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Bon Appetit, Y'all:
Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking
By Virginia Willis
ISBN: 1580088538
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: May 2008
Format: Hardcover
List price: $32.50 
Type: Regional: Southern, French
Sample recipe: French Toast Casserole
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: This is what happens when you send a Southern lady off to cooking school in France – a mix of Southern dishes with some French techniques, French dishes with Southern sensibility, and a lot of good cooking. We are not, in general, smitten with books that include memory after memory of grandmother's cooking, mama's cooking, Great-Aunt-Belle's cooking, etc., but this is a charming book, with lots of nostalgia, but none of it smarmy, and tons of good recipes.

Recipes range from hors d-oeuvres to desserts, with everything in between, and included Black-Eyed Pea Salad, Fried Pork Chops with Pan Gravy, Boeuf Bourguignon, Louisiana Crawfish Boil, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Coca-Cola-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Vidalia Onion Quiche, Blackberry Cobbler, etc., etc.

If there's a surprise in this mix of the Southern and the French, it's the use of peppers, chiles, horseradish, and other spicy ingredients in more recipes than we would have expected.


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