The angle: Southern food, Chef Donald Link-style
Recipes for right now: Herbsaint Champagne Cocktail, Cajun-Spiced Soda Crackers, Roast Leg of Lamb with Texas Campfire Dry Rub, Beer-Smoked Beef Short Ribs, Pork Belly and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet, Salt-Crusted Red Snapper, Cream Soda Sherbet
Who would enjoy this book? Anyone with an appetite for Southern cooking (P.S. Vegetarians will probably want to pass on this one.)
• Who wrote it: Donald Link
• Who published it: Clarkson Potter
• Number of recipes: Over 100
• Other highlights: While Donald Link is the chef and mastermind behind such beloved New Orleans restaurants as Herbsaint and Cochon, Down South doesn't feel like a typical "chef" book. It feels homey and approachable, full of the kinds of immediately crave-inducing recipes that make me want head into the kitchen immediately. Besides, I always appreciate a cookbook that starts things off with a whole chapter of cocktails.
While this is definitely not a restaurant cookbook, it's also not your everyday, Tuesday-dinner kind of recipe collection — the recipes with their big flavors and multiple components are best suited to cookouts and weekend gatherings. Most recipes serve 4 to 6, with a few of the party-oriented dishes serving 8 to 10. Meat is definitely on the menu, and the book includes a good spread of pork, poultry, and seafood. Sprinkled between the recipes, you'll also find stories of Donald's life as a chef, his thoughts on sourcing ingredients, and other bits of cooking advice.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Down South by Donald Link
• Visit the author's website: Donald Link
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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)