get the party started. Erlinda’s Exquisite Short Ribs and a Carolina barbecue pulled-pork recipe are joined by refined recipes for quail, lobster, salmon, shrimp, and osso buco. A variety of soufflés and basic French sauces appear along with plenty of pecan and bourbon-splashed desserts. For aspiring dinner hosts, Hitz provides guidance: “Kitchen Notes” offer advice about ingredients, cookware, and timing for successful entertaining. A final chapter outlines seasonal dinner party menus. Hitz challenges fad diets of the L.A. scene, yearns to transform cooks into confident entertainers, and boldly echoes the elegance of the Southern tradition. (Oct.)