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Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking Hardcover – October 16, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Smokin' Hot in the South: New Grilling Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue (Melissa Cookston) by Melissa Cookston
"Smokin' Hot in the South" by Melissa Cookston
Explore how to use fire to craft more than 85 Southern-influenced recipes enhanced with the cultural flavors of Mexico, France, and Asia. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews


Named one of the "8 Best Southern Cookbooks" (Amanda Waas, Community Table, a division of Parade Magazine)

About the Author

Chef Kevin Gillespie, nominated for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast, true passion lies in incorporating fresh, organic, and sustainable ingredients in all of his dishes. After graduating with honors from the Art Institute of Atlanta, the Georgia native worked in top restaurants in Atlanta and Oregon before opening his first restaurant, Gunshow, in May 2013. His goal as executive chef of his restaurant Gunshow is to redefine the restaurant experience. He along with his two sous chefs compete for diners attention and stomachs by circulating through the dining room and presenting different dishes to choose from. The diner picks what they want to eat from the 3 options based on the story behind each dish.
Gillespie was one of the final three cheftestants on season six of Bravo's Top Chef and was voted Fan Favorite, nominated for Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef, and named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 for his outstanding accomplishments in the restaurant industry. As a rising young culinary star who was bringing more than just good food to the table, Gillespie was named one of Mother Nature Network’s top 40 Chefs Under 40 in November 2009 for linking farms to forks and promoting better health for people and the planet. In February 2010, he was honored as one of Gayot.com's Top Five Rising Chefs. His debut cookbook, Fire in My Belly, was selected as a James Beard Award Finalist. Gillespie is a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Foodways Alliance, Chefs Collaborative, Community Farmers Markets Chefs Advisory Board, Georgia Organics, and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Southern Barbecue. He owns three restaurants: Gunshow in Atlanta which also operates a BBQ catering business called Terminus City, and a second restaurant called Revival in Decatur. It is based on the Southern concept of meat-and-three; just like going to Grandma's for Sunday dinner, but available every day. For more information, please visit chefkevingillespie.com.

 When he is not at the restaurant, Gillespie can be found participating in culinary events around the country, including the Charleston Food and Wine FestivalSerenbe Southern Chef SeriesCharlie Palmer’s Pigs & PinotHigh Museum Atlanta Wine AuctionMusic to Your Mouth Festival, and Top Chef: The Tour. Additionally, he has partnered with Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream to open a second location of the shop in Atlanta, and creates a selection of seasonal sundaes for the shop. Gillespie resides in the Ormewood Park neighborhood of Atlanta, with his wife, Valerie.

David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals award–winning The Food Substitutions Bible and the New York Times best-sellers A Man, a Can a Grill and Mastering the Grill, coauthored with Andrew Schloss. His book The Science of Good Food was an IACP award winner, a James Beard Award finalist, and a World Food Media award finalist for Best Food Book. His latest book is Rustic Italian Food, written with James Beard Award-winning chef Marc Vetri. He is the cofounder of Chef Salt, a line of artisanal salt seasoning blends. He is also a pyromaniac from birth and owns more than 10 grills. His Web site is davejoachim.com.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; 1st edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449411436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449411435
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.3 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My favorite grownup is my paternal grandmother. Born and raised in Waxahachie, Texas, she had deep roots stretching back to Colonial Virginia, red-dirt South Carolina and all the states in between. She coild hardly boil an egg. Kevin Gillespie's grandmother could make anything edible. For both of us, tho, grandmothers are a touchstone for food as family, food as hospitality, food as history and identity. I read Kevin's cookbook from cover-to-cover in one sitting. He's that good a writer. As for the recipes, this is a unique cookbook, I've never seen anything like it and I've about 200 cookbooks in my collection, and 30 years of Gourmet. Rather than a division into starters, mains, sides and desserts, he's given us a startling insight into thinking about American cooking, and American eating. Three categories of recipes make this clear and memorable. He revisits some old school classics and makes them new again, by showing us how to bring their flavor out, and cause us to forget unfortunate versions from our past. Next is a set of recipes for food some or many people profess to hate, like liver, sweetbreads, and okra I suspect even my husband who actually loves all of those, will want to try Kevin's version. And of greatest interest to me, living in California, but with a Southern grandmother and now a daughter whose adopted the South as her home, Kevin's fashioning of the foods he grew up with, from both red-dirt and low-country. Top Stuff!
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By M. Brown on November 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I want to love this cookbook, but so far, I'd give it somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. Of the recipes I've made, they seem to fall into either the "very good, definitely make again" category or the "very underwhelming, don't bother" category. In the former, the Tomato-Braised Greens are simple and delicious. There are no obscure or difficult-to-find ingredients and the results are just plain good Southern eating. We also loved the Chorizo Hash Stuffed Potatoes. The lime creme fraiche was a delicious discovery. The Ricotta-Stuffed Poblanos are wonderful as well. In the later category, I would have to say the Southern Revival Potato Salad was a very much just ok and certainly not in my top five potato salads of all time. I was very excited to make the Tomate Frito as tomatoes in any form are one of my favorite things on the planet, but this was actually inedible. Too salty (and I do use Diamond Crystal kosher salt as many books, including this one, use it as the standard) and too bitter (I think from the orange peel). I actually ended up throwing it out and that is not something I do, um, EVER. I couldn't redeem it. The Grilled Flank Steak was so-so. I didn't love that the marinade left the meat tasting too much of red wine and raw onion for my taste, but the Chimichurri was very good.
As far as how Kevin writes, this cookbook is a fun read and very witty. I'm southern myself, and I can relate to many of his stories and enjoyed feeling that you get some insight into his background and why he cooks how and what he does. I wish I could give it five stars, but my experience so far with the recipes has been too inconsistent to warrant that much praise.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Bacon Is My Jam"! This has become my cooking mantra since I first heard Kevin utter that phrase on Top Chef (Man, I wanted you to win that contest). This mantra was certainly reinforced seeing the look on Daniel Boulud's face when he tasted that bacon jam - a look of revelation. This book is Kevin and it too is a revelation of him and his cooking. I can just hear his voice with every turn of the page (one frequently used word I wish you'd left out). Good, fresh, local, seasonal ingredients are his instruction to you. There are plenty of recipes and photos so you can cook Kevin's food. Nothing wrong with that! However, you can't shake the encouragements that Kevin wants you to stretch out and begin to cook your food. I loved watching Kevin cook on Top Chef. The stories in this book gave me insight into the how and why he cooks as he does. This book is clever, sharp, and informative. I cannot recommend it more highly. The table of contents is very creative and just sets the tone for a delightful experience. Well done Kevin! Recipe for Bacon Jam is on page 309. I am a happy man!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kevin Gillespie delivers 'down home' Southern cooking at a high level. He continues the saga in 'Pure Pork Awesomeness.' I own both books. My idea is to buy the 'best' cookbooks I come across; read them and donate the discards (if they have some merit) to my public library for shelving or for resale. I can't let either of Kevin's books go. He and his 'transcriber' present an infectious voice on every page. The recipes are always interesting. His signature 'Bacon Jam' is presented in both books. I would want to consider cooking many of these items, from whatever of his books. This is 'hot stuff' for fans of South Eastern American cuisine.

That said, I would buy 'Hoppin John' (Martin) Taylor's books first. I am of a time when old friends should not be forgotten. Kevin is the future but he would be among the last to disregard his roots.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hoped for interesting recipes that translated well into a non-gourmet household, with ordinary ingredients. I enjoyed the stories included by the author, but this isn't a practical option for us. ...kind of an expensive mistake on my part.
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