Bress ’n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer

Countryman Pr. May 2021. 240p. ISBN 9781682686041. $30. COOKING
Borrowing his book’s title from the phrase “bless and eat” in the Gullah language, award-winning chef Raiford presents a collection that goes beyond recipes, focusing on the rich heritage of African foodways. From the start, Raiford draws readers in with the story of his family’s land in Georgia (now called Gilliard Farms), originally purchased by his formerly enslaved great-great-great grandfather and subsequently passed down through generations. At the heart of the book, coauthored by food writer Condon, are recipes inspired by and created on the farm, like Nana’s Egg Pie with Breakfast Potatoes. As he tells the story of each recipe, Raiford also reflects on his ancestors and the lessons they imparted. Many of the recipes, such as spice blends, complement each other. Alongside vivid photographs of most of the dishes, Raiford adds context by sharing the history of the Gullah Geechee people in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.
VERDICT With tips on recipe pairings and meal planning, Raiford’s debut will have home cooks coming back for more. An inviting collection that will especially engage fans of We Are Each Other’s Harvest, by Natalie Baszile.
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