Food writer and consultant Brys Stephens '95 has just published his first cookbook, "The New Southern Table," with Fair Winds Press. It's his take on Southern cuisine, centering on traditional ingredients with an international twist. Chapters on Southern favorites such as okra, collard greens, peaches and pecans include Brys' personal recollections and preparation tips. Recipes like Japanese-Style Okra with Horseradish Soy Dressing, Purple Hull Pea Tabouleh, Coconut Hoppin' John and Southern Minestrone showcase his approach to fusing traditional ingredients with unexpected flavors.
Brys, who is based in Charleston, S.C., has written for Bon Appetit, Garden and Gun, Charleston City Paper and Charleston Magazine, and is founder and creative director of the food and cooking website Cookthink.com. He traveled extensively after graduating from W&L, developing an interest in the influence of place and climate on food. "The New Southern Table" is a reflection of that interest.
"This cookbook grew from the understanding of the essentially hopeful idea that Southern food today, despite its longstanding reputation as 'y'all' cuisine, can, like the best cooking everywhere, be fueled by the quality of local ingredients," Brys writes in the introduction. "So why not look both to Southern tradition and to those many cuisines around the world that have developed age-old flavor combinations, techniques, and dishes based on the very same 'Southern' ingredients I find in markets right here at home?"
Read more about "The New Southern Table" on the publisher's website. It is available wherever books are sold.