Buttermilk Graffiti
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.

Buttermilk Graffiti Details

TitleButtermilk Graffiti
Author
ReleaseApr 17th, 2018
PublisherArtisan
ISBN-139781579657383
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Cookbooks, Travel, Food

Buttermilk Graffiti Review

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    "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 calling this a cookbook, it isn't.) He visits places in America that have unique food cultures because of immigrants living there, from Moroccan (and smen, an intriguing fermented butter) in Hartford, Connecticut to a Lebanese community in Mississippi. He even travels through West Virginia with Ronn "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 calling this a cookbook, it isn't.) He visits places in America that have unique food cultures because of immigrants living there, from Moroccan (and smen, an intriguing fermented butter) in Hartford, Connecticut to a Lebanese community in Mississippi. He even travels through West Virginia with Ronni Lundy, a section I really enjoyed because I have and love her cookbook. He basically invites himself along!Edward Lee is curious and respectful, and sometimes people don't open up to him right away. His willingness to wait, to keep trying, and keep eating, yields interesting stories (but does not always yield the recipe secrets.) At the end of each section, he includes a few recipes. Sometimes they are pretty close to the food he consumed in the place, and other times it is his spin on it. All of the recipes are in the spirit of what he ate and how it got there, with a little extra bourbon from time to time (once a Kentucky boy....)I have to admit that I don't expect chefs to be the best writers, but the craft of writing in this book blew me away. "Paula sits with us for just a few minutes. Her parents still come in to make the kibbeh, she says. No one else can make it right. I can feel the restlessness in her bones that only another chef can truly understand."He moves between a narrative and reflective voice, and offers a focus and respect to food creators that has been long overdue.Thanks to the publisher for providing me early access through NetGalley. The book doesn't come out until April 17, but I couldn't wait to read it.
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  • Cathie
    January 1, 1970
    quite an interesting gourmand travelogue!
  • Joe Jones
    January 1, 1970
    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 of different cultures that came to this country and the foods that define them and how they have adapted them. Wait, even that is only part of the story. I may never get to taste Chef Lee's food but I am thankful I am able to read his writing! He brings alive the idea of food being a central part of 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 of different cultures that came to this country and the foods that define them and how they have adapted them. Wait, even that is only part of the story. I may never get to taste Chef Lee's food but I am thankful I am able to read his writing! He brings alive the idea of food being a central part of so many culture's lives in a way that makes you want to immediately start cooking his recipes for family and friends and discuss what you just read.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    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 hold much interest since my digestive issues can't tolerate many of the ingredients. I do want to watch Lee's series Mind of a Chef and his documentary "Fermented." Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    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, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovati 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, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories?A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. There’s a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, and their efforts to re-create the flavors of their lost country. A Uyghur café in New York’s Brighton Beach serves a noodle soup that seems so very familiar and yet so very exotic—one unexpected ingredient opens a window onto an entirely unique culture. A beignet from Café du Monde in New Orleans, as potent as Proust’s madeleine, inspires a narrative that tunnels through time, back to the first Creole cooks, then forward to a Korean rice-flour hoedduck and a beignet dusted with matcha.Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.I love Edward Lee from the Food Network and for his love of bourbon. He always does the most interesting fusion recipes and this book is chock full of them as he writes of his travels around the country and his discoveries on said trip. Will I attempt any of the recipes? Time will tell...but in the meantime, I recommend this book to any cook or person, like me, who consider cookbooks their porn. :-)
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  • Stesha Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Lee raises interesting questions about authenticity, tradition, and appropriation as he explores how immigrant food cultures impact American cuisine.
  • Ivana
    January 1, 1970
    Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee was an awesome pleasure to read! I absolutely loved everything about this book! It was real. It was human. Culturally enriching. Diverse. Powerful. Expansive. Brilliantly well balanced. My mouth watered. Constantly. I honestly feel as though I've just gleaned some tightly held cooking secrets while having a pretty dope catch up conversation with my friend. Lee's anecdotal realness throughout his exploratory search across America for traditional cuisines, provide Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee was an awesome pleasure to read! I absolutely loved everything about this book! It was real. It was human. Culturally enriching. Diverse. Powerful. Expansive. Brilliantly well balanced. My mouth watered. Constantly. I honestly feel as though I've just gleaned some tightly held cooking secrets while having a pretty dope catch up conversation with my friend. Lee's anecdotal realness throughout his exploratory search across America for traditional cuisines, provided insight, emotions, a bit of nostalgia and a blasted hankering for every single thing this man had the notion to eat. Buttermilk Graffiti was a really really satisfying read...and I haven't even tried any recipes yet!This was read with a happy heart from cover to cover and I savored every single word!I think, too, once you try the recipes in this book, it will probably elevate you from an instablogging foodie to a cook with some mild culinary distinction. Once we embrace (try) the new flavor profiles and become creative with the new to us exotic ingredients list, tweaking each recipe to suit our own palates. It's cool to think of recipes originating from a kitchen half way across the globe, generations ago, but are available here and now to become part of my own kitchen culture. It's cool to think of the way traditions can begin...not just what it takes to continue, carry on or build on one.This book made me want to lay down some roots, boy. This was solid.Huge thank you to Artisan Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Edward Lee travels America, eating the local cuisines and talking to the local cuisine makers. Fifteen years ago, during the Bush/Kerry campaign, I did something similar. I enjoyed this book that triggered some long-forgotten memories of my trip around my country, and everything I learned about it on the way. Although Lee explains at the beginning of the book that he didn't include pictures of the food so that people wouldn't be discouraged that their attempts didn't look like the pictures of th Edward Lee travels America, eating the local cuisines and talking to the local cuisine makers. Fifteen years ago, during the Bush/Kerry campaign, I did something similar. I enjoyed this book that triggered some long-forgotten memories of my trip around my country, and everything I learned about it on the way. Although Lee explains at the beginning of the book that he didn't include pictures of the food so that people wouldn't be discouraged that their attempts didn't look like the pictures of the recipes, I would have loved to see pictures of the restaurants he discovered, and the people he talked to along the way. I understand why he was more interested in sampling the food, and the discussions it provoked, and I'm not a picture person either, but it would have given me a little more connection to the people and places he visited.This is minor gripe though. In this day and age, it is important to remember our huge, massively diverse country and all the people it encompasses. Buttermilk Graffiti reminds me of that.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this food history journey with Chef Lee. Mr. Lee really took me on a grand experience. I not only got to use my sense of imagination but creative as well. This is due to the fact that there was only descriptions of the food as told by Mr. Lee and the contributors. There were plenty of recipes for featured dishes but no pictures. This is as Mr. Lee explains is to open the senses. Without any images, there is nothing to compare the finished product with. Before there was Insta I thoroughly enjoyed this food history journey with Chef Lee. Mr. Lee really took me on a grand experience. I not only got to use my sense of imagination but creative as well. This is due to the fact that there was only descriptions of the food as told by Mr. Lee and the contributors. There were plenty of recipes for featured dishes but no pictures. This is as Mr. Lee explains is to open the senses. Without any images, there is nothing to compare the finished product with. Before there was Instagram, people had to relay on their instincts to make a dish and share it with family and friends once the food was done. No pictures.I like cooking. Although, I am not a professional like my sister. What I do like about cooking is that I can play around with measurements, spices, and foods. Learning about the different cultures and dishes that were featured in this book were great. It made me appreciate the history behind what I am eating more. Foodie fans from beginners to experts will love this book. A real food experience for the senses!
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! It's part memoir, part travel journal, part cook book. And I love how relevant it is to our current political climate: "As I watch America go through a new cycle of fear and hate, it pains me to see that the lessons of the past have done little to prevent the prejudices of the present. American life has always been defined by the tensions between the old and new immigrants. Maybe acceptance is a naive thing to believe in , but isn't it possible that overcoming food prejudices I loved this book! It's part memoir, part travel journal, part cook book. And I love how relevant it is to our current political climate: "As I watch America go through a new cycle of fear and hate, it pains me to see that the lessons of the past have done little to prevent the prejudices of the present. American life has always been defined by the tensions between the old and new immigrants. Maybe acceptance is a naive thing to believe in , but isn't it possible that overcoming food prejudices can lead to wider tolerance?" (Pg. 261)
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  • Pablo Snazzy
    January 1, 1970
    this is not a cookbook, but it's a cooking book, a book about cooking, philosophy, people, food. it made me think about food, it taught me a lot about different cultures, it was interesting, fascinating, and inspiring. there are recipes that i will attempt, there are recipes i have no desire to try, but still made me think about the food and techniques used, and that will influence how i cook. THANK YOU SO MUCH Chef Edward Lee for such a fantastic book. i love this book.
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  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsI loved this thoughtful and passionate travel memoir with recipes. Chef Lee explores the intersectionality of food, culture and the evolution of "authenticity." You'll want to visit each of these places and try all the food. The recipes look fantastic with the classic Chef Lee twists. Can't wait to test them out.I received an ARC from the publisher but all opinions are my own.
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  • MaryBeth
    January 1, 1970
    Not a cookbook for food but a wonderful collection of essays on life. Delicious slices of culture, cuisine, and people who cook. An American travelogue thru places you might otherwise overlook like Patterson, NJ, Detroit, not the Derby in Louisville, KY.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first cookbook that I’ve ever read cover to cover, like a “regular” book. His stories about the people he met were captivating. I felt like I was sitting at the table with them. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but I will.
  • Suzanne Christensen
    January 1, 1970
    If you love storytelling as much as food, this is the book for you. With an interesting look at different people around the country and their recipes (two of which I have tried: YUM!) this book is the best of both worlds of books and cooking.
  • Lisabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book. I very much enjoyed this book as it shows that food as not just being something to eat but it connects us to the culture and people preparing it. Very readable story and excellent recipes.
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  • Kate TerHaar
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed this book as it shows that food as not just being something to eat but it connects us to the culture and people preparing it. Very readable story and excellent recipes.
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