The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
Often called the “Odd Couple of Southern Cooking,” celebrated chefs Lewis and Peacock collaborated on this labor-of-love cookbook prior to Lewis’ death in 2006.
While the cookbook touts Southern favorites such as pan-fried chicken, perhaps it’s the loving and respectful relationship between the two authors that make this cookbook so special. As Peacock later said in an interview, “She’s my best friend. The least of what I’ve learned from her has to do with cooking.” This sentiment permeates each tried-and-true recipe — Southern classics, often peppered with Native American, Caribbean and African influences, embracing natural ingredients (think making your own baking powder or shrimp paste).
Recipes often begin with personal anecdotes and Lewis’ memories of certain ingredients or meals. As such, Peacock’s writing reads as a memoir of sorts to Miss Lewis’ life, making this cookbook both a culinary and sentimental exploration.
The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks
by Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock (Knopf, 2003)
Perfect for: Kitchen odd couples of any kind, and Southern cooks who want to get to the heart of their food