Southern cook books/ideas - need help

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What's up guys. First post here. I've always been a lurker. I have recently moved down south and took a sous job and although I have excellent cooking skills - southern cooking is not my forte. I am a little out of my element. I would like to familiarize myself a little more with it and was hoping I could get some ideas from you all. I was hoping to find some off the beaten path names to study up on. Not the mainstream chefs. The small town chefs that accentuate humble ingredients. Doesn't even have to be fine dining although I am looking for higher end ideas. Thanks.
 
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Welcome to ChefTalk.
There are plenty of reference materials available to research Southern cuisine. I think the best thing you can do is entrench yourself in self exploration. Go to some of the off the wall places and see what their Chefs and cooks are doing. Once you get a good feel for what THEY are doing you can start being creative on your own.
 
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Those cookbooks that are self published by local garden clubs and church ladies as fundraisers are full of gems.
Even better... make a friend or two and get invited for Sunday dinner prep.
You can repay the hostess by doing the dishes.

mimi
 
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Remember the cooking of the south is different in separate regions. The East Coast, Gulf coast, Plantation and Appalachian, Is Texas included?
 
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Sean Brock: Heritage is a great book.


It seems I can't link to it, but Amazon carries it for a reasonable price. Really good book.
 
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Remember the cooking of the south is different in separate regions. The East Coast, Gulf coast, Plantation and Appalachian, Is Texas included?

Most states will have stand out dishes that define the local cultures (different BBQ or whatever) Texas can point to TexMex as ours.
The rest will fall into the traditional southern classics.
Fried chicken with biscuits and cream gravy, veggies cooked in pork fat or deep fried, potatoes (with a ton of butter and a splash of evaporated milk) smashed instead of whipped, tons of rice (either served "plain" or used as an ingredient in a casserole) to name a few.
Don't forget dessert...caramel cake and banana/tapioca puddings or maybe a peach cobbler and pecan pie.

mimi
 
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Here is a James Beard winner.
 
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It would help if we knew where you were. I second going to thrift stores and finding copies of church lady cookbooks. drive around and look for 'Benefit' dinners held by churches and civic groups. if you can, go to small cafes for a late lunch, most of the crowd is gone back to work by 1pm and most stay open till 3pm. learn what is in season and when. see if there are produce farms near you.
 
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