The World in a Skillet: A Food Lover's Tour of the New American South

The World in a Skillet: A Food Lover's Tour of the New American South

by Paul Knipple, Angela Knipple
     
 

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Paul and Angela Knipple's culinary tour of the contemporary American South celebrates the flourishing of global food traditions "down home." Drawing on their firsthand interviews and reportage from Richmond to Mobile and enriched by a cornucopia of photographs and original recipes, the Knipples present engaging, poignant profiles of a host of first-generation

Overview


Paul and Angela Knipple's culinary tour of the contemporary American South celebrates the flourishing of global food traditions "down home." Drawing on their firsthand interviews and reportage from Richmond to Mobile and enriched by a cornucopia of photographs and original recipes, the Knipples present engaging, poignant profiles of a host of first-generation immigrants from all over the world who are cooking their way through life as professional chefs, food entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, and home cooks.
Beginning the tour with an appreciation of the South's foundational food traditions--including Native American, Creole, African American, and Cajun--the Knipples tell the fascinating stories of more than forty immigrants who now call the South home. Not only do their stories trace the continuing evolution of southern foodways, they also show how food is central to the immigrant experience. For these skillful, hardworking immigrants, food provides the means for both connecting with the American dream and maintaining cherished ethnic traditions. Try Father Vien's Vietnamese-style pickled mustard greens, Don Felix's pork ribs, Elizabeth Kizito's Ugandan-style plantains in peanut sauce, or Uli Bennevitz's creamy beer soup and taste the world without stepping north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite its lackluster cover, the Knipples—husband-and-wife foodies—offer much more than a rote collection of recipes for greens, cornbread, and fried chicken in their culinary tour of the American South. Instead of treading down that well-worn path, the duo focus on the region's many immigrant restaurateurs, telling their stories and sharing recipes for Salvadoran enchiladas, Bosnian cabbage rolls, Belgian crêpes, Korean pork dumplings, Ugandan plantains in a peanut sauce, and many more. As mouthwatering as the recipes are, the profiles are similarly rich—though some are bittersweet. While many chefs started their cafe, cantina, or bistro to once again enjoy the foods of their native land, others did so to start a new life, like Rey Regalado, a trained engineer in Cuba who escaped and started a successful restaurant in Atlanta. Each subject has a compelling story and the Knipples do a terrific job of telling them. Unfortunately, designer Kimberly Bryant's layout is all over the map, making for a frustrating reading experience. Biographical entries appear without clear headings and run in a single column, while disorganized recipes appear in two columns, sometimes running disjointedly onto multiple pages. The Knipples have crafted an illuminating study of the South's culinary diversity, with sundry recipes to boot; it's unfortunate that a ham-fisted design makes it so hard to enjoy. B&W Photos. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Paul and Angela Knipple, members of the Southern Foodways Alliance, wish to share their passion for Southern food with others. They are experienced food writers (having written extensively for publications such as the Memphis Flyer and Edible Memphis), but this is their first book. Southern cooking often brings to mind dishes with influences from West Africa, Europe, and Native Americans. The Knipples successfully expand this view of Southern cooking to represent today's multicultural South. They showcase 40 chefs from around the world (including Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the Americas). Although some recipes are included (e.g., Biryani from India, Mazorca from Colombia, and Kajmak from Bosnia), the focus is on the chefs and their personal stories. VERDICT Rather than a cookbook, this is a readable introduction to the diversity of the modern Southern table. Highly recommended for regional cooking collections.—Ginny Wolter, Toledo-Lucas Cty. P.L., OH
From the Publisher
Much more than a rote collection of recipes. . . . As mouthwatering as the recipes are, the profiles are similarly rich. . . . Each subject has a compelling story and the Knipples do a terrific job of telling them.—Publishers Weekly

The World in a Skillet is a good book, even if devoured solely for the recipes. More importantly, however, it serves as an eloquent and timely testimony on how immigrants continue to renew and enrich this country.—ForeWord Reviews

A "Southern" cookbook like you have never seen before, but one that is absolutely, authentically Southern just the same.—Quarter Moon at Topsail blog

A readable introduction to the diversity of the modern Southern table. Highly recommended for regional cooking collections.—Library Journal

Part cookbook and part culinary road trip . . . . This is the South in all its diversity.—Garden & Gun

If America is still a melting pot, the southern part of the country must be cooking gumbo in that pot. With The World in a Skillet, Paul and Angela Knipple provide a fascinating account of the hands that are helping to stir the cauldron.—Food Republic

Delicious. . . . your own global road trip.—Edible Memphis

One of the most interesting Southern-centric food profile/cookbook hybrids we've seen in years.—LA Weekly Blog

This book is important in its tour of the New American South. . . . With a wealth of story, culture and (yes!) fifty new recipes, this is a cornucopia of culinary wishes.—Sacramento Book Review

The book is not just a cookbook. It's a portrait of the New South.—Winston-Salem Journal

A must-read for those interested in contemporary Southern food culture—what it was, what it is, and what it will be.—Oxford American

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807835173
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/17/2012
Edition description:
1
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
The World in a Skillet is an important book. Southern cooking is often viewed through the rearview mirror of nostalgia. Here, Angela and Paul literally take a look straight out the windshield to see where our regional cooking is heading. And it is exciting! From a Bosnian refugee's Kentucky kitchen to an Ethiopian in Memphis's advice on sopping up gravy, this book opened my eyes. I learned more about the world and how wonderful sharing recipes can be—and to slow down when a restaurant in a strip mall catches my eye. Beyond the stories these new Americans kindly share there is also a tremendous amount of information on ingredients, techniques, and global utensils. The Kitchen Passports throughout the book make it easier for these authentic recipes to find a way to my own kitchen. This book is a loving visit told in the new accents of the South. A whole world of flavor is just right down the road a piece—and thanks to the Knipples, I'm inspired to take a kitchen trip!—Martha Hall Foose, 2009 Winner James Beard Award for American Cooking and author of A Southerly Course: Recipes and Stories From Close to Home

Meet the Author


Paul and Angela Knipple, natives of Memphis, are freelance food writers and long-time members of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Paul and Angela Knipple, natives of Memphis, are freelance food writers and long-time members of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

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