The Phoenicia Diner Cookbook: Dishes and Dispatches from the Catskill Mountains
By Mike Cioffi, Chris Bradley, and Sara B. Franklin
March 3, 2020
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New York Times Book Review, Best Cookbook of the Season, "When Armchair Travel Is Your Only Option," May 21, 2020: "...I want to eat from this cookbook all the time, starting with a basic tuna salad transformed by the simple but brilliant addition of mashed avocado. I would also like to, but shouldn’t, eat the fabulous oversize oatmeal pecan cookies all the time. Likewise a boozy, rich butterscotch pudding and an even richer chocolate pudding. Then there’s the pimento cheese patty melt. Soft pimento cheese melts into the beef and caramelized onions, lavishly buttered rye toast soaking up the juices. I ate the best diner patty melt I’ve ever had in my own kitchen."
Named one of "The Cookbooks of 2020 You Need" by The Independent (UK): "Comfort food means different things to different people, but for me it’s classic diner fare: It’s everything you’ll find at Phoenicia Diner, nestled in New York’s Catskill Mountains with its swivel stools, Formica counters, leather booths, and a chalkboard with daily specials. The cookbook delivers inspired takes on the classics...that give comfort a whole new meaning."
Bloomberg "The Secret to the Perfect Bacon, Egg and Cheese Isn't the Ingredients" March 20, 2020
The New York Times, "The Secrets of a Catskills Diner", March 2, 2020
Named a Best Cookbook of Spring 2020 by Eater: "Though it might be a while before the rest of us achieve our own version of the Phoenicia Diner, it’s at least become easier for us to pretend with The Phoenicia Diner Cookbook, a collection of comfort-food recipes that make up the Ulster County hot spot’s celebrated menu. Try to make the renowned buttermilk pancakes on lazy Sunday morning, or enjoy a cozy night in with the chicken and chive dumplings. For lighter meals, the cookbook also includes a variety of fancy salads and some delicious-sounding vegetable preparations.
We live in uncomfortable times, but we still have comfort food — and our upstate escapist fantasies — to help us cope. So serve up some Phoenicia Diner recipes on enamel camping cookware, then curl up under a Pendleton (or Pendleton knock-off) blanket. It’s almost as good as the real thing. — Madeleine Davies"
Travel & Leisure "10 Cookbooks to Satisfy your Appetite for Travel"
Edna Lewis: At The Table With An American Original
For publicity inquiries and review copies, please contact Sonya Bonczek at UNC Press
Press & Reviews
Named one of the best books of 2018 by Garden and Gun. "A beautiful ode to a grande dame of Southern cuisine."
Named one of the best new culinary books of 2018 by New Worlder. "We treasure the deep dive into the life of Edna Lewis." --NewWorlder.com
Named best "stories behind the food" cookbook of 2018 by WBUR's "Here and Now"
Named one of eight best books about food and restaurants of 2018 by Plate Magazine. "Demonstrates the value of Lewis's legacy and brings to life a woman who knew the food she cooked had meaning beyond the plate."
Chosen as of "Five Bold and Awesome Books By and About Fearless Women” by Essence, May 2018
This collection of essays by devotees of Miss Lewis (the title by which contemporaries showed their respect and love) serves as an appreciation of her life, her achievements, and her legacy. --Booklist, starred review
A compelling examination of Lewis's identity that will appeal to food historians, racial studies scholars, and anyone seeking to learn more about Southern food. A fascinating, prismatic look at the legacy of one of America's most beloved chefs. --Kirkus Reviews
In this part-biography, part-homage, writer and food historian Sara B. Franklin collected some of the food world’s most prolific voices for a multi-faceted look at the woman who inspired generations of home- and professional cooks. Lewis’s sister, Ruth Lewis Smith, and niece, Nina Williams-Mbengue, contribute snippets of memories while those who knew her or are intimately familiar with her work... build out the bulk of this important look at Lewis’s culinary legacy. --Eater, Spring 2018: Ten Books About Food to Add to Your Home Library
In the culinary world, Edna Lewis, born a freed slave in rural Virginia, is widely considered to be on the same playing field as Julia Child, but her life and cookbooks, including The Taste of Country Cooking and In Pursuit of Flavor, have never received the same level of publicity. Sara B. Franklin is changing that with her sharply edited collection of essays written by chefs, food writers, and scholars about the southern cook, who died in 2006 at the age of 89. --Bon Appetit, 8 Food Books to Read This Summer 2018
Since Lewis was so reticent about being overly outspoken during her lifetime, the book effectively assembles a larger picture from the bits and pieces of her life that were scattered throughout her writings and transmitted by others. Though they're all very different, collectively the essays form a complete portrait of a woman who was ahead of her time — and who left an important legacy. --Food & Wine Seeks to unpack the complexities surrounding Lewis's life through a series of impressions, interviews, and essays from those who encountered her during her lifetime, whether in person or only through her written word. --The Local Palate
[A] perfect traveling companion. --Southern Living
A readable collection of recollections, thoughts, and observations. --Claudia Kousoulas, Chow Line
By combining so many perspectives about her life and her cuisine, Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original doubles as an effective biography and a tribute from her range of acolytes. --Foreword Reviews
"Recollections and analysis of [Edna] Lewis, a cornerstone of American cuisine." --Wall Street Journal
“Filled with insights and anecdotes from chefs, food historians, journalists, and family members, Edna Lewis: At Home with an American Original is as close to meeting Miss Edna as one can get. Those who knew her and those who did not will be surprised, delighted, and at times even amazed by the depth and breadth of the twenty-three essays that form this comprehensive volume. Bravi tutti!“ — Jessica B. Harris, author of My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir
“This is an important book. Most people with an interest in American cooking have heard of Miss Lewis, but here, for the first time, people who knew and loved this extraordinary woman--in person or through her work--explain, in moving detail, why she is still so important to us all. — Ruth Reichl, author of My Kitchen Year and former editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine
“Nothing compares to this book, a fine anthology and thoughtful tribute to Edna Lewis and her contributions to America's culinary heritage. It will introduce Lewis to a new generation of people who may not be familiar with her yet, and need to be.” — Adrian Miller, author of The President’s Kitchen Cabinet and the James Beard Award–winning Soul Food
“This expansive and poignant anthology--featuring contemporary food writers and thinkers of diverse backgrounds and voices--beautifully honors and interprets the power and enduring legacy of Edna Lewis, a great American chef, cultural commentator, writer, and activist. A groundbreaking book that will bridge popular and academic audiences.” — Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of The Edible South and Matzoh Ball Gumbo
“These wonderfully diverse writers provide an excellent introduction to the life and work of Edna Lewis. Anyone who thinks about food from a southern perspective owes a debt to Lewis, and this book will make a fine companion to those tattered original editions of The Taste of Country Cooking that so many of us own.” — Leni Sorensen, African American Research Historian Emerita, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and director of Indigo House