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Frank Stitt's Southern Table Hardcover – August 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. "I have eaten at the Highlands Bar and Grill more than twenty times and have never had a single dish that was not superb," gushes novelist Conroy in his laudatory introduction to this sumptuous journey through one man's passion for fine food, dining pleasure and life's good stuff. The book bursts with mouthwatering recipes for Stitt's take on low country cooking seen through the lens of his Provençal training (he learned the latter at Alice Waters's legendary Chez Panisse in San Francisco). Throughout, Stitt, chef and owner of the Birmingham, Ala., eatery, preaches the gospel of using fresh ingredients. Exotic spices from Asia and the Middle East meet down home succotash and humble cornbread, bringing the food Stitt learned about at his mother's elbow firmly into the 21st century. Each main course recipe, from simple favorites (Flounder with Clam Chowder Sauce) to complex show stoppers (Quail Stuffed with Cornbread and Figs with Molasses Vinaigrette) is accompanied by a brief list of suitable accompanying wines. Christopher Hirshiemer's photos incite drooling, and the deluxe four-color printing throughout the book will beckon to the hungry. A restaurateur of estimable success, Stitt remains humble. He glories in nature's bounty and the talent of his mentors and employees, and generously shares it all in this marvelous book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author


Frank Stitt is the chef and owner of Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant and Café, and Chez Fonfon, all located in Birmingham, Alabama. He has won the James Beard Award for the Best Chef of the Southeast and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s "Who's Who of Food and Beverage" in 2011. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance for his elevation of Southern cuisine and his early advocacy of locally-grown food. He is the author of Frank Stitt's Southern Table and Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579652468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579652463
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Caraleisa VINE VOICE on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a Yankee who is a very good cook, specializing in French and Italian fare. I've married a Southerner whose mother is a superb Southern cook. My husband heard about this book and felt it would be a good blend for me... so I bought it and made several of the recipes in it for my mother-in-law, including some things which are her staples. (Took guts, that did... but it worked!)

She asked us to get her a copy of this book.

I made several recipes for an annual party we have - the stuffed pork roast, collard greens and white beans, ratatouille, etc. People couldn't stop raving about the food. There was barely a bite leftover, and I made more than enough for everyone to have seconds and thirds!

One other note - I tend to alter most recipes - tweak them a bit, make substitutions, change this or that. With this book I find that 1. I don't WANT to change anything, and 2. the recipes are perfect as written.

For anyone who loves great food, you will love this book. The 'coffee-table' size is no problem for me... and I love the added tidbits which give you an idea of who Frank Stitt, the person, is.

I'd give it ten stars if I could. It's my favorite cookbook out of about 150 or so that I own.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm just a regular mom who likes to plunk down with a really good cookbook and try new gourmet recipes to amaze and delight my family. Lets just say that my 3 year old toddler and husband look forward to dinner every night that I pull out Frank Stitt's cookbook. Some recipes make me crazy, especially when I have to flip through 3 different pages to get various related recipes such as sauces, but oh what heavenly delight if you persevere and see the recipe through to completion. I can't say enough good things about this book - makes one appreciate the time, effort and loving care that is evident in the recipes. The sauce gribiche is worth the price of admission. The book feels like an old friend, calling me every few days to try another recipe. What a fantastic chef. This cookbook rivals my other beloved and tattered cookbook " The French Recipe cookbook" by Clements and Wolf-Cohen. You will NOT be disappointed if you get this book. 5 star rating all the way.
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Format: Hardcover
`Frank Stitt's Southern Table' is a coffee table cookbook published by Artisan with very much of the same style, size, and heft of their earlier books by Thomas Keller and Eric Rippert, with most of the same strengths and weaknesses of these two other celebrity chef show books.

The book begins with a highly personal Foreword by North Carolina novelist Pat Conroy who must have a more than casual eye for good food, as he just happened to run into Frank Stitt about 24 years ago across the aisle on an airplane as Conroy happened to see Stitt taking notes from what Conroy recognized as cookbooks by some very high end authors. Stitt was just on his way back to Birmingham, Alabama to open his own restaurant and confided to Conroy that he was a very, very good chef.

Stitt's introduction fills out his culinary pedigree, citing the fact that he apprenticed at `Chez Panisse' with Alice Waters, from whom he received an introduction to leading French food writer Richard Olney. Stitt became Olney's assistant and through him met Jeremiah Tower and leading English food writer Elizabeth David. When Stitt opened his own restaurant `Highlands' in Birmingham, he combined traditional Southern cooking with these heavy French and Provencal influences with superfresh ingredients to create a cuisine with a skill which has landed him near the head of the class of American chefs.

All this pedigree and all these paeans to fresh ingredients do not mean this is a good book. It only certifies that Stitt has in him what it takes to write a good book. The proof is in the reading, not in the reputation. For starters, he has to prove that he has added sufficient value to overcome book's drawback of being better suited for the coffee table than the kitchen counter.
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Format: Hardcover
Frank Stitt's Southern Table is truly a masterpiece. I am a Southerner and was raised on the wonderful flavors that form the recipes in this book. I love that Stitt showcases humble vegetables that can be found at any Southern farmer's market and presents them in impeccable fashion. His philosophy on using the freshest, in-season ingredients is wonderful advice for all cooks. I also keep this book on my coffee-table and I often read his charming writings on Southern food and the culture that surrounds cooking and eating in the South. I recommend this cookbook above all others. My family has adored everything I have made from this cookbook. I recommend the Lowcountry Red Rice, Pimento Cheese, All the cookie recipes, Spiced Pecans, and the fabulous section on perfectly mixed cocktails. This cookbook has got me planning a trip to Birmingham for the sole purpose of eating at the Highlands Bar and Grille.
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Format: Hardcover
I have only eaten at Highlands Bar and Grill once and it was the best food i have ever eaten in a restaurant, a pinnacle moment, like the first time I saw Pantera play live. It beats out many so-called fancy hip places in many of the major cities of the country. The food at Highlands can be simple and complicated simultaneously. This book takes the philosophy of the restaurant and shares some its secrets. What you will find is that many of the best meals are made from simple, fresh ingredients. It is a book that I have read and used more than I thought I would.

The book has chapters covering various topics: adult beverages, appetizers, seafood, poultry, meats, vegetables, desserts, a section on commonly used sauces, dressings, etc., and some tips on kitchen equipment and techniques. there are lots of very nice photographs throughout the book including pictures of the various dishes, local farmers, and other people.

You will find the food can be very Southern (e.g. Spoonbread), or the recipes are infused with the French flavors that Frank Stitt leans toward. Most of the recipes are actually not that complicated or difficult. Some are super easy like potato cakes. Since i cook mostly sweet treats, I have focused on some real jewels here. One of the coolest sweet thangs here is Brown Butter Almond Financier - a slightly more complicated recipe than the usual cake, but well worth the effort.

It's quite fashionable to talk about buying local produce these days, but Frank Stitt has been pushing this idea for years and years. He emphasizes fresh ingredients and using what you have locally both for the benefit of the flavor and the benefit of the people who make our food. I also like that Frank Stitt can be very practical at times - when discussing buying a mandoline, he recommends an inexpensive plastic model over the expensive steel versions.

By the way, the best food i've ever eaten isn't in a restaurant. my mom makes that food.
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