"Craig Claiborne was the most important of all food giants."
"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."
"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."
"He made food respectable"
"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."
"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."
"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."
“This collection is like a Southern version of a 'Greatest Hits' album—all the best, few of the clinkers.”
“The clarity of his recipes and the acumen of his mind and taste buds are unquestionable.”
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.”
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