Grace the Table: Stories and Recipes from My Southern Revival

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9780060174873: Grace the Table: Stories and Recipes from My Southern Revival
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The owner of Cafe Beulah in Manhattan weaves a magical tapestry of his life, adventures, and dealings with many famous people, as well as providing one hundred recipes he devised during his many travels, and includes a foreword by Wynton Marsalis.

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From the Publisher:

Boasting a loyal clientele that includes such luminaries as Quincy Jones, Spike Lee and Toni Morrison, Caf Beulah has become a major Manhattan hot spot. Much of its success is due not only to its renowned approach to southern cooking -- a delicious blend of traditional fare with international flair -- but also to the effervescent, larger-than-life presence of its ex-opera singer owner, Alexander Smalls.

In Grace the Table, Smalls combines his storytelling talent with his love for food in a memoir of his journey from his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Europe and eventually to Manhattan. "Growing, buying, preparing, serving, eating food -- the whole tasty subject -- captured and framed so many of my memories that in a curious way it has not only sustained me but given me life," writes Smalls, and his unabashed passion is readily apparent as he regales readers with such recollections as the first meal he ever prepared (when he was six), his accidental but rewarding encounter with Joan Sutherland, and his adventures, culinary and otherwise, while touring Europe as one of the stars of the Houston Grand Opera production of Porgy and Bess.

As a special treat, 100 of the delicious culinary creations he invented during his travels are sprinkled throughout the book, allowing readers to recreate his menus and enjoy such Southern Revival dishes as black-eyed peas with arugula and macaroni-and-cheese terrine with Creole sauce.

From the Inside Flap:

“Alexander Smalls dances and sings and cooks his way through a brilliant and fascinating portrait of Southern comfort.” –Cicely Tyson

In Grace the Table, the father of southern revival cooking serves up a delectable combination of memoir and cookbook as he recounts his life’s journey from his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina to the cosmopolitan cities of Europe and into the homes and hearts of Manhattan’s socialites and celebrities.

With an unabashed passion for food and a buoyant personality, Smalls recollects his grandparents’ Low Country cooking, and the almost spiritual power of a panful of hot buttermilk biscuits with fresh butter and sorghum. “Food was wealth to us,” Smalls writes, “the kitchen was Fort Knox, and I felt rich just opening the refrigerator.” Leaving small-town South Carolina, Smalls would become a world-class opera singer, an odyssey that introduced a wealth of new tastes and led him to his ultimate calling: cooking. He feasted on Chinese takeout in New York, Steak au Poivre in Paris, Grilled Swordfish Rolls in Palermo—but everywhere he traveled, he carried with him the cuisine of the American South.

In this unique book, Smalls shares his stories and family photographs, and provides one hundred of his inspiring culinary creations—sumptuous feasts, perfect for long dinners with family and friends. Sweet Potato Waffles and Southern Fried Chicken, Stuffed Veal Chops and Seafood Puppies, Pan-Roasted Salmon and Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding. . . . just six of the glorious treats invented during Smalls’s adventures. A memoir sprinkled with recipes that are a delicious blend of traditional fare and international flair, Grace the Table will remind you of home no matter where you come from.

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9780767918473: Grace the Table: Stories and Recipes from My Southern Revival

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ISBN 10:  0767918479 ISBN 13:  9780767918473
Publisher: Clarkson Potter, 2004
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