Over the past few months I have become a huge fan of the PBS show "Chef's Life" featuring Vivian Howard. My wife picked up her book "Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South" and I love it .
First of all the thing is 564 pages and weighs a ton. But more than a cookbook as Howard describes "This is a Southern Cookbook, but not one tha treats the South like one big region where everybody eats the same fried chicken, ribs, shrimp and grits and collard greens and gumbo. Instead, I interpret Southern cooking the way we understand French, Italian, and Chinese food: as a complex cuisine with variations shaped by terrain, climate and people.
It is as much a story of the people and the food of the South, as it is an incredible compilation of recipies.