I Am from Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef

Norton. Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781324006060. $37.50. COOKING
Bhatt made his way to the University of Mississippi as a young man bringing with him his Gujarati roots and that is where his culinary journey began. Now a James Beard Award–winning chef, he shares the secret to his unique fusion cooking in this debut. Recipes vary their foundations, sometimes Southern and sometimes Indian, but there is always a bit of both in his creative offerings. Home cooks will find mainly vegetarian options in chapters featuring okra, tomatoes, greens, and more. Non-vegetarians won’t be disappointed, however, with separate seafood and meat chapters. Recipes are filled with exciting flavor combinations that are baffling but ingenious. Ginger, fennel, mint, basil, and a touch of heat, all in shrimp salad? It’s amazing. Readers will enjoy his anecdotes about his childhood and his life experiences as a chef, as this is more than a delectable fusion cookbook, it is a reflection of a life journey about making new homes and creating communities all through food.
VERDICT Recommended for all who like delicious comfort food, bold flavors, and classics with a distinctive twist.
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