Customer Reviews: A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen
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VINE VOICEon November 21, 2011
In "A new turn in the south" by Hugh Acheson, the author--a restaurant owner and a food lover--shares his favorite Southern recipes. As Acheson starts the book, he confesses that even though he is Canadian, he has spent a third of his life in the South and is in love with Southern cooking.

The cookbook is divided by the following categories: libations (drinks), snacks, soups/salads, first courses, from seas and streams (seafood), things with wings, red meats, sides: vegetables/grains/taters, pickles/put-ups/pantry items, and whipped cream and other delights. Full color pictures also accompany some of the recipes.

Some of the recipes in this book include: pan roasted pork chops, pickled shrimp, chicken stock, bacon vinaigrette, oysters with sauces, oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, pear and pecan flip cake, southern carbonara pasta, salmon with marinated vegetables, lobster pie, roasted potato salad, and veal sweetbreads. The recipe most memorable for me is the country ham with chilied mango recipe, which includes the author's photographed section on how to cut a mango. That was pretty creative. I picked this book up expecting to learn some recipes by a home cook, and was not disappointed. Overall, a nice southern cooking cookbook.
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on December 21, 2011
I highly recommend checking out "A New Turn in the South" if you enjoy cooking. I have already tried a few recipes: Ribeye with Stewed Morels, Succotash, and Smothered Pork Chops with Chantaerelles. All were very easy to follow, upscale but approachable, absolutely delicious and used ingredients that were easy to procure. Usually I find that it takes a couple attempts to get the recipe locked in , but these came out great the first time. Can't wait to try a few more, next up is Braised Short Ribs with Hominy Stew! Best thing to happen to Southern Cuisine since the invention of biscuits and gravy!
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on January 21, 2012
Finally a real gourmet southern cookbook!! I like Paula Dean, but not all southern cooking if fried with 2 sticks of butter! Hugh takes the best of the south, our vegtables, seafood and regional favorites and brings them up to gourmet level. Many of his recipes are similar to what I grew up eating.... but elevated and refined. Pickled shrimp is a favorite of mine and his recipe made my version even better. Thanks Hugh! Also the fact that I am from SC and you lived in Clemson just sealed the deal that this is now my favorite cookbook of all time. If you are making recipes from Southern Living or other Junior League cookbooks. STOP. Try this cookbook to bring your dishes to a new level. Recipes are not that complicated, but require some prep. But well worth the trouble.
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on January 31, 2014
I love this cookbook. I have made a number of the appetizers and drinks and whenever I get started then I want to change my whole menu to make only his recipes. Some can be labor intensive but fun for special entertaining. Also, it is a pretty book to leave out.
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on February 11, 2012
A chef inspired neighbor recommended this cookbook . Get it! This is now a go to cookbook for us & not a same same book. For something different (at least uncommon here in Colorado), try the collard greens pg. 222, amazing! Have substituted Swiss chard & still a great healthy side.
Book is written in a cool format.
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on March 30, 2012
I absolutely love this cookbook and it's become my new standby...I pull it off the bookshelf first when I'm looking for something creative but not so complicated that it takes a degree from the CIA to pull the recipe off. Hugh has a way of taking what we already cook and making it more interesting, without forcing you to source ingredients from the far corners of the world.
My hands-down favorite in the book is Cane Vinegar Chicken with Pearl Onions, Orange and Spinach. The cane vinegar is available at almost any Asian grocery store...when you buy your first bottle to make this recipe, go ahead and buy several because you're going to love it! My kids ask for it every week now, I've made it for friends who now own "A New Turn in the South" because of this recipe alone.
The deviled egg recipe is fabulous, definitely try garnishing them with his Pickled Shrimp. The Risotto with Okra, Country Ham, Boiled Peanuts and Ramps is one of the best risottos I've ever eaten.
I'm a southern girl who hasn't lived in the south for years and I miss the food from my childhood. This cookbook brings back all those old recipes and memories but elevates them to a level worthy of 2012 and my older, more sophisticated palate. I can't wait for Hugh's next cookbook!
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on November 18, 2012
My husband and I bought this for his mother for Mother's Day. She and her husband's favorite restaurant is Five and Ten in Athens, Georgia, and she enjoys cooking. I thought she would be so thrilled to have one of Hugh's cook books and try some of his unique recipes. The book is great - well illustrated, the recipes are look mouth-watering. Six months later, the only thing she has made is the sweet tea. I think this is due to the complexity of the recipes - many require seasonal and hard-to-find ingredients, and are quite time-consuming. I would definitely recommend this as a coffee table book or for advanced cooks, but it's not best for those who don't consider themselves chefs.
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on October 18, 2011
As a longtime fan of Hugh Acheson's cooking, I have for years eagerly awaited his first cookbook. With each great meal eaten at Five & Ten and Empire State South, my anticipation - and expectations - for the book increased.

A New Turn in the South is visually stunning, with both wonderful illustrations and Rinne Allen's richly detailed photographs.

More importantly from a home cook's perspective, the recipes are accessible while also including lavish detail that allows the reader to have a greater understanding of both ingredients and technique. A New Turn in the South makes for both great reading and great cooking.

While it's often said that a chef's dishes offer a window to his or her soul, Hugh takes this one step further. He poignantly writes not only of his cooking philosophy but also of his life philosophy.

Hugh's words, along with Bertis Downs' foreword, capture the essence of why Athenians consider Hugh to be a local treasure.

A New Turn in the South exceeded my high expectations and I believe that, over time, it will become my most dogeared and food stained cookbook.
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Hugh Acheson, Canadian-born, Georgia-based chef is famous for many things: being a Top Chef judge, winning James Beard awards, having a single, giant, bushy eyebrow; moving his dress code from messy teenager to smart casual 30ish. He's also the author of two (and a half) cookbooks. this is his first, A New Turn in the South, a modern take on Southern cuisine.

“A real Southern meal is not Kentucky Fried Chicken and biscuits. That’s not a Southern meal. We have 300 years of culinary heritage to look at. It was agrarian. It’s got literature written about it that I can never finish reading. The truth of Southern food is that what started as Southern food was actually brought here by slaves. They weren’t from here, either.”

“The food that Paula Deen does is not Southern cooking. To me, it’s the food of gluttony,” he says of the Food Network maven’s tendency to deep fry everything from stuffing-on-a-stick to cheesecake.

“A lot of what of I’d learned in the Gatineau mountains, Hull, Ottawa and then Montreal, was you need to know what the food is in your community. I just kind of opened up the back door here and found country hams and sorghum molasses, cane products, scuppernongs, all sorts of muscadine wild grapes. If you go back to the Southern meal I’m trying to espouse, it’s a celebration of vegetables simply done. It’s purloo, a tomato salad, stewed okra, steamed greens.”

To try is version of southern cooking, fill your pantry with heirloom vegetables, explore the spice routes, look to African recipes. And enjoy this witty but fact filled cookbook.

Here's one example of his commitment to flavor:


Serves 4 as a side

3 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄4 pound fingerling sweet potatoes, thinly sliced

Sea salt

1 pound Red Russian kale, cut into bite-size pieces

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 apple

1⁄2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast-iron sauté pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and caramelize the potatoes for 1 1⁄2 minutes per side, making sure not to burn them. Season with sea salt to taste. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and reserve.

In a large mixing bowl, dress the kale: Beat the kale up a little bit as though you are giving it a Swedish massage. This will soften the kale and let the flavors seep in as you add sea salt to taste, the lemon zest, and lemon juice to taste, along with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Core and slice the apple, and add it to the kale. Toss to coat with the dressing.

Arrange the kale and apples on plates and top with the sweet potatoes and the chopped pecans.

Robert C. Ross
June 2015
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on February 26, 2014
Although the cookbook was different from what I expected, I enjoyed reading through the mouthwatering pics and recipes immensely. I've been trying some of my family's southern favorites, with the innovative twists and new ingredients, and have gotten rave reviews. Some of the more exotic ingredients are a challenge to find at my local stores, but well worth the extra effort.
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