The home of the Grand Ole Opry is also home to strong culinary traditions, as shown in Nashville Eats: Hot Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, and 100 More Southern Recipes from Music City by Jennifer Justus (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Oct.). “Nashville is having a moment on the national scene,” says Michael Sand, v-p and publisher of adult trade at Abrams, STC’s parent publisher. “It’s no longer just Music City, but a destination for a number of reasons, including food.”
The spicy chicken dish mentioned in the subtitle of Nashville Eats is the subject of an entire book from Spring House, The Hot Chicken Cookbook: The Fiery History and Red-Hot Recipes of Nashville’s Beloved Bird by Timothy Charles Davis (Aug.). Publisher Paul McGahren says that spicy food is particularly popular these days, thanks to “Food Network shows, a growing and influential young demographic on the culinary landscape with a tolerance for heat, and an improved knowledge of spicy ingredients.” Components such as chili sauce, he says, are “treated like craft beers in some circles.”
Several university presses are publishing cookbooks highlighting the region’s cuisine. In September, the University of North Carolina Press, has three releases under its Savor the South series: Beans & Field Peas by Sandra A. Gutierrez, Crabs & Oysters by Bill Smith, and Sunday Dinner by Bridgette A. Lacy. UNC Press senior executive editor Elaine Maisner says that books in the series have demonstrated appeal beyond the region, earning notice from national consumer media such as the New York Times.
University of North Texas Press’s publishing program includes numerous titles with a Lone Star State accent. Such books, says Ronald Chrisman, director at UNT Press, “do well in gift shops, museum shops, and other nontraditional outlets like Costco.” November’s Tales of Texas Cooking: Stories and Recipes from the Trans-Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies, edited by Frances Brannen Vick, includes a recipe for “family cake,” from former U.S. senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and a barbecue recipe attributed to Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas, later a U.S. senator and governor.
In February 2016, Oxmoor House is publishing United Tastes of Texas: A Culinary Tour of the Lone Star State by Jessica Dupuy (Feb. 2016) as part of its Southern Living line. “The foods of Texas are heavily influenced by immigrant cultures, from across the border in Mexico to the German and Czech people who settled in the Hill Country,” says Katherine Cobbs, senior editor at Time Inc. Books, “and these recipes reflect that.”
More Southern Cookbooks for Fall
The Gator Queen Liz Cookbook by Liz Choate (Gibbs Smith, Aug.). The star of the History Channel’s reality TV show Swamp People offers recipes for the adventurous eater, with a focus on alligator and other swamp-game dishes.
Pickled, Fried, and Fresh: Bert Gill’s Southern Flavors by Bert Gill with Erika Nelson (Univ. Press of Florida, Sept.). Gill, owner of three Gainesville eateries, works with traditional Southern staples, like sorghum and okra, sourced locally.
Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories by Jocelyn Delk Adams (Agate, Sept.). Delk, the food blogger behind Grandbaby Cakes, shares recipes and stories from her grandmother’s Mississippi kitchen.
A Real Southern Cook: In Her Savannah Kitchen by Dora Charles (HMH/Rux Martin, Sept.). Shrimp and rice, buttermilk corn bread, red velvet cake, and more, from the former chef of Paula Deen restaurant the Lady & Sons.
The Southerner’s Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories from the Southern Kitchen (Harper Wave, Oct.). The editors of Garden and Gun magazine offer an overview of Southern cuisine, from Mississippi fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue stands to New Orleans Creole restaurants.
Cuban Cuisine in South Florida: Celebrating Ethnic Traditions and Dishes by Mandy Baca (Globe Pequot, Oct.). Miami-native Baca looks at how South Florida’s Cuban communities adapted recipes from home using ingredients readily available in the state.
New Southern Table by Whitney Miller (Nelson, Oct.). In her second cookbook, the 2010 MasterChef winner presents recipes from her Mississippi childhood.
Panhandle to Pan: Recipes and Stories from Florida’s New Redneck Riviera by Irv Miller (Globe Pequot, Nov.). The food of Northwest Florida—blue crab and grouper, peaches and corn, and fried catfish and hush puppies—influenced by the surrounding states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Foster’s Market Favorites by Sara Foster (Story Farm, Nov.). The Durham, N.C., market-cafe celebrates its 25th anniversary with a collection of more than 150 recipes, including chorizo–sweet potato hash and short rib chili.
Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style by Anthony Lamas and Gwen Pratesi (Taunton Press, Nov.). Lamas, chef-owner of Louisville, Ky., restaurant Seviche, views Southern cuisine through a Latino lens, in recipes such as nuevo Latino shrimp and grits.