River Run Cookbook: Southern Comfort from Vermont

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9780060195250: River Run Cookbook: Southern Comfort from Vermont

From the time Jimmy and Maya Kennedy opened River Run in 1991, this tiny restaurant in Plainfield, Vermont has attracted local followers -- and national attention from the New York Times and Food and Wine. Called "the best place on earth" by Pulitzer Prize winner and frequent patron David Mamet, River Run is more than a restaurant: it's a warm, welcoming home-away-from-home that serves up great food with an extra helping of small-town charm. Inspired by both Jimmy's Mississippi upbringing and its rural surroundings, River Run's menu blends traditional Southern favorites with a touch of the North. It serves the kind of honest-to-goodness cooking that draws locals every day of the week, and attracts out-of-towners who drive miles just to sample the fare.

If Plainfield isn't in your neck of the woods, don't worry: with this book, you can make all of River Run's house favorites right in your own kitchen, including Jimmy's famed buttermilk pancakes, really big buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, catfish cakes, and banana pudding. In keeping with River Run's down-to-earth style, the recipes are simple, uncomplicated, and easy to prepare -- even if you don't know your gumbo from your jambalaya.

With lively photos of River Run customers, delightful, illustrations by Maya Kennedy, and contributions from some famous locals, River Run Cookbook offers a picture of the fabric of life in this vibrant community. It's about more than great food -- it's about a great town and the people that make it so.

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Review:

Located in Plainfield, Vermont, the tiny River Run restaurant dishes up Southern cooking with a Yankee cast to a faithful clientele that includes farmers, artists, hippies, and out-of-towners who make special trips for the great grub. The River Run Cookbook, written by co-owners Maya and Jimmy Kennedy (who is also the chef), offers over 100 recipes of the restaurant's delicious breakfast-all-day-style fare, plus anecdotes that introduce readers to the restaurant's extended family. Those who love easily made down-home cooking will welcome this winning book.

In chapters that include "Fritters, Griddle Cakes, Breads, and Cereals," "Soups and Stews," and "Weekend Specials," the authors present uncomplicated yet tantalizing dishes like Horseradish-Crusted Fish, Red Beans and Rice Soup, and Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing. A section devoted to sides provides familiar and unconventional dishes including Shaken Potatoes, Fried Dill Pickles (a Southern specialty), and the deeply satisfying Corn and Oyster Casserole. With dessert and drink recipes that include a knockout chocolate mousse pie and refreshing citrus-juice-spiked Russian tea, the book offers good eating while conveying the spirit of a place and the people who give it life. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Jimmy Kennedy was born and raised in Brewer, Mississippi, where he learned to cook from his mother. When not cooking at River Run, Jimmy is either at home with Maya and their baby daughter, Josie, or bass fishing on Lake Champlain.

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