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Southern food -- from high-end fusion to homespun layer cakes -- is a huge trend in the cookbook world this fall. Here's a look at the five titles we're most excited about.
Our first stop is the Lone Star state, birthplace of food blogger Lisa Fain, otherwise known as The Homesick Texan. After moving to Manhattan, Fain quickly realized the Texan staples that she grew up with were not available in the Big Apple. Instead of going without her beloved chili con queso and Dr. Pepper ribs, Fain started replicating these dishes at home and posted them, along with gorgeous photos, on her blog. The Homesick Texan Cookbook, a collection of her favorite recipes from her site, makes authentic Texas cuisine available to everyone, whether you live in Austin or Anchorage.
Next up is a stop in Asheville, North Carolina, home of Jodi Rhoden, a baker who is passionate about the Southern tradition of cake baking. According to Rhoden, no potluck, christening, wedding or funeral is complete without at least one towering, beautifully layered and iced cake. Inspired by recipes from her Short Street Bakery, Rhoden's newest cookbook, Cake Ladies is full of lovely Southern classics like Mississippi mud, hummingbird and red velvet.
Now we're heading over to Nashville for a stop at the famous Loveless Cafe, a comfort food institution where pastry chef Alisa Huntsman whips up some truly spectacular Southern-style desserts. Nothing too highfalutin' here, Desserts from the the Famous Loveless Cafe is filled with timeless crowd pleasers like honey chess pie, peach cornbread buckle and orange cream pie.
Atlanta-based cookbook author Virginia Willis's latest book, Basic to Brilliant, Y'all, fuses Southern cooking with French cuisine with elegant results. Willis accompanies her "refined Southern recipes" with helpful tips on everything from time-saving techniques to eye-pleasing presentation. Expect to find sophisticated dishes including chive-cornmeal griddle cake sandwiches and shrimp rillettes.
Our last stop is Athens, Georgia where Hugh Acheson, a Canadian-born chef and Top Chef Masters contestant, is reimagining the food of his adopted region at Five & Ten and several other local restaurants. In his latest cookbook, A New Turn in the South, Acheson uses local ingredients to create haute takes on Southern staples. Recipes include risotto with okra, boiled peanuts and ramps, boiled peanut hummus and Southern carbonara.