by Bill Smith with a preface by Lee Smith is published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing, Inc.
$14.95 in Softback, available at Crook's Corner and where books are sold
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CHEF BILL SMITH is as well known for the New York Times Notable and Food & Wine Best-of-the-Best cookbook, Seasoned in the South, as for creating original, iconic Southern dishes at the venerable Chapel Hill, NC restaurant Crook's Corner. Named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation, Crook's Corner celebrates enduring and evolving Southern traditions, starting with such cocktails as the Frozen Mint Julep, made with Chef Bill Smith's Mint Sorbet.
This James Beard award is an honor given to restaurants that represent the heritage, heart and community of our nation's Cuisine. And Chef Smith has been twice named a finalist for Best Chef Southeast. A foremost chef-expert in Southern foodways, he serves as a board member for the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Original dishes that have become classics (over Chef Bill Smith's past 18 years at Crook's) are his exceptional take on House-Cured Eastern NC Corned Ham, Soft Shell Crabs, Artichoke Relish, Fried Oysters and Headin’ South Duck, Composed Salads—moreover wholly original dishes, like his Green Peach Salad, Tomato & Watermelon Salad (now in restaurants everywhere), his delicious savory dishes like I HEART Cheesepork, and Green Tabasco Chicken. And of course his many desserts, including Honeysuckle Sorbet.
A writer as well as an intuitive chef, his essays (commenting on such pleasures as "Cuisine de Gran Mere and Covered-dish Suppers," "Why Collards May Have Saved the South and are a New Year's Tradition," "Foraging for Flowers to make Honeysuckle Sorbet") have been featured in newspapers, radio, and television. In his book and blog—and on the Crook's menu—there is genius in his sense of economy, flavors and storytelling, for even the simplest of dishes, like "Fresh Tomato Pasta" and "Fish in Paper," or, the more complicated, "How to use a Whole Duck."
Cookbook writers love to feature his recipes. Find them in Jean Anderson's Love Affair with Southern Cooking, Molly O'Neill's One Big Table, The Southern Foodways Alliance's Community Cookbook, and Nancie McDermott's Southern Pies, and Staff Meal's from America's Top Restaurants.
Blue Crabs (a book forthcoming from UNC Press) and also the influence of Mexican Immigrants on the South (The SFA's Cornbread Nation anthology 2012) are Chef Bill Smith's latest writing topics. So too his menu explorations include modern twists on regional cooking: fabulous Tamales and an updated Eastern NC Crab Stew, his fascination with Farmer's Salads, Old Fashioned Layer Cakes, and of course his incomparable Ice Creams and Sorbets.
PHOTO(s) CREDIT: Soleil Konkel