Mr. Raiford could easily be compared with Alexander Smalls' titles (Between Harlem and Heaven and Meals, Music, and Muses) - certainly they both hail from the Coastal South and their cookbooks are an exploration of their love of both family and the land that have nourished them. Mr. Smalls' writing voice tends to read with a delightful bass flourish and his recipes in many ways transcend his Southern childhood and the canon of traditional Southern food, firmly placing his recipes within the modern New York food scene.
Certainly, there's nothing wrong with any of that, except to say that Bress 'N' Nyam feels more like a celebration of coming home. It holds up what is both delicious and wonderful in returning to one's own, well-established food culture, both simple and sophisticated. The recipes in this book look fantastic (and I'm eagerly willing to try more than a few of them), but what is most impressive about it is that it glows with Matthew Raiford's love for his family, his family farm, and an incredible cuisine that has nourished them for well over a century.
From the Publisher:
More than 100 heirloom recipes from a dynamic chef and farmer working the lands of his great-great-great grandfather.
From Hot Buttermilk Biscuits and Sweet Potato Pie to Salmon Cakes on Pepper Rice and Gullah Fish Stew, Gullah Geechee food is an essential cuisine of American history. It is the culinary representation of the ocean, rivers, and rich fertile loam in and around the coastal South. From the Carolinas to Georgia and Florida, this is where descendants of enslaved Africans came together to make extraordinary food, speaking the African Creole language called Gullah Geechee.
In this groundbreaking and beautiful cookbook, Matthew Raiford pays homage to this cuisine that nurtured his family for seven generations. In 2010, Raiford's Nana handed over the deed to the family farm to him and his sister, and Raiford rose to the occasion, nurturing the farm that his great-great-great grandfather, a freed slave, purchased in 1874. In this collection of heritage and updated recipes, he traces a history of community and family brought together by food.
100 color photographs
Release Date: May 2021