UPDATE 11-23-14: We have a winner in the book giveaway! Sometimes it does pay to comment first. Random.org generater spit out the number 1, so congrats to Sharon Miro, who was first to comment. Sharon, there is a great section on grits in the book. Thanks for playing!
Last night, Southern Rail restaurant in Phoenix hosted a dinner and book signing for the current man-of-the-South, chef and restaurateur Sean Brock. I have an extra signed copy of Brock’s beautiful book, Heritage (it took three years to write and produce). Details about how to enter to win this book are at the end of this post, but first a little about Brock and the dinner last night.
You can read Eater’s review of the book here. I know that I’m going to spend some time reading it over the next few weeks. Brock is a sweet, humble guy who looked a bit road-tired last night (he’s been touring with the book since mid-October and won’t be going home until after Thanksgiving).
Chef Justin Beckett of Southern Rail (and Beckett’s Table) did Brock proud, serving 5 courses of artfully plated recipes directly from the book. The menu even said which pages the recipes came from. I only took a few pictures (I was too busy eating!) but here they are.
The first course included these one-bite heirloom jonnycakes with pickled shrimp flavored with fennel pollen, and topped with sweet butter bean and brussels sprouts chow chow (think relish). Beckett did a good job of picking items that used multiple recipes, showcasing the diversity of this book in creating other options by combining recipes. I wish the fried chicken skins with smoked mayo that accompanied these jonnycakes had turned out in my photo but they didn’t. Shame, since I think it was one of the best bites of the night.
Course 2 was a silky smooth corn soup flavored with Crow’s Dairy goat cheese and topped with poached shrimp and chanterelles sautéed in brown butter. Divine. Course 3 was crispy pork trotters garnished with a thin disk of cured local hen yolk and a cube of gelatin demi-glace, that if you let melt in your mouth, turned into a fabulous satiny, meaty sauce. The fourth course was roasted duck breast served with sliced chestnuts and baby turnips. It was my least favorite course but it was beautifully presented.
The final course was a trio of dessert bites. Vanilla-scented, mini-buttermilk tartlet with a cornmeal crust was my favorite, followed by the two bites of the black walnut pound cake on top of chocolate “gravy.” The hillbilly fudge… I took a bite and put it back. Something seemed… odd. We looked up the recipe and there it was. Velveeta cheese. To each their own, and this recipe has special meaning to Brock. It’s his grandmother’s recipe.
Before you enter this giveaway for the book, I might add that the book isn’t for beginners, but if you are a seasoned cook and love Southern food, I think you’ll like this book. Or if you just love collecting cookbooks, this is a beauty.
Here’s how you enter: Leave a comment below and tell me your very favorite Southern dish. You can only enter once. The giveaway ends this coming Saturday at 11:59 p.m. (November 22, 2014). I’ll randomly pick a winner from all valid entries and announce who won here on this post by Monday. If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll pick an alternate winner. We’ve got things to do next week (Thanksgiving!). I’ll mail the book to the winner after Thanksgiving. Only U.S. shipping addresses, please.
So tell me, what is your favorite Southern dish? I’ll start: Fried chicken.