In “Seeking the South,” Newton deftly connects flavors to people and places, and uses them as a starting point for his own creations. Recipes are divided by region, beginning in the Upper South, from which he hails, and continuing through the Deep South, Gulf Coast, Coastal Plains and Piedmont, and Lowcountry and Southeast Coast. Throughout each chapter, he weaves in historical context, supported by an extensive bibliography of classic Southern cookbooks.
There’s Pinto Bean Cassoulet, a French-inspired riff on the humble mountain staple topped with mustard-spiked bitter green salad. Nashville’s Little Kurdistan inspires Grilled Meatballs with Eggplant Spread, and the idea for Meyer Lemon Curd with Saltine Crumble sprang from “Atlantic Beach Pie” made famous by Bill Smith at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.