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A Look Inside Tupelo Honey Café's New Cookbook

A Look Inside Tupelo Honey Café's New Cookbook


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Tupelo Honey Café's second cookbook focuses on simple, comforting Southern flavors with lots of history

Tupelo Honey Café's newest cookbook honors Southern cooking and its influences.

The newest cookbook from Tupelo Honey Café executive chef (and former farmer) Brian Sonuskus and food writer Elizabeth Sims is out, and we had a chance to preview the guide to nouveau Southern cuisine.

Tupelo Honey Café: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains is the restaurant’s second cookbook, and it turns the rich and varied history of the American South into comforting dishes that will resonate with lovers of Southern food.

From an Appalachian Limoncello (lemons, vodka, sugar, and hot water) and Smoked Hog-Jowl with Lima Beans and Tarragon to an East Tennessee Country-Fried Stuffed Quail with Benton’s Smoky Mushroom Gravy, the cookbook honors the medley of cultures that have contributed to the history of the region, including Scots-Irish, Dutch, and Cherokee.

Each ingredient list is short and easy to understand, including a recipe for Tupelo Honey Roast Prime rub consisting of two ingredients: prime rib roast and steak seasoning blend. And although full of autumnal colors and harvest imagery, the book can’t help but feel summery, which is perfect for the book’s big breakfasts and fruit-filled desserts.

All in all, New Southern Flavors is a cheerful guide to “hillbilly culture” that offers a useful compilation of accessible recipes for home cooks.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.


Places we go, People we see

Tupelo Honey Café is one of those landmark dining spots that actually deserves its popularity. Tourists and locals alike go to the Asheville restaurant for Southern comfort food with a modern twist. It’s a high-volume place (and a second location was added last year), so I don’t know what the local-sourcing ratio is, but for sure it’s there. You can read a little more about that below in the entry I wrote on them in my book.

Longtime fans and newcomers will enjoy their just-out cookbook, “Tupelo Honey Café: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $29.99), written by Asheville writer Elizabeth Sims with Tupelo chef Brian Sonoskus. (For you local readers, the pair will be doing signings and tastings at A Southern Season on June 5 from noon to 2, and The Regulator Bookshop on June 6 at 7 p.m. I can’t get to either, dangit.)

Asheville writer Elizabeth Sims with Tupelo chef Brian Sonoskus

The hardcover book is highly stylized, heavy on the design side and filled with fantastic photos of both mouth-watering dishes and Asheville scenes, past and present. Recipes (they all look fairly simple) include Green Tomato Salsa, Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower, Nutty Fried Chicken, Mondo Mushroom Ragout, and Goat Cheese Basil Grits. The beer pairings for each main dish are my favorite touch (don’t worry, there are wine pairings too), a nod to the city’s numerous breweries and brewpubs.

Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville (Photo by Andrew Collins, http://www.gaytravel.about.com)

Tupelo Honey Café opened in downtown Asheville in 2000 as a laid-back breakfast and lunch spot for southern comfort food with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. In its first decade, it grew into a tourist mainstay, adding dinner hours and a line of merchandise. In 2008 new owner Stephen Frabitore stepped things up even more, opening a second location and arranging a deal for a Tupelo Honey cookbook, to be published in 2011. Throughout this time, chef Brian Sonoskus has continued to draw customers with his creative, affordable dishes, many relying on area farmers. Much of the produce comes from Sonoskus’s own Sunshot Organics, a twelve-acre farm he started in 2007. He grows vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, loads of blueberries, and even raises some laying hens. As for the Tupelo honey found on every table? That’s from Florida, but we’ll let it slide.


The Fresh Honey Cookbook

Title: The Fresh Honey Cookbook

Subtitle: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen

Author: Laurey Masterton

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ISBN: 978-1612120515

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (September 10, 2013)

Format/Length: Paperback, 208 pages

From the Publisher:

Sweeten your table with 84 recipes inspired by honeybees, the food they pollinate, and the golden sweetener they produce. Highlighting a different honey varietal each month, beekeeper and chef Laurey Masterton offers honey-tasting tips and vibrant recipes that deliver amazing dishes, both savory and sweet. In every season, Laurey encourages a deeper appreciation of honeybees through fascinating glimpses into the life of a hive.

About the Author:

Laurey Masterson is a beekeeper, café owner, caterer, and chef/spokesperson for The National Honey Board. Through her speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations, and classes, she is constantly in front of large audiences enthusiastically teaching the benefits of using and eating local ingredients including honey. She grew up in Vermont and now lives in North Carolina where she runs Laurey’s Café.


The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper's Kitchen

I enjoy honey. It is known. Cookbooks featuring this delicious sweetener are something I naturally gravitate toward, and thus it is no surprise that I find myself reviewing this one. Unlike The Honey Connoisseur, which I reviewed previously, this one is first and foremost about cooking things. While it does provide some introductory information about bees, honey, and bee-keeping, it’s Read: March 2014
Where It Came From: eARC from publisher via NetGalley*
Genre: Cookbook
Rating: 3.5 Honey Varietals

I enjoy honey. It is known. Cookbooks featuring this delicious sweetener are something I naturally gravitate toward, and thus it is no surprise that I find myself reviewing this one. Unlike The Honey Connoisseur, which I reviewed previously, this one is first and foremost about cooking things. While it does provide some introductory information about bees, honey, and bee-keeping, it’s not as technical and super-detailed as Connoisseur. The Fresh Honey Cookbook definitely promotes an appreciation of all things bee and their relation to the environment, but the emphasis is on recipes.

The introduction relating author Laurey Masterton’s start in cooking and how she became involved with bee-keeping managed the magic trick of both making it seem like an achievable hobby, and also illustrating that there’s more to it than one might expect (as another beekeeper admonished her, “You can’t just leave them [the bees] alone, you know! … you need to help them. They are living beings, not lawn ornaments!”). Her experiences and how she faced the challenges of bee-keeping inspired me to entertain thoughts of one day keeping bees. Hmm, I wonder if there are zoning regulations against it in the city…what would Northwest Phoenix honey taste like?

Before getting into the recipes, she includes a short guide to tasting and analyzing honey, based on how it looks, smells, and tastes. She’s got a nifty, detailed flavor wheel to help readers pick out the nuances of flavor present in honey—starting at the middle of the wheel, you choose the big category you think the honey you’re tasting would fit in (let’s say it’s “fresh,” for example). From there, you move out to the middle section of the wheel, and choose which flavor within the fresh category best describes your honey (in this case, “refreshing” or “citrus fruit”). If it’s citrusy, we then proceed to the edge of the flavor wheel, where we are able to choose between lemon, orange, and grapefruit to characterize our honey’s flavor. Citrus flavors in honey might be fairly easy to pinpoint without the wheel, but for some of the other flavor profiles, like “woody,” “warm,” and “vegetal,” this is definitely a good tool to have.

After that primer, we move without further ado into the recipes, which comprise the bulk of the book. Now, if you’re hoping for a book of recipes that feature honey as a main ingredient, this may or may not leave you satisfied. Most of the recipes here include honey in them, but her other focus in gathering recipes for this book was to create ones highlighting foods that wouldn’t exist without bees to pollinate them. I think this is a pretty cool idea, and very enlightening, as so much of our food supply is dependent on bees. It’s one of those things that makes sense and I knew in the back of my mind, but I didn’t really consciously grasp the full extent of how important bees are to food production until I had it written out on a page right before my eyes. It makes you think about your eating a little differently when you know that every third bite you eat would not exist if not for honeybees!

The recipes are divided into sections for each of the four seasons (yay, seasonality!), and a different honey varietal is featured each month. Each seasonal section starts with a page describing what’s going on in the hive during that time of the year, and the monthly varietals showcase all sorts of honeys, from the more standard and easy-to-find types (orange blossom, tupelo), to those you might have to venture beyond your local grocery store to find (sourwood, avocado), to the very unique (chestnut). The author notes that you aren’t obligated to use the specific varietal in the recipes for a certain month, and that you should feel free to experiment to your tastes and what’s available. She also mentions that what’s in season in her part of the world may not necessarily be in season where you live, and you should not feel constrained to make certain recipes in the months/seasons she has listed them, but rather adjust your cooking to what’s locally available to you at a given time.

The header text for each recipe is straightforward, mentioning the inspiration for the recipe or the memories she associates with it, and maybe a tip or two regarding cooking or serving it. It’s not wildly inspiring or full of super-evocative imagery like some cookbooks I’ve read, but instead it conveys more of a sedate, quieter, slowed-down-country-living sort of inspiration, and it feels like you’re being given a little window on the author’s life in the mountains of North Carolina. The ingredients are clearly listed for each recipe (with the ones that wouldn’t exist without honeybees in bold), and the steps are simple and straightforward. There are many lovely color photos throughout the book of bees, bee-keeping, and honey in jars, and even some to represent the recipes. By now you know this is a sticking point with me—I want pictures of the things I am to cook. Less than half of the recipes included in the book had a photo to go with them (I counted), and I really would’ve liked more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the nature images, too, and the photos of honey are important in showing the differences between the varietals. But when the food is as beautifully prepared and presented as it is here, why not show more of it?

Despite my desire for more pictures to whet my visual appetite for these recipes, there were plenty that sounded enticing with or without photo accompaniment. I’m looking forward to trying the Grilled Pineapple Skewers at my next barbecue (mmm, juicy), the Mango-Key Lime Slushes sound like a perfect summer treat, the Fresh Pea Soup with Minted Cream might reinvigorate my efforts to recreate a mint pea soup I once had at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Wild Salmon with a Smoky Onion Crust actually made me salivate a little, and the Watermelon Salad featuring my favorite kalamata olives had me thinking about picnics. Is it any surprise that of these highlights I picked out, three of them had photos illustrating the final result? Of course not. You know what they say about people feasting with their eyes before their stomachs…

As you may have gathered from my sampling of recipe offerings listed above, there are recipes of all sorts filed under each month and season—drinks, desserts, meat dishes, veggies, mains, sides, appetizers… To my delight, I found in the back of the book a handy section that arranges all the recipes (with page numbers) into courses, in case you’re looking for, say, a dessert, and don’t want to flip through the whole book. Very useful! Interspersed amongst the recipes are pages that enlighten us as to the roles of bees within the colony, the substances bees make, and aspects of bee-keeping. Short factoids related to bees, honey, and recipe tips are sprinkles throughout the book, too. There is also a page with ideas of what you can do to help honeybees, and after the recipes are a master list of foods pollinated by them, suggestions on where to find specific honey varietals (including places on the internet), and books suggested for further reading.

Overall, I thought this was a really nice cookbook. Did it immediately whip me into an inspired frenzy of cooking in my kitchen? Maybe not, but the slowed down, relaxed approach was inspiring in a different way, and I found many recipes in this book that intrigued me and that I would like to try. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll even have beehives of my own as a result of reading it. So while this cookbook might not be on my urgent to-buy list, it is one that I would be very happy to add to my collection someday. Recommended for those who like fresh, home-style food but are not averse to a little adventure in their palates, and especially for those who are into the local, sustainable food movement

*As ever, much as we are grateful for the copy, our review is uninfluenced by its source.


Asheville’s Tupelo Honey Cafe puts out cookbook

Tupelo Honey Café is one of those landmark dining spots that actually deserves its popularity. Tourists and locals alike go to the Asheville restaurant for Southern comfort food with a modern twist. It’s a high-volume place (and a second location was added last year), so I don’t know what the local-sourcing ratio is, but for sure it’s there. You can read a little more about that below in the entry I wrote on them in my book.

Longtime fans and newcomers will enjoy their just-out cookbook, “Tupelo Honey Café: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $29.99), written by Asheville writer Elizabeth Sims with Tupelo chef Brian Sonoskus. (For you local readers, the pair will be doing signings and tastings at A Southern Season on June 5 from noon to 2, and The Regulator Bookshop on June 6 at 7 p.m. I can’t get to either, dangit.)

Writer Elizabeth Sims with Tupelo chef Brian Sonoskus

The hardcover book is highly stylized, heavy on the design side and filled with fantastic photos of both mouth-watering dishes and Asheville scenes, past and present. Recipes (they all look fairly simple) include Green Tomato Salsa, Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower, Nutty Fried Chicken, Mondo Mushroom Ragout, and Goat Cheese Basil Grits. The beer pairings for each main dish are my favorite touch (don’t worry, there are wine pairings too), a nod to the city’s numerous breweries and brewpubs.

Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville (Photo by Andrew Collins, www.gaytravel.about.com)

Tupelo Honey Café opened in downtown Asheville in 2000 as a laid-back breakfast and lunch spot for southern comfort food with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. In its first decade, it grew into a tourist mainstay, adding dinner hours and a line of merchandise. In 2008 new owner Stephen Frabitore stepped things up even more, opening a second location and arranging a deal for a Tupelo Honey cookbook, to be published in 2011. Throughout this time, chef Brian Sonoskus has continued to draw customers with his creative, affordable dishes, many relying on area farmers. Much of the produce comes from Sonoskus’s own Sunshot Organics, a twelve-acre farm he started in 2007. He grows vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, loads of blueberries, and even raises some laying hens. As for the Tupelo honey found on every table? That’s from Florida, but we’ll let it slide.


Makin’ Whoopie

We were especially thrilled by our decision to highlight more local food products in these pages when My Whoopie Pies decided to send us a ribbon-festooned box of their baked goods.

What's a whoopie pie? If you have to ask, you may be a true-blood Southerner. Whoopies are a traditionally New England confection — basically two cake "buns" sandwiching a sweet filling. The classic whoopie consists of chocolate cake with a sweet vanilla filling.

Once I got the boys to stop giggling and making inappropriate cream-filled whoopie-pie jokes, we got down to the business at hand. The sampling part of our local food profile mission is rarely hard, but check it: these cakes are darn good.

Inside the pretty little box, we found chocolate whoopies, carrot cake and red velvet whoopies, all filled with a sweet — but not too sweet — cream-cheese filling. We were particularly fond of the carrot-cake whoopies, and who really can argue with carrot-cream cheese? Revealing my Yankee roots here for a moment, I'll admit to not being a huge fan of red-velvet cake in general, but the born-and-raised Southerner in our office declared them delicious.

My Whoopie Pies are made with all-natural ingredients and come in all sorts of flavors, like pumpkin with crystallized ginger cream, raspberry-chocolate and strawberries and cream.

All of the fillings are cream-cheese based, which makes for a not-too-sweet dessert. They're available in regular and mini sizes. For more information on pricing and ordering, visit mywhoopiepies.com.

My Whoopie Pies are made at Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Candler. To learn more about BRFV, visit advantagewest.com.


TUPELO HONEY CAFE COOKBOOK - BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS

Here's the anxiously-awaited second cookbook of the popular Asheville, NC restaurant, Tupelo Honey Café. In New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains, 125 mouth-watering and distinctly Southern savory and sweet recipes are offered up for your viewing and tasting pleasure. Informative stories of Appalachian history and culture are included as well as gorgeous photographs that not only feature the dishes themselves but also highlight the geographic beauty of the region. From Appalachian Egg Rolls to Chicken Chorizo Burgoo to Shoofly Buttermilk Pie, this tantalizing cookbook will inspire you to get in the kitchen, and get cooking.

Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains

Here's the anxiously-awaited second cookbook of the popular Asheville, NC restaurant, Tupelo Honey Café. In New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains, 125 mouth-watering and distinctly Southern savory and sweet recipes are offered up for your viewing and tasting pleasure. Informative stories of Appalachian history and culture are included as well as gorgeous photographs that not only feature the dishes themselves but also highlight the geographic beauty of the region. From Appalachian Egg Rolls to Chicken Chorizo Burgoo to Shoofly Buttermilk Pie, this tantalizing cookbook will inspire you to get in the kitchen, and get cooking.

Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains


Places we go, People we see

Tupelo Honey Café is one of those landmark dining spots that actually deserves its popularity. Tourists and locals alike go to the Asheville restaurant for Southern comfort food with a modern twist. It’s a high-volume place (and a second location was added last year), so I don’t know what the local-sourcing ratio is, but for sure it’s there. You can read a little more about that below in the entry I wrote on them in my book.

Longtime fans and newcomers will enjoy their just-out cookbook, “Tupelo Honey Café: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $29.99), written by Asheville writer Elizabeth Sims with Tupelo chef Brian Sonoskus. (For you local readers, the pair will be doing signings and tastings at A Southern Season on June 5 from noon to 2, and The Regulator Bookshop on June 6 at 7 p.m. I can’t get to either, dangit.)

Asheville writer Elizabeth Sims with Tupelo chef Brian Sonoskus

The hardcover book is highly stylized, heavy on the design side and filled with fantastic photos of both mouth-watering dishes and Asheville scenes, past and present. Recipes (they all look fairly simple) include Green Tomato Salsa, Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower, Nutty Fried Chicken, Mondo Mushroom Ragout, and Goat Cheese Basil Grits. The beer pairings for each main dish are my favorite touch (don’t worry, there are wine pairings too), a nod to the city’s numerous breweries and brewpubs.

Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville (Photo by Andrew Collins, http://www.gaytravel.about.com)

Tupelo Honey Café opened in downtown Asheville in 2000 as a laid-back breakfast and lunch spot for southern comfort food with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. In its first decade, it grew into a tourist mainstay, adding dinner hours and a line of merchandise. In 2008 new owner Stephen Frabitore stepped things up even more, opening a second location and arranging a deal for a Tupelo Honey cookbook, to be published in 2011. Throughout this time, chef Brian Sonoskus has continued to draw customers with his creative, affordable dishes, many relying on area farmers. Much of the produce comes from Sonoskus’s own Sunshot Organics, a twelve-acre farm he started in 2007. He grows vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, loads of blueberries, and even raises some laying hens. As for the Tupelo honey found on every table? That’s from Florida, but we’ll let it slide.


The South&rsquos Best Bakeries 2021

There is an old adage that teaches when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or in the case of a small town bakery, you just make bread and sweet rolls.

In a year that saw life-as-we-know-it come to a screeching halt&mdashschools close, travel restricted, and businesses struggle to stay open&mdashsmall town bakeries found themselves in a unique position to discover new business models (develop virtual baking classes), branch out in new directions (use idle kitchens to cook meals for families in need), and, as always, serve their community, the very heart of their business (donate food to front-line workers).

Every day, so many owners and employees of small town bakeries across the South rise before the sun to knead bread dough, shape sweet rolls, and frost cakes, all done with a passion to prepare delicious, quality items and a desire to give back to their friends, neighbors, and other business owners. It may be tucked away on a side street way off the interstate, but these bakeries enjoy a host of loyal customers (both local and nationwide, thanks to internet sales) who drop by for a cup of coffee, a sandwich, a sweet roll, and a reminder of what life is like in a small town in the South.


As an early pioneer in the farm-to-fork movement, chef Brian Sonoskus has been creating delicious dishes at the Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, since it first opened in 2000. And from then on, Tupelo's food has been consistently fresh, made from scratch, sassy, and scrumptious.

Heralding in its own unique style of cuisine representative of the New South, the Tupelo Honey Cafe salutes the love of Southern traditions at the table, but like the people of Asheville, marches to its own drum. The result is a cookbook collection of more than 125 innovative riffs on Southern favorites, illustrated with four-color photographs of the food, restaurant, locals, farmers' markets, and farms, in addition to black-and-white archival photography of Asheville. At Tupelo, grits become Goat Cheese Grits, fried chicken becomes Nutty Fried Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and poached eggs become Eggs with Homemade Crab Cakes and Lemon Hollandaise Sauce.

Capturing the independent and creative spirit of Asheville, Tupelo has garnered praise from the New York Times, Southern Living, and the Food Network, just to name a few.


Watch the video: Van Morrison with Gregory Porter - Tupelo Honey, live in concert (July 2022).


Comments:

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