Book Review: Maggie Green Reveals the Secrets in ‘Tasting Kentucky’
Maggie Green is no stranger to Kentucky cookbooks. Through her company Green Apron, Green offers guidance and instruction on cookbook writing and production. And back in 2011 The University Press of Kentucky published her own encyclopedic The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook, a month by month walk through recipes based on seasonal ingredients.
Now Green has followed that up with an equally impressive, sequel: Tasting Kentucky: Favorite Recipes From the Bluegrass State. The cookbook organization here is more traditional than her month-by-month ingredient approach in Kentucky Fresh. Chapters from Breakfast & Brunch through Main Courses and concluding in chapter 6 with Desserts & Sweet Treats takes you through the primary recipe categories.
To fill the pages Green has collected a tour de force of recipes from restaurants and chefs across Kentucky. So we have not simply a generic burgoo, but Keeneland’s famous burgoo. The Hot Brown recipe is actually the one from Louisville’s Brown Hotel, and the cole slaw is from Shakertown.
But the recipes aren’t only traditional favorites from age-old Kentucky institutions. Green has also tapped cutting edge chefs like Chef Edward Lee of Louisville’s 610 Magnolia for Kentucky ingredient adaptations like his Chicken and Country Ham Pho. So if you’ve been to that famous Kentucky restaurant and wondered how you could transfer their success to your home kitchen, Maggie Green may have just cracked the code for you.
And while The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook is likely to be your dogeared and ingredient splashed kitchen standby, you may be reluctant to pull Tasting Kentucky from display on the coffee table. Kentucky photographer Sarah Jane Sanders, who did such a stunning job with Rona Roberts’ Classic Kentucky Meals (read my review), makes Tasting Kentucky a true visual delight.
With recipes from Kentucky’s best chefs, mouth-watering photographs, and top-notch production and printing, Green and Sanders have raised the bar on what to hope for from a Kentucky cookbook. Tasting Kentucky offers a beautiful portrait of the exciting blend of traditional and contemporary cuisine Kentucky offers in the 21st Century. Tasting Kentucky will be a standard for years to come.
Eat Kentucky is giving away a copy of Tasting Kentucky, the winner to be selected from the subscribers to the (free!) Eat Kentucky email newsletter. If you haven’t signed up, here’s your chance. If you’re already a subscriber, you are already entered. The winner will be selected from those subscribed to the newsletter before midnight on Sunday, May 16, 2016.