Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine

Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine Review

There is a new American culinary landscape developing around us, and it’s one that chef Edward Lee is proud to represent. In a nation of immigrants who bring their own culinary backgrounds to this country, what happens one or even two generations later? What does their cuisine become? It turns into a cuisine uniquely its own and one that Lee argues makes America the most interesting place to eat on earth. Lee illustrates this through his own life story of being a Korean immigrant and a New Yorker and now a Southerner. In Off the Menu, he shows how we each have a unique food memoir that is worthy of exploration. To Lee, recipes are narratives and a conduit to learn about a person, a place, or a point in time. He says that the best way to get to know someone is to eat the food they eat. Each chapter shares a personal tale of growth and self-discovery through the foods Lee eats and the foods of the people he interacts with—whether it’s the Korean budae jjigae of his father or the mustard beer cheese he learns to make from his wife’s German-American family. Each chapter is written in narrative form and punctuated with two recipes to highlight the story, including Green Tea Beignets, Cornbread Pancakes with Rhubarb Jam, and Butternut Squash Schnitzel. Each recipe tells a story, but when taken together, they form the arc of the narrative and contribute to the story we call the new American food.

Title:Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    "Immigrants: we get the job done." (That's a Hamilton reference, y'all.)Edward Lee veers off in a slightly new direction in this travel memoir that also includes recipes (I really want people to stop ...

  • Jenny

    I liked the fact that this book evoked the emotional connection people have with food. It’s not about the taste of something always but who you share it with or memories from the past.I grew up goin...

  • Cathie

    quite an interesting gourmand travelogue! ...

  • Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide...

  • Colleen

    A fun read from an interesting perspective with recipes at the end of every chapter; my only complaint is that I read it too quickly and still want more. ...

  • Joe Jones

    This is not your typical cookbook. Not even close. There are recipes at the end of each chapter but they are just a fraction of what I got out of this book. Instead Chef Edward Lee gave me a glimpse o...

  • Charles Smith

    Brilliant. There's a sentence at the end of chapter 10 that gut punched me. ...

  • Robin

    Fascinating look at various American communities and the food that has evolved from melding regions and international cuisine. Lots of recipes included but while they were fun to peruse, they didn't h...

  • Stesha Brandon

    Lee raises interesting questions about authenticity, tradition, and appropriation as he explores how immigrant food cultures impact American cuisine. ...

  • Linda

    I really enjoyed this one, maybe because Lee writes about places and foods familiar to me: Louisville, Houston & the Gulf, fufu, beignets. His adventure with a dead chicken in Paterson, NJ, was a deli...