Craig Claiborne’s Southern Cooking

Foreword by John T. Edge and Georgeanna Milam

"Craig Claiborne was the most important of all food giants."—Jacques Pépin


"Claiborne admires a good story and a good meal. And his mostly nostalgic, comforting view of southern food is as it should be. Instead of creating stir-fries of collards or fried chicken calzones he sticks to the basics. . . . Mr. Claiborne's collection is one the Southern-starved cook will reach for-recipes that stand the test of time."
—Florence Fabricant, New York Times

"Craig Claiborne was the most important of all food giants."
—Jacques Pepin

"Craig Claiborne's perspicacity as a journalist and a tastemaker were matched only by his generosity of spirit. A man who seemed perpetually on the go, he always made time to mentor younger colleagues like me—and I am immeasurably richer for it."
—Bryan Miller, author of New York Times Guide to Restaurants in New York City

"Secure in his cooking skill and native Southernness, Claiborne also concocts Southern-style food, like catfish fillets in white-wine sauce. From the traditional to the original, these lucid, flavorful recipes will be welcomed by Claiborne's substantial following and by fans of regional American cooking."
Publishers Weekly

"He made food respectable"
—Julia Child

"He is at once the great sensualist about food, fussing over its taste, texture, aroma and appearance . . . and a great democrat, ensuring that however complicated the cuisine that arrives on the table, the directions that put it there are always easy to follow."
Metropolitan Home

"Craig recognized some of the wonderful regional foods and cooks coming from the South and brought them into the limelight, which nobody else had done."
—Florence Fabricant

"Anyone who is even slightly serious about what goes into his mouth owes a boundless debt to Craig Claiborne for his passionate celebration of fine dining."
—Gael Greene

“This collection is like a Southern version of a 'Greatest Hits' album—all the best, few of the clinkers.”
Charlotte Observer

“The clarity of his recipes and the acumen of his mind and taste buds are unquestionable.”
Library Journal

More / Hide


Craig Claiborne, world traveler, iconic New York Times food writer, and author of more than twenty cookbooks, was always a southerner at heart. This is the only one of Claiborne’s cookbooks to focus exclusively on the South. It was, he readily admitted, his most personal book.

As John T. Edge and Georgeanna Milam note in their foreword, Claiborne, a native of the Mississippi Delta, had a love of southern food that ran deep and wide, spanning Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex, and other regional cuisines. Included are more than three hundred favorite recipes—from Claiborne’s own kitchen, from his mother’s Mississippi boardinghouse, and from some of the South’s best cooks, including Bill Neal, Edna Lewis, and Paul Prudhomme. He introduces many of the dishes with comments and notes on their history, their evolution over the years, and his favorite versions; he also includes instructions on preparation and serving. Throughout, Claiborne remembers the many southern classics of his childhood, such as fried catfish and beaten biscuits and Smithfield ham.

“Nothing rekindles my spirits, gives comfort to my heart and mind, more than a visit to Mississippi and environs,” wrote Claiborne, “and [to] be regaled, as I often have been, with a platter of fried chicken, field peas, collard greens, fresh corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes with French dressing (that’s what we call vinaigrette sauce), and to top it all off with a wedge of freshly baked pecan pie.”

Page count: 392 pp.
Trim size: 7.25 x 9.25


List price: $26.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

Craig Claiborne’s many books include The New York Times Cookbook, The New New York Times Cookbook, and Craig Claiborne’s Gourmet Diet. Claiborne received the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. John T. Edge is the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His many books include Southern Belly. Georgeanna Milam, a native of Mississippi, is a master’s candidate in southern studies at the University of Mississippi, where she is writing a thesis on Craig Claiborne.