Edna Lewis: At The Table With An American Original

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What People Are Saying

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

 

ADVANCED PRAISE

“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

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