cover image The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life

The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life

Sam Beall, . . Clarkson Potter, $60 (300pp) ISBN 978-0-307-40771-9

Big, bold and beautiful, this oversized if pricey title is more than your typical cookbook. California-trained chef Beall (son of the founder of the restaurant-chain Ruby Tuesday, Sandy Beall) takes readers to the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee to his family's Blackberry Inn and farm-to-table restaurant. Through color photos, essays and over 100 recipes inspired by the South, the spirit of this special place and the people involved is conveyed through its well-designed pages. Organized by season and broken down by event, recipes reflect the inn's philosophy of “responsive cooking” and showcase produce grown in the five-acre garden (set on the property's 9,000 acres) including creamed chard; beef carpaccio with summer chanterelles and chives; and Sam's carrot soufflé. Animals raised on the property and caught in their creek are used for such dishes as herb-roasted spring chicken and oven-baked trout with ramps and morels. The stories behind the on-site cheese kitchen and curing house, as well as a celebration of local suppliers such Benton's Smokey Mountain Country Hams, are artisanal inspirations and reiterate the importance of how food is grown, raised and created. With a wine cellar of more than 160,000 bottles, it's no surprise that Beall's astute wine notes round out a title that is most certainly a reflection of “the good life.” (Oct.)