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Heritage

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Sean Brock is the chef behind the game-changing restaurants Husk and McCrady’s, and his first book offers all of his inspired recipes. With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston. The recipes include all the comfort food Sean Brock is the chef behind the game-changing restaurants Husk and McCrady’s, and his first book offers all of his inspired recipes. With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston. The recipes include all the comfort food (think food to eat at home) and high-end restaurant food (fancier dishes when there’s more time to cook) for which he has become so well-known. Brock’s interpretation of Southern favorites like Pickled Shrimp, Hoppin’ John, and Chocolate Alabama Stack Cake sit alongside recipes for Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps, Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Tomato Gravy, and Baked Sea Island Red Peas. This is a very personal book, with headnotes that explain Brock’s background and give context to his food and essays in which he shares his admiration for the purveyors and ingredients he cherishes.


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Sean Brock is the chef behind the game-changing restaurants Husk and McCrady’s, and his first book offers all of his inspired recipes. With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston. The recipes include all the comfort food Sean Brock is the chef behind the game-changing restaurants Husk and McCrady’s, and his first book offers all of his inspired recipes. With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston. The recipes include all the comfort food (think food to eat at home) and high-end restaurant food (fancier dishes when there’s more time to cook) for which he has become so well-known. Brock’s interpretation of Southern favorites like Pickled Shrimp, Hoppin’ John, and Chocolate Alabama Stack Cake sit alongside recipes for Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps, Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Tomato Gravy, and Baked Sea Island Red Peas. This is a very personal book, with headnotes that explain Brock’s background and give context to his food and essays in which he shares his admiration for the purveyors and ingredients he cherishes.

30 review for Heritage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Sean Brock is making quite a name for himself, one of the younger southern chefs who are true to their roots but also commit to using local ingredients and local farmers. He has also done considerable research about what used to grow in the south, specifically in the low country surrounding Charleston, and has made great efforts to bring those ingredients into his restaurant(s). I knew a bit about him but was really impressed by the recipes and the ingredients he is using in his restaurants. It Sean Brock is making quite a name for himself, one of the younger southern chefs who are true to their roots but also commit to using local ingredients and local farmers. He has also done considerable research about what used to grow in the south, specifically in the low country surrounding Charleston, and has made great efforts to bring those ingredients into his restaurant(s). I knew a bit about him but was really impressed by the recipes and the ingredients he is using in his restaurants. It explains a little why they are so expensive (the reason I haven't yet gone when I visit Charleston, although I suspect I've had some of the food from its place of origin - shrimp from Shem Creek, gold rice grown the old way, etc.) The cookbook includes creative recipes using ingredients specific to the low country, but he does allow that you may not have access to those heirloom and local items. When he claims they will be best using those ingredients, I believe him. I happen to have some Carolina Gold rice at home from Anson Mills, so you'd better believe I will be using it in the recipes in which he specifies that ingredient. One is "Charleston Ice Cream" which is just a creamy preparation of the rice, hardly altered from just using that ingredient. Another is "Squash Seed Risotto." Full disclosure - I am a pescatarian, meaning I am a vegetarian who also eats fish. While I am intrigued by Brock's exploration of local poultry, pork, and lamb, and greatly admire his efforts to only buy from humane, organic growers, I can't really weigh in on those recipes. That also has kept me from eating at his restaurant, but now that I know his personal cooking goals include frequently making entirely vegetarian meals, I know he has the ability to cook without a meat-centric dish. You would be surprised at how many chefs freeze up at this idea! It's just a fact of living in South Carolina that a farm-to-table restaurant will be very pork-centric. We have some great local growers, I just don't eat it. To that end, there are other recipes I am eager to try (half baked goods, what can I say, I'm a baker): -Corn-Goat Cheese Soup with Shrimp and Brown Butter Chanterelles (I can get low country shrimp, local goat cheese, fresh corn, and local mushrooms at my downtown farmers market and this recipe would be a good reason to splurge) -Salad of Plums and Tomatoes with Raspberry Vinegar, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Pesto (plums and tomatoes together?) -Creamed Corn (his grandma's recipe) -Pickled Shrimp with Cilantro and Fennel (a southern staple) -Audrey Morgan's Apple-Sorghum Stack Cake -Chocolate Alabama Stack Cake (love the story with this one) -Rhubarb Buckle with Poppy Seed-Buttermilk Ice Cream -Carolina Gold Rice Pudding with Candied Kumquats

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Disclaimer: I think Sean Brock is awesome, and I'm pretty sure we would be friends if we knew each other - we both have pugs! I live in Nashville! My grandmother was a classic Southern cook! I love black walnuts and bourbon, too! This cookbook is easy on the cook, heavy on the book. More of a manifesto than anything. Like Marvin Woods's The New Low Country Cooking to the nth degree. Childhood stories and profiles of the-most-badass food purveyors in the region anchor the text while gorgeously Disclaimer: I think Sean Brock is awesome, and I'm pretty sure we would be friends if we knew each other - we both have pugs! I live in Nashville! My grandmother was a classic Southern cook! I love black walnuts and bourbon, too! This cookbook is easy on the cook, heavy on the book. More of a manifesto than anything. Like Marvin Woods's The New Low Country Cooking to the nth degree. Childhood stories and profiles of the-most-badass food purveyors in the region anchor the text while gorgeously detailed photographs (of ingredients and a few finished dishes) illustrate. If you read cookbooks for inspiration, like I do, you will not be disappointed with Heritage. If you read cookbooks for step-by-step how to make a dish, and are a less-than-experienced home cook, it is less utilitarian than that. I have bookmarked some recipes to make, and my sister and I are planning on collaborating on a recipe or two - special order ingredients and all - to investment cook together, but this is no everyday cookbook. It is a love letter to Brock's heritage, and for all that, it is beautiful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendi

    Although I’ve seen this new cookbook featured on some new-best-of-fall-cookbooks list, I haven’t really seen any significant reviews or attention paid to it. Several months ago, when Artisan Books offered it for early review, I was happy to accept, despite know very little about the author. Well, clearly I should be paying more attention. This cookbook is luminous, with minimalist, macrophotographs (my favorite!) and almost every recipe looks exciting, inviting. Nicely in that middle ground of Although I’ve seen this new cookbook featured on some new-best-of-fall-cookbooks list, I haven’t really seen any significant reviews or attention paid to it. Several months ago, when Artisan Books offered it for early review, I was happy to accept, despite know very little about the author. Well, clearly I should be paying more attention. This cookbook is luminous, with minimalist, macrophotographs (my favorite!) and almost every recipe looks exciting, inviting. Nicely in that middle ground of looking maybe a bit complicated, a bit of a challenge, but surely quite do-able. I love the way the table of contents for this cookbook are laid out: The Garden (primarily vegetables) The Mill (primarily grains) The Yard (primarily fowl) The Pasture (primarily beef and pork) The Creek and the Sea (primarily seafood) The Larder (primarily pickled and sauces) The Public House (primarily cocktails and pub snacks) The Sweet Kitchen (desserts) The Basics (vinaigrettes, stocks, spice mixes) I cannot wait to try the Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Van Winkle Bourbon Caramel. I used to have a yearly tradition of making doughnuts around Halloween (yeasted and fried, of course, the only authentic doughnuts in my book - baked can still be lovely, of course), and the next days to week look rather busy, but I'm still fantasizing about fitting them in and restarting the tradition. Other examples that look exciting: Corn-Goat Cheese Soup with Shrimp and Born Butter Chantrelles Wild Ramp and Crab Stuffed Hushpuppies with Green Goddess Dressing Crispy Fried Farm Egg with Fresh Cheese, Pickled Chantrelles, Wild Watercress, and Red-Eye Vinaigrette Slow-Cooked Rib Eye with Potato Confit and Green Garlic-Parsley Butter Pickled Shrimp with Cilantro and Fennel Smoked Bacon for Beginners Brighten this cookbook on your radar, it's one of the standouts in the abundant crowd of new releases this fall!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Degan Walters

    In the end, this book annoyed me. How can I not pick up a cookbook that has tattooed sleeves holding heirloom beans?Heritage is right up my alley. And as Sean Brock (of Husk Restaurant in Charleston and Nashville) from rural Virginia tells his story his love for food shows. "It doesn't matter if it's chicken and dumplings or 'Oysters and Pearls' from the French Laundry. If it's made with care, it is special," he says and I am immediately a fan. But then it becomes irritating. He puts recipes to In the end, this book annoyed me. How can I not pick up a cookbook that has tattooed sleeves holding heirloom beans?Heritage is right up my alley. And as Sean Brock (of Husk Restaurant in Charleston and Nashville) from rural Virginia tells his story his love for food shows. "It doesn't matter if it's chicken and dumplings or 'Oysters and Pearls' from the French Laundry. If it's made with care, it is special," he says and I am immediately a fan. But then it becomes irritating. He puts recipes to beautiful, fussy salads like Beet and Strawberry Salad with Sorrel and Rhubarb Vinaigrette or Strawberry Gazpacho with Tomato Water Jelly, Basil Ice and Stone Crab Salad up against the most un-photogenic Farro with Acorn Squash and Red Russian Kale or worse; How to Cook Grits like a Southerner or How to Build a Pit and Cook a Whole Pig like a Champion Pitmaster. Not that it's impossible to have grits and tomato water jelly, it just seems unlikely. And as the book got more and more fragmented, I got more and more disinterested. I have made many fussy salads and have partook in a few pig roasts but I want my cookbooks to have a purpose. I made a roasted cauliflower recipe that was ridiculously complicated and didn't even really work out, making me wonder if these have been kitchen tested.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer

    Gorgeous book, beautiful narrative, and exquisite flavor. But less than adequate methodology. I'm not referring to the things like a dehydrator which Brock clearly states you probably won't have - that's okay, it's nice to see how it's done at Husk. I'm talking about little things like trying to brown an entire head of cauliflower in a shallow skillet of oil or trying to soften farro in an uncovered skillet. I'd have to see this done in a video because in both cases my instincts as a home cook Gorgeous book, beautiful narrative, and exquisite flavor. But less than adequate methodology. I'm not referring to the things like a dehydrator which Brock clearly states you probably won't have - that's okay, it's nice to see how it's done at Husk. I'm talking about little things like trying to brown an entire head of cauliflower in a shallow skillet of oil or trying to soften farro in an uncovered skillet. I'd have to see this done in a video because in both cases my instincts as a home cook were correct - you'd have to basically flash fry the cauliflower head to achieve what he does in the photo. And after evaporating half my stock at first I went ahead and covered my farro and it turned out great. But these are things that an inexperienced home cook might not do, and then wonder why the recipes aren't working for them. So as long as you know how to trust your own instincts in the kitchen I'd say definitely buy this book because the flavor profiles he (and you!) achieve are outstanding. Just don't feel married to his methods. This book would easily have been 5 stars had the recipes been home tested.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    I really enjoy cooking fresh, local, down-home, etc...but I am not the kind of person who places flower petals on my meals with a pair of tweezers, nor am I about to mail-order some essence of pork sneeze or whatever, so I won't really be using this as a cookbook. But I like the way he talks about the history of the ingredients, about his journeys to discover new ways to honor old traditions. Plus the pictures in this are gorgeous. And I'm all for the eating end of this stuff...I do know I'll be I really enjoy cooking fresh, local, down-home, etc...but I am not the kind of person who places flower petals on my meals with a pair of tweezers, nor am I about to mail-order some essence of pork sneeze or whatever, so I won't really be using this as a cookbook. But I like the way he talks about the history of the ingredients, about his journeys to discover new ways to honor old traditions. Plus the pictures in this are gorgeous. And I'm all for the eating end of this stuff...I do know I'll be looking out for Brock's restaurants next time I'm down that way. (Or, hey, he should totally come back to Virginia....)

  7. 5 out of 5

    E

    By Lisa King | Wednesday,September 3 Deeply inspired by his upbringing in rural Virginia, star chef Sean Brockexplains,“You grew and cooked everything you ate, so I really saw food in its true form. You cook all day, and when you're not cooking, you’re preserving. If you were eating, you were eating food from the garden or the basement–it’s a way of life.” Taking the 2010 James Beard award for “Best Chef Southeast”,appearing on Iron Chef America, and hostingseason two of Anthony Bourdain’s The   By Lisa King | Wednesday, September 3 Deeply inspired by his upbringing in rural Virginia, star chef Sean Brock explains,“You grew and cooked everything you ate, so I really saw food in its true form. You cook all day, and when you're not cooking, you’re preserving. If you were eating, you were eating food from the garden or the basement–it’s a way of life.” Taking the 2010 James Beard award for “Best Chef Southeast”, appearing  on Iron Chef America, and hosting season two of Anthony Bourdain’s The Mind of a Chef in 2013, Brock is a familiar face in the growing foodie movement. Meandering around some of the very best AAA Five- Diamond Award/ Mobil Five-Star restaurants in the Southeast, he began his professional career as chef tournant under Chef Robert Carter at the Peninsula Grill in Charleston. After two years at Peninsula Grill, Brock was executive sous chef under Chef Walter Bundy of Lemaire Restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA. His success in Richmond led to the role of executive chef at Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, TN. Brock spent just under three years fine tuning his craft in Nashville before accepting a position as executive chef at McCrady’s Restaurant. Returning to Charleston in 2003, Brock began the development of a 2.5-acre farm on Wadmalaw Island, where he became a steward of heirloom seeds, indigenous crops that were in danger of becoming extinct, and heritage breeds of livestock. He personally nurtures a number of antique crops, including James Island Red Corn (aka “Jimmy Red”), from which he makes grits, Flint Corn, Benne Seed, Rice Peas, Sea Island Red Peas, and several varieties of Farro. In November 2010, Brock opened his second restaurant, Husk, just down the street from McCrady’s. His menu is a tribute to all Southern ingredients. Brock says,“If it ain't Southern, it ain't walkin’ in the door." The concept was such a success in Charleston, Brock opened a second location of Husk in Nashville in 2013. Sean is a "low and slow" smoker and woodfire advocate, and an avid fan of pickling, canning, and preserving. With all that talent and knowledge, we are privileged that he decided to compile his experience into a warm, inviting, and inventive cookbook, Heritage. The ample hardcover is divided into topical sections: The Garden, The Mill, The Yard, The Pasture, The Creek and The Sea, The Larder, The Public House, The Sweet Kitchen and The Basics. Each chapter is lovingly narrated, with a lot of personal anecdotes, family history, and culinary tales. He takes the time to spotlight regional agriculturists and nearby sources within each section, with an emphasis on buying local and sustainable. He is a champion of the connection with the farmer and the plate. Sean's cuisine is comforting, ingredient-driven, and appropriate for the home chef, but with a sophistication informed by his education and experience. You can dress these dishes up or down, because in the end, it's the down-home flair that make these fixings compelling. There is a great balance of featured vegetables, grains, responsible fish and meat, desserts, preserves, and some really appealing cocktails. Accompanied by the rustic yet modern photographs by Peter Frank Edwards, we feel the art of the edible still-life come alive with the poise and grace of a 17th Century Dutch Baroque painting. From Muscadine-Cucumber Gazpacho to Crab-Stuffed Hushpuppies with Green Goddess Dressing, quite frankly, the combination of the recipes and the photos simply just make your mouth water. According to Sean's prominently positioned, inspiring Manifesto in the front of the book, "Cook with soul-but first get to know your soul...Be proud of your roots, be proud of your home, be proud of your family and its culture. That's your inspiration...Cook as if every day you were cooking for your Grandmother. If your Grandmother is still alive, cook with her as much as possible, and write everything down...Listen to your tongue; it's smart."  It's very clear that Sean Brock is a special person, with a sense of self which is reflected in his food. He has a big heart and an even bigger pantry.   Hardcover: 336 pages Publisher: Artisan (October 21, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 1579654630 ISBN-13: 978-1579654634 Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches Formatted No Big Wheel Book Blog Review: http://nobigwheel.wordpress.com/2014/...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    Gorgeous photography and complex, fascinating recipes. I ate at Husk once while I lived in Nashville and it’s still one of the top five meals I’ve ever eaten. Brock is such a talented chef and I loved learning more about his approach to food, even if I’m unlikely to make any of the recipes here, though I may try my hand at a few of the condiments.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. too many ingredients ... too many localized and impossible to source in Canada. so ... 4.5 stars instead of the 5 I wanted to give it...rounded down to 4 as many people would have a helluva time sourcing the ingredients affordably.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Every year my lovely daughter buys me a cookbook for Christmas. Brock's Heritage was the choice this year. Usually I thumb through the recipes, gaze at the beautiful photography and think about when I might make something from its pages, but not this one. This book is chocked full of character. It caught me with a manifesto early on, kept me snared with stories of cooking with his grandmother and continued to intrigue with all the profiles of people known for an ingredient Brock uses. It is a Every year my lovely daughter buys me a cookbook for Christmas. Brock's Heritage was the choice this year. Usually I thumb through the recipes, gaze at the beautiful photography and think about when I might make something from its pages, but not this one. This book is chocked full of character. It caught me with a manifesto early on, kept me snared with stories of cooking with his grandmother and continued to intrigue with all the profiles of people known for an ingredient Brock uses. It is a multi-genre tour-de-force and a pleasure to read, not just cook with.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    Love this book! An in-depth and passionate look at often-overlooked Southern cuisine. A particular focus is given to heirloom breeds and varieties of plants and animals that have managed to (sometimes barely) survive the switch to industrial monoculture agriculture. The point being that a lot of traditional dishes aren't amazing or even right without that specific product as an ingredient. Fascinating! I also enjoyed the focus he has on building up a larder. As one of my life goals, I couldn't Love this book! An in-depth and passionate look at often-overlooked Southern cuisine. A particular focus is given to heirloom breeds and varieties of plants and animals that have managed to (sometimes barely) survive the switch to industrial monoculture agriculture. The point being that a lot of traditional dishes aren't amazing or even right without that specific product as an ingredient. Fascinating! I also enjoyed the focus he has on building up a larder. As one of my life goals, I couldn't have asked for a better resource for unique recipes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This is a great book. The photos are stories are amazing. But... it's more of a show piece than a cookbook. The few recipes that I would be interested to make require two days and ingredients I can't get. I flagged the things I like from Husk, like the fried chicken and the cheeseburger, but the recipes are way above my pay-grade. All of that being said, this is a beautiful book, that I will display on my coffee table, untouched and unused.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    This cookbook reads like a warm and lovely novel. Chef Brock brings you into the world of Southern cooking - fresh ingredients, beautiful presentations, approachable recipes - the photography is stunning. I borrowed this from the library but I have a feeling this will become a permanent addition to my collection soon.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I wanted to like this cookbook more than I did. I did not find the recipes or the photographs approachable. This seems like it would be a good reference for a chef or restaurateur, rather than a home cook.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kendahl

    Great recipes, great education. I feel like I learn something new with each recipe I cook.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

    Years ago, D became familiar with Brock through season two of Mind of a Chef. Have I mentioned how much I love my kids' choice of things to stream on Netflix? So, for his birthday one year, I ordered him this cookbook. Brock's manifesto resonates with me and with everything I want my boys to embrace about cooking and eating. Cook with soul - but first, get to know your soul. Be proud of your roots, be proud of your home, be proud of your family and its culture. That's your inspiration. ...Respect Years ago, D became familiar with Brock through season two of Mind of a Chef. Have I mentioned how much I love my kids' choice of things to stream on Netflix? So, for his birthday one year, I ordered him this cookbook. Brock's manifesto resonates with me and with everything I want my boys to embrace about cooking and eating. Cook with soul - but first, get to know your soul. Be proud of your roots, be proud of your home, be proud of your family and its culture. That's your inspiration. ...Respect ingredients and the people who produce them. ...Buy the best that you can afford. Grow your own - even if it's just a rosemary bush. You'll taste the difference. Cook in the moment. Cook the way you're feeling, cook to suit the weather, cook with the mood, or to change your mood. ...Listen to your tongue. It's smart. ...Never stop researching and seeking knowledge in the kitchen. Cooking should make you happy. ... Not only do I love his philosophy, but his recipes are delicious and his presentation beautiful. Think charred beef short ribs with glazed carrots, beer-battered soft shell crabs, butter bean chowchow, and cornbread and buttermilk soup. Our Low-Country Boil is Brock-inspired! Whenever D wants to make something "Southern", he peruses the pages of this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Sean Brock is a pioneering Southern chef who wants to help bring back heritage Southern food. This cookbook is interspersed with stories from Brock and about people and farms that he sources food for his restaurants from. His focus on local, seasonal food is great and I try to do the same. Even though he says some of the recipes are more simple and designed for home cooks, I thought most of the recipes seemed pretty complicated and I'm not an inexperienced cook. But, I still found several Sean Brock is a pioneering Southern chef who wants to help bring back heritage Southern food. This cookbook is interspersed with stories from Brock and about people and farms that he sources food for his restaurants from. His focus on local, seasonal food is great and I try to do the same. Even though he says some of the recipes are more simple and designed for home cooks, I thought most of the recipes seemed pretty complicated and I'm not an inexperienced cook. But, I still found several recipes I want to try and I'm excited to check out his newest cookbook South.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Arrel

    Current Charleston darling chef Sean Brock's somewhat involved and complicated recipes with lots of commentary on locally sourcing, heirloom vegetables, traditional cooking ways and all that stuff. Nice photos and interesting reading, but not many reasonable recipes - which is not to take anything away from the bool. Just don't expect to have it propped up beside your cookstove very often. When you are next in Charleston SC, check out Husk and don't forget to start with fried chicken skins!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelley S

    Most beautiful cookbook/memoir book that I've laid hands on. Gave it four stars, only because anyone outside of Charleston will have a hard time gaining access to the same local ingredients and there really are no substitutions without losing the essence of his dishes. Although, that is no fault of his own; just disappointed I won't be able to make the majority of the recipes. I wish I could give 4.5 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Good cookbook with interesting history and regional comments. Somewhat disappointed in early section of book due to over commercialism for local vendors and recipes more appropriate to restaurant setting than for home cooks. Would have liked to see more of the regional recipes for which the author was offering his adaptions. Found the latter part of the book very good, including chapters on the larder, the public house, and the basics.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    if you have the ability to learn, hands-on, the culinary secrets of your family...do so. this book shows you just how great those tidbits taken for granted by so many of us, as asshole kids, can be. Chef, what a great book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    I don't have much to say about this book that others haven't said. While I loved the book, some of the recipes seemed a bit fussy and not something I'd prepare as a home cook. But the presentation is absolutely awesome. I wish more cookbooks were like this one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    So many of these recipes feature ingredients that are not readily available. There were a few fun ones (fudge with Velveeta in it) but nothing that made me want to run right out and get the ingredients to cook. Not really for the average home cook.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tbone

    Basic recipes paired with beautiful photos

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Gorgeous writing and photography, but not practical every day recipes, which is what I need in my life right now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becki Iverson

    I wasn't sure what to expect with Heritage, but I've long loved Sean Brock and figured I should give it a try. I'm so glad I did. Heritage shouldn't be billed as a cookbook, really - it succeeds most in providing a unique historical profile of the cuisine and agriculture of the American southeast region, as well as contemporary guide to people and companies who are preserving that heritage. It is thorough and fascinating, introducing readers to dozens of nearly extinct species, traditional I wasn't sure what to expect with Heritage, but I've long loved Sean Brock and figured I should give it a try. I'm so glad I did. Heritage shouldn't be billed as a cookbook, really - it succeeds most in providing a unique historical profile of the cuisine and agriculture of the American southeast region, as well as contemporary guide to people and companies who are preserving that heritage. It is thorough and fascinating, introducing readers to dozens of nearly extinct species, traditional cooking techniques, economic history and the people involved in keeping that history alive today. It's spectacularly researched, and I would love to see more writing like this done about other American cuisines. There are recipes, of course, many from Brock's infamous restaurants; but they are not for a shrinking kitchen violet. Many recipes use obscure or difficult to find ingredients, require multiple steps, and advanced techniques. By no means does this mean that they shouldn't be attempted, but that it would be ill advised to approach this as a book to suddenly learn to start cooking with if you have little kitchen experience. Brock is thorough and explains everything very well, but it would be hard to start this with little prior kitchen knowledge. Heritage is a beautiful book and its deafening advocacy for returning to local food and economies, supporting heritage and wild varietals of animals and produce, and spending more time cooking for ourselves is a familiar yet necessary missive. It was a super fun read for a Sunday afternoon, and anyone interested in the American south, American history and economics, exciting contemporary cuisine and the hot young chefs of today should pick it up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    While I will probably not make a lot of these recipes, which generally have a lot of components and are very rice/wheat heavy, I would love to eat a lot of them. I made a note to try some rice fritters, rice griddle cakes and I'm thinking I might make some tomato jam. I am also considering trying the wheat thins. I made some parmesan cream cracker from Mark Bittman and I liked them but my family wasn't wild about them. I thought I might try these. Example of a recipe pulled at random: Stone Crab While I will probably not make a lot of these recipes, which generally have a lot of components and are very rice/wheat heavy, I would love to eat a lot of them. I made a note to try some rice fritters, rice griddle cakes and I'm thinking I might make some tomato jam. I am also considering trying the wheat thins. I made some parmesan cream cracker from Mark Bittman and I liked them but my family wasn't wild about them. I thought I might try these. Example of a recipe pulled at random: Stone Crab with Cucumber Juice, Fennel Jelly and Raw Apple. That is a LOT of components to a recipe. Another example of something: Simple Skillet Chicken. This is chicken that is spatchcocked and cut in half (with the breastbone taken out). You cook it by putting EACH half into a cast iron skillet (so you are running two skillets at once) and then you have to put two weighted skillets on top. So, I'm getting FOUR pans dirty. I mean, presuming I have two cast iron skillets, which I do not. Now, I would totally eat this; I'm just not going to make it. I'm very excited to eat at this restaurant next week, especially b/c the book says that all tables get benne rolls brought to the table, hot. All food is sourced relatively locally. I will probably go with my appetizer (or two) plus an awesome sounding salad plus dessert. I've found this is the best way to get to try more things when I'm eating alone. Another thing that I do like about this book is the devotion to the south and his family and how he loves all heritage rice and flour. Many many recommendations for using very particular rice and wheat grown in the south.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I had originally seen Sean Brock on the PBS series The Mind of a Chef and so I knew about the kind of cooking he did. As a Southerner, it is always fascinating for me to see how others interpret the cuisine, and he definitely has an interesting approach. He is big on heritage ingredients, especially those around Charleston, so you have an emphasis on things like Carolina Gold rice, benne seeds, heritage beans and other veggies. And the man is not afraid to use bacon and other pork products, I had originally seen Sean Brock on the PBS series The Mind of a Chef and so I knew about the kind of cooking he did. As a Southerner, it is always fascinating for me to see how others interpret the cuisine, and he definitely has an interesting approach. He is big on heritage ingredients, especially those around Charleston, so you have an emphasis on things like Carolina Gold rice, benne seeds, heritage beans and other veggies. And the man is not afraid to use bacon and other pork products, which are staples in Southern cooking. So when I heard about this cookbook, I definitely wanted to check it out (it's been on to-read list forever). I finally grabbed a copy from the library. A lot of the recipes are really ingenious, with several takes on classic dishes. Mostly I'd rather go to one of his restaurants to have the food because I'm sure I couldn't really recreate his masterpieces at home, even with instructions. I did however want to try the Chilled Fennel Bisque with Citrus-Cured Scallops and Almond Oil, Cornmeal-Fried Pork Chops with Goat Cheese-Smashed Potatoes and a Cucumber and Pickled Green Tomato Relish, Stone Crab with Cucumber Juice, Fennel Jelly, and Raw Apple (which gets the award for the most creative looking), and Grilled Tilefish with Asparagus Broth and Oyster Mushrooms. He also had a couple of recipes for pickled veggies and eggs that I wanted to try as well. 4 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Although this is a cookbook, it's really more of a storybook. It's Brock's story of becoming a chef, becoming involved, even leading, the movement to return to using locally produced products and heritage or heirloom ones. I found the stories of finding these nearly lost ingredients and the people who farm or raise them to be fascinating. And, I particularly like that he then takes those ingredients and uses them in both traditional preparations and modern ones - showing their versatility. Now, Although this is a cookbook, it's really more of a storybook. It's Brock's story of becoming a chef, becoming involved, even leading, the movement to return to using locally produced products and heritage or heirloom ones. I found the stories of finding these nearly lost ingredients and the people who farm or raise them to be fascinating. And, I particularly like that he then takes those ingredients and uses them in both traditional preparations and modern ones - showing their versatility. Now, as a cookbook, it's definitely a bit more "chef-y" than many. A lot of the recipes, while they don't require too many fancy techniques or special equipment, require a level of cooking knowledge and instinct in the kitchen that many home cooks (and more than a few professionals) don't possess. He casually tosses off preparation or cooking instructions as if anyone reading the book would instantly know what he's talking about, and how to adjust for their own kitchens. It probably would have benefited from a critical read from one or another home cooks who could have asked him those questions before publication. That said, for anyone with an interest in both heritage and/or southern cooking, this is a great library and kitchen addition.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kym

    Sean Brock is a Southern chef who is changing the way we think of southern cooking by using locally sourced ingredients. I loved the vignettes of the people who supply his restaurants. I also enjoyed his thoughts as he begins to grow some of his own ingredients. Being a chef, there are all kinds of cheffy ingredients and techniques that make some of his recipes difficult for the home cook. Because they are locally sourced, and I live far from Charlotte and Nashville, many of these will be Sean Brock is a Southern chef who is changing the way we think of southern cooking by using locally sourced ingredients. I loved the vignettes of the people who supply his restaurants. I also enjoyed his thoughts as he begins to grow some of his own ingredients. Being a chef, there are all kinds of cheffy ingredients and techniques that make some of his recipes difficult for the home cook. Because they are locally sourced, and I live far from Charlotte and Nashville, many of these will be impossible for me. I did, however, enjoy the recipes for sauces and mixes at the end of the book. Other recipes will be used for jumping-off places. I'll look for ways to keep the essence, but make the recipe easier on a landlocked Colorado cook.

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