You may not think you know foothills cuisine, but you really do. This is the homey, soul-satisfying, belly-filling food that takes the best and freshest foods of the season and puts them on our plate. We're talking green tomato pie and lamb meatballs with green garlic, roasted peaches and brook trout with grits. The dishes in this book come from the kitchens of Blackberry Farm, lauded as one of the country's finest farm-to-table restaurants. There, foothill cuisine isn't just a collection of recipes — it's truly a way of life.
• Who wrote it: Sam Beall with Marah Stets
• Who published it: Clarkson Potter
• Number of recipes: Eight different menus with 3-5 recipes in each section, along with 4 sections on artisan techniques (cheese making, gardening, preserving, and butchery)
• Recipes for right now: Red-Eye Brined Smoked Pork Loin, Seckle Pears with Black Walnuts, Duck and Dumplings with Poached Eggs, Meat Loaf and Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Chocolate Nut Chunk Cookies
• Other highlights: I really really love how this book is arranged around menus, which in turn reflect each passing season. To me, this changes the whole focus of the cookbook: instead of looking at lists of ingredients, I am thinking about how to put together a meal, who I would invite, and how great it will be to eat together. The menus put the individual recipes in context. I can see how the flavors play off each other, sometimes complimenting and sometimes contrasting. It makes the meal dynamic and interesting.
I have never eaten at Blackberry Farms, but if sitting down at their tables is anything like sitting down with this book, it's going on my bucket list.
• Who would enjoy this book?
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm: Recipes and Wisdom from Our Artisans, Chefs, and Smoky Mountain Ancestors by Sam Beall with Marah Stets
• Visit the restaurant's website: Blackberry Farm
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(Images: Emma Christensen)