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Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  951 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Chef Edward Lee's story and his food could only happen in America. Raised in Brooklyn by a family of Korean immigrants, he eventually settled down in his adopted hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where he owns the acclaimed restaurant 610 Magnolia. A multiple James Beard Award nominee for his unique patchwork cuisine, Edward creates recipes--filled with pickling, fermentin ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Artisan
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  951 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
On of the ways I am like my mother is that I can and do read cookbooks like some folks read novels. In the modern era, cookbook publishers seem to cater to readers more and more. I'm not sure which I enjoyed more, Lee's stories or his recipes.

I am a native Kentuckian who can debate horses, bar-b-que and bourbon all day. I have only recently discovered Korean food. What makes this cookbook special is how Lee finds and explores similarities in Korean and Kentucky culture. There are several recipes
Connie Ciampanelli
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I recently stumbled upon an interesting cooking site, food52 [], which features an even more interesting cookbook competition, “The Piglet.” It is admittedly subjective, paring two books to be reviewed by a well-known food personality/chef. The winner goes on with another to be reviewed again by another judge until there is a single winner.

While some of the reviewers toss off their task with little effort, others write prose that is positively lyrical.

I found this:
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(update) This excellent cookbook remains my new favorite (and a great birthday gift from H!). The recipes are workable and delicious and don't usually require excessively obscure ingredients. (Well, at least, these are all staples in my pantry). His guiding philosophy seems to be: everything tastes better with vinegar. Words to live by.

Since last summer, I've made 3 batches of pickles, plus pickled grapes, the adobo fried chicken with dipping sauce, the butter beans (2x), and have plans for many
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
WOW...Such great diversity. Although this book is on loan from my town library, it needs to be owned. I will definitely look to purchase this in the near future. I admire the combination of Lee's Southern , French and Korean creations. For me, this was the most unique cookbook read of 2013.
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Food from the American South with a bit of a twist is what this book promised, which hopefully won't scare ultra-conservative traditionalists away.

The author has adopted Southern food as his own style, but elements of his Korean roots and classical French culinary training seep through. Through this book it is hoped that the reader will be able to "do it for themselves" without any problem, with over 100 foolproof recipes on offer. In between the recipes is a bit of a diary-style look at the aut
Rick Kuehn
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: creativity, culture, fun
Great recipes, and tells a story as well as any cookbook I've seen.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Truthfully, I appreciated this book more for its memoir-style stories than its recipes, the majority of which just didn't appeal. But that is entirely because of my tastes and cooking style - not because of anything wrong with the recipes.

Regarding the stories, though - it was really interesting to read the author's recollections of how his tastes evolved through his life, and I particularly enjoyed reading his stories of transitioning to life in Kentucky. There is a great voice throughout the b
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Edward Lee‘s cookbook is a panegyric to the simultaneous elasticity and rootedness of Southern foodways. The Brooklyn-raised son of Korean immigrants has made his home in Louisville, Kentucky, cooking Southern food in a way that makes the most of both his location and his own roots. As an “ex-pat” southerner who brings both my background and my experience of life and travel to my kitchen, Lee’s approach resonates with me, as did his comparison of the ephemeral art expressed in both graffiti and ...more
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I haven't made any of the recipes in here yet, but worth a read for his memories. Got a signed copy from Louisville's great indie bookstore, Carmichael's.

610 has a place in my heart - I ate there back in the '70's when it opened as one of the first fine/experimental dining places in Louisville, and in the city itself. Old Louisville, about 3 blocks from my apartment. So I was so glad to hear Chef Lee took over the space. I have also been lucky enough to eat there since he has taken the space ov
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a beautifully photographed book and reads like a novel. The narrative is extremely well written and the author definitely has a gift for words. The recipes though are not very practical for your average at home cook. One of the more exotic recipes calls for tobacco water which is made with water and the tobacco leaves of a good quality cigar. I liked the book, and I respect the art of the recipes inside of it, but it is more of a coffee table book than a cookbook.
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a cookbook I was prepared not to like, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that I did. The recipes are nothing I am remotely familiar with, but Lee explains everything so well I can hardly wait to try a bunch of them.

There is a lot of writing in this cookbook. It's sort of an autobiography with recipes. Still, I like cookbooks that give lots of information and are not just slapped together. Lee's attention to detail and his stories make this a cookbook to own.
Sep 09, 2013 added it
Shelves: cookbooks
Can I just echo Autumn's review? Basically, this book is too meat-centric for how I cook and eat, but I love the idea of kimchi in my collard greens. I would add that it's all a bit chefy with lots of steps and assembly. Beautiful pictures and I think the text would be interesting(though I didn't read it--sorry!)
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, favorite
Best Ice cream dessert recipe ever ! Buttermilk ice cream with espresso poured over...mmmmmmmm. I really loved the few things I made from this book. it was very meat centered but I easily adjusted them to a vegetarian diet.
His story is interesting and he is full of personality it made reading about him fun. I hope he writes another fusion cookbook with some more tales.
Ginnie Grant
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had the Priveledge of meeting Mr. Lee at a food festival several years back and right off I fell in love with his personality and his wacky inventive style of cooking combining Asian fusion with classic southern cooking. The result is the stuff of dreams. Mr. lee's quirky and funny personality is displayed in both the recipes and the stories.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book despite being a vegetarian. I've adapted a few of his recipes to suit my taste, and all of them were astonishingly good. One of my favorite is Bourbon Ginger Glazed Carrots. I meant to eat the pound of carrots in three days, but finished in one setting. Besides, who can resist recipes titled "WTF potato salad" or "Whiskey Ginger Cake?"
Gretel Twombly
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've never sat and read a cookbook before but I found this to be as close to a page-turner as I imagine a cookbook could be. of course, I'm a sucker for bourbon and it's mentioned as often as the f word in "wolf of wall street," but his writing was really enjoyable and the recipes are exciting, mouth-watering, and, most importantly to me, doable in a home kitchen. thanks to Jo for this gift!
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well written and the recipes are interesting. However, they aren't particularly easy to replicate. The results make the work worth it but you need the time. I met the author recently and he is exceedingly nice and very passionate about what he does. It shows in this book.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked the author when he was on Top Chef, and this book of stories and recipes just affirms the good feelings I had. I appreciate his approach to food, and I love how he draws together the flavors of Korea and Kentucky. I tried his caraway refrigerator pickles -- so good!
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked the stories in this book as well as the great recipes. Ed Lee is a cool guy.
Kristine Crane
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
This cookbook was a great pairing of Southern and Asian cooking.
Clifford  Johnson
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolute best cook book I have ever read. It's not just about following the recipes, it's about feeling the food and sharing with others what you've created.
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing story of chef Ed Lee’s personal journey into his Korean food heritage and his embrace of Southern US cuisine, blending the both into explosive, delicious creations never before imagined. Lee finds similarities between both cuisines and is famous for his exquisite food in his Louisville Kentucky restaurants. More than one famous chef has made the hallowed trek to Lee’s stomping ground in Louisville and environs to get a taste of his genius.

This is Lee’s story from his graffiti stunts
SD Myers
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book

I read this book in Prime. I probably would not have bought it before I read it. It was interesting. I may not make any of the recipes right now but I did enjoy the book. It's a bit of an autobiography and cookbook mixed. I would suggest you try it. Note the author is French trained so the recipes are bit lengthy. All of them are interesting. It is definitely worth reading.
Maggie Grace
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Part cookbook, part memoir, my favorite type of book. The recipes seem easy enough for the home cook, maybe not some of the super cheffy ones like the roasted duck, but for the most part I can see myself making a lot of these recipes, in fact I already have made several. Edward Lee is a Yankee Korean who found his "home" in Kentucky and has embraced all things Southern while keeping true to his Korean roots. I enjoyed the book.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Edward Lee is like my spirit animal. His passion for heritage, food, and life is real, raw, inspired and inspiring. I loved this more for the memoirs than the recipes, and that surprised me. His recounting of all things Louisville would have seemed familiar even if I didn’t actually happen to grow up in that area. I’d love to share a story, meal, and bourbon with him.
Cheryl Buchanan
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delicious Find

I found this book strictly by accident. I have not put it down and will recommend to all my friends who love to cook.
Edward Lee is “A rebel with a cause”
I will follow him and his recipes for as long as he offers!

Thank you for sharing your life and your recipes.

Stephen Simpson
Pretty pointless

Way too much uninteresting exposition, and far too many recipes that are strange just be to be strange, not to mention too many that require hard-to-get ingredients
Terry Mcneil
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoying learning and trying interesting combinations I've not experienced before.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recipes are different from other southern cookbooks. I like the idea of southern cooking until i look at recipes. Did not make anything
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun food, terrific personality, what is not to like?
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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.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.