Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine

Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine

There is a new American culinary landscape developing around us, and it’s one that chef Edward Lee is proud to represent. In a nation of immigrants who bring their own culinary backgrounds to this country, what happens one or even two generations later? What does their cuisine become? It turns into a cuisine uniquely its own and one that Lee argues makes America the most interesting place to eat on earth. Lee illustrates this through his own life story of being a Korean immigrant and a New Yorker and now a Southerner. In Off the Menu, he shows how we each have a unique food memoir that is worthy of exploration. To Lee, recipes are narratives and a conduit to learn about a person, a place, or a point in time. He says that the best way to get to know someone is to eat the food they eat. Each chapter shares a personal tale of growth and self-discovery through the foods Lee eats and the foods of the people he interacts with—whether it’s the Korean budae jjigae of his father or the mustard beer cheese he learns to make from his wife’s German-American family. Each chapter is written in narrative form and punctuated with two recipes to highlight the story, including Green Tea Beignets, Cornbread Pancakes with Rhubarb Jam, and Butternut Squash Schnitzel. Each recipe tells a story, but when taken together, they form the arc of the narrative and contribute to the story we call the new American food.

Title:Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781579657383
Format Type:

About Edward Lee

Restaurants include 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville. Succotash National Harbor and Succotash Penn Quarter in Washington DC. Author of Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti, both published by Artisan Book.


    Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    "Immigrants: we get the job done." (That's a Hamilton reference, y'all.)Edward Lee veers off in a slightly new direction in this travel memoir that also includes recipes (I really want people to stop ...

  • Jenny

    I liked the fact that this book evoked the emotional connection people have with food. It’s not about the taste of something always but who you share it with or memories from the past.I grew up goin...

  • Cathie

    quite an interesting gourmand travelogue! ...

  • Colleen

    A fun read from an interesting perspective with recipes at the end of every chapter; my only complaint is that I read it too quickly and still want more. ...

  • Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide...

  • Joe Jones

    This is not your typical cookbook. Not even close. There are recipes at the end of each chapter but they are just a fraction of what I got out of this book. Instead Chef Edward Lee gave me a glimpse o...

  • Graham Oliver

    The recipes and conceptualization of the food mechanics were fine (and I plan on trying to vegetarianize a few of the recipes), but the description/analysis/observations of the places/people/foodways ...

  • Rebecca

    Book 2 of the Brother/Sister book club was a big hit with my brother who went and got Lee’s Smoke & Pickles as well! This is similar to Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene but in essay length dives ...

  • Linda

    I really enjoyed this one, maybe because Lee writes about places and foods familiar to me: Louisville, Houston & the Gulf, fufu, beignets. His adventure with a dead chicken in Paterson, NJ, was a deli...

  • Charles Smith

    Brilliant. There's a sentence at the end of chapter 10 that gut punched me. ...