cover image Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook

Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook

Kelsey Barnard Clark. Chronicle, $29.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-79720-557-1

Top Chef winner and restaurateur Clark recounts the story of her Alabama upbringing, New York City training, and the return to her roots in this exciting debut collection of family recipes updated with a modern twist. “The South that has shaped me is what I want to share with you,” she writes, offering more than 100 recipes that check off everything from weeknight suppers to celebrations, each accompanied by their own tale. Boiled peanuts, for instance, remind her of her quirky small-town traditions (“when you’re ‘famous’ here, you get a life-size peanut replica of yourself”), while BLT Butter Bean Salad evokes erstwhile Mother’s Day brunches with her and her husband’s late grandmothers. Throughout, her many “Notes” provide such valuable kitchen tips as running oyster shells through the dishwasher for top-notch presentation and drying meat with paper towels to “achieve the perfect sear.” Especially helpful are recipes where Clark provides a basic blueprint along with multiple variations, as she does with her “Cheat Sauces” (“a chef term for a sauce made from mixing something into mayonnaise”), deviled eggs, and icebox cookies. Those looking to bring some Southern flair to their cooking will find much to relish in this appetizing guide. Agent: Bridget Matzie and Lori Galvin Aevitas Creative Management. (Aug.)