Smoke & Pickles: Recipes from a Southern Kitchen

Edward Lee. Artisan, $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-57965-492-4
Lee’s debut cookbook is an inventive and exciting take on Southern food inspired by the chef’s Korean roots. Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Lee is the chef and owner of the restaurant 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Ky., (where he has lived since 2003). “All the lovely and resourceful traditions of the Southern landscape would propel me back to my grandmother’s spicy, garlicky foods,” explains the author. Recipes are combined with entertaining stories of Lee’s life and culinary journey. He begins with a chapter on rice and remoulade. Other whimsical chapters include Lamb & Whistles, Cows & Clover, Birds & Bluegrass, Seafood & Scrutiny (a reference to the chef’s run on the TV show Top Chef), and Pickles & Matrimony (“Pickles are a lot like love stories.... You worry that it’s not going to work out, but with patience, there is always a happy ending.” The book contains over 100 comfort-food recipes with an Asian twist, like a bourbon-and-Coke meatloaf sandwich with fried egg and black pepper gravy, miso-smothered chicken, pulled pork shoulder in black BBQ sauce, and fried trout sandwiches with pear-ginger-cilantro slaw and spicy mayo. Staying true to the book’s title, Lee gives four recipes for kimchi, including red cabbage–bacon and white pear, as well as bourbon-pickled jalapeños and pickled jasmine peaches. In the end, this is an irresistible collection for any adventurous home cook. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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