The arrival of spring means a slew of new books. In the food and cooking category, this season holds plenty of heavyweights, including cookbooks from Atlanta culinarians such as Taquería del Sol chef-partner Eddie Hernandez,Richards’ Southern Fried chef-owner Todd Richards and venerable Southern cookbook writer Virginia Willis. Add to that national names like food writer Mark Bittman and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg, and home cooks have enough to eat until the corn is knee-high by the Fourth of July.
Hernandez is the co-founder of Taquería del Sol. He, along with former The Atlanta Journal-Constitution food editor Susan Puckett, authored “Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen.” The book, a Rux Martin Books publication, is a compilation of recipes developed from Hernandez’s upbringing in his native Mexico while also culling from his time spent in Texas, his business partner Mike Klank’s love for the cuisine of New Mexico, and Hernandez’s long-standing affinity for Atlanta.
Richards is a fixture in the local dining scene. A name that surfaces from the early days of One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, as well as White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and, more recently, his solo venture — Richards’ Southern Fried — Richards has produced a personal tome: “Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes.” Published by Oxmoor House, a subsidiary of Time Inc., the cookbook is slated for release May 22.
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Richards’ book takes readers on a journey from his native Chicago to his family’s roots in the South. Each chapter begins with a traditional offering of an African-American dish and progresses to explore different flavor combinations and techniques. “I explore, experiment and draw inspiration from around the world,” Richards writes.
“Secrets of the Southern Table” is the latest cookbook by Southern food writer Virginia Willis. In it, Willis traverses the South to dish up some 80 recipes while sharing stories of the new South. It is a book ripe with flavors that are informed by people from all parts of the world.
“I feel that this book is more than one of my typical cookbooks,” said Willis, adding that the book, to be released May 1 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was “born of misperceptions that the South is solely fried chicken and cornbread. It’s also my personal desire to show more than the typical media portrayal of the South — how we get along as people.”
Also making appearances in greater Atlanta is Rick Bragg. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times, Bragg’s latest work is “ The Best Cook in the World: Tales From My Momma’s Table.” Both a memoir and cookbook, it is a tribute to the South and to Bragg’s own mother, a woman who never consulted a recipe.
Mark Bittman, The New York Times best-selling author of 20 books, is back again with the latest addition to the “How to Cook Everything” series. This time, he fires up the grill. “How to Grill Everything” features more than 1,000 recipes as well as Bittman’s advice on grilling basics.
The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is hosting Hernandez, Richards and Willis — along with chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Hugh Acheson — on May 2 for a panel discussion moderated by food writer Kim Severson of The New York Times. While that hot ticket is sold out, there are other ways to meet and greet some of the names behind the season’s best food writing. If you plan to attend the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, May 31-June 3, look for Hernandez, Richards and Willis at that event. Here are other events to mark on the calendar.
11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 19. Cooking demonstration. $59 (includes copy of the book). Cook’s Warehouse, 1544 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 1-800-499-0996, register online at cookswarehouse.com.
6:30 p.m. May 24. Book signing. Free. FoxTale Book Shoppe. 105 E. Main St., Woodstock. 770-516-9989, foxtalebookshoppe.com.
1 p.m. May 6. Wholesome Wave Picnic in the Park Atlanta. Richards will dish up fare for Wholesome Wave Picnic in the Park. $5 and up. Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St. NE, Atlanta. Picnicinthepark2018.
7-9 p.m. June 7. Cooking demonstration. $59 (includes copy of the book). Cook’s Warehouse. 1544 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 1-800-499-0996, register online at cookswarehouse.com.
6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program on April 30. Book launch and premiere includes reception with food samples featuring recipes from the book, a visit by the Tony Chachere’s Creole Cruiser, a photo exhibit of the tour across 11 states by Angie Bennett Mosier, and a Q&A about Southern food. $10; Atlanta History Center members, $5. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000, purchase tickets online at atlantahistorycenter.com.
7-9 p.m. May 3. Cooking demonstration. $89 (includes copy of the book). Cook’s Warehouse. 5001 Peachtree Blvd., Chamblee. 1-800-499-0996, register online at cookswarehouse.com.
10:30 a.m. May 5. Author reading, cooking demonstration and book signing. Free. Carnegie Library, Auditorium, 1 LaGrange St., Newnan. 770-683-1347, register online at newnanclf.com/secrets-of-the-southern-table.
2 p.m. May 19. Reading and book signing. Free. FoxTale Book Shoppe. 105 E. Main St., Woodstock. 770-516-9989, foxtalebookshoppe.com.
7:30-9 p.m. May 17. Author talk and book signing. $15; MJCCA members, $10. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. 678-812-4002, register online at atlantajcc.org.
7 p.m. April 26. Author talk and book signing. Free. Jimmy Carter Library. 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta. 404-865-7100, jimmycarterlibrary.gov.
7:30 p.m. April 27. Author talk and book signing. Free. Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center, 10 College St., Norcross. 678-421-2025, norcrossga.net.
7-9 p.m. May 10. Author talk and book signing. $30 (includes copy of the book). Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, 8534 Main St., Woodstock. 678-494-4251, purchase tickets online at squareup.com/store/foxtale-book-shoppe/item/rick-bragg-the-best-cook-in-the-world.