Tupelo Honey Café: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen

It’s been more than 10 years since Tupelo Honey Café first introduced the denizens of Asheville, North Carolina, to the farm-to-fork flavor of New Southern cooking. And in that time, Chef Brian Sonoskus has cultivated a roster of richly idiosyncratic recipes—125 of them collected here, in the café’s first cookbook. With such a unique cultural heritage (a mishmash of southern, mountain, and its own inborn culture) and a population of vast and various interests, it’s not surprising Asheville—and Tupelo Honey Café—is the seat of some delicious and warmly intimate food. The cucumber-and-tomato-heavy Sunshot Salsa is named after the Asheville farm that supplies it with said bounty, and the Southern Fried Chicken Breasts recipe is prefaced by an explanation of the local “We Still Lay” humane chicken treatment campaign. (“Our community paid attention to where our food comes from long before The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” says author Elizabeth Sims). More than conscientious, the cuisine here is conceptually exciting. In an era where southern food has more than busted out of its soul-food, Kentucky-fried stereotypes, Tupelo is a cookbook to dive into.