Published March 17, 2020

If we are what we eat, then we’re also what we read. Ask any chef, farmer, or cookbook author and they’ll tell you food and stories go hand in hand. The following books represent a mixture of cookbooks, agricultural histories, and anthologies of food writing that were to be featured in the 2020 Festival. Each explores the connections between storytelling, community, and the food that we eat…

  • A South You Never Ate: Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia by Bernard L. Herman
    “I have studied and written about the foods and foodways of the South for more than thirty years, but this book still surprised me by introducing me to dishes, plants, creatures, techniques, and a way of life I’d not encountered before. Herman captures the flavor and fabric of a daily life worth savoring and protecting.”—Ronni Lundy, author

  • Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes by Joe Yonan
    Beans are emerging from their hippie roots to be embraced for what they truly are: a delicious, versatile, and environmentally friendly form of protein. With heirloom varieties now widely available across the United States, this nutritious and hearty staple is poised to take over your diet. Enter Joe Yonan, food editor of The Washington Post, who provides a master base recipe for cooking any sort of bean in any sort of appliance as well as 125 recipes for using them in daily life. Drawing on the culinary traditions of the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and the American South, and with beautiful photography throughout, this book has recipes for everyone. With fresh flavors, vibrant spices, and clever techniques, Yonan shows how beans can save you from boring dinners, lunches, breakfasts—and even desserts!

  • Going Over Home: A Search for Rural Justice in an Unsettled Land by Charles Thompson, Jr.
    “This book isn’t just the story of one person’s lifelong fight for justice for family farmers and rural communities. Going Over Home is a call that inspires the reader to stand shoulder to shoulder with family farmers in their daily struggle. It puts into words why all of us at Farm Aid believe in family farmers and rural America, and why their survival matters to all of us―no matter where we live.”―Willie Nelson

  • Just Peachy by Belinda Smith-Sullivan 
    “A love letter to peaches…”—Southern Living Magazine

  • Tavola by Michael Keaveny
    “Tavola may be Charlottesville’s warmest restaurant. It’s not just the cozy vibe of the 37-seat wood-floored storefront that makes it feel so warm. It’s also the affable servers who seem sincerely to care about each customer’s experience. And, most of all, it’s the soulful, rustic Italian fare that tastes as though it is made by people who love what they are doing. Keaveny’s food is geographically based. Guests sometimes ask Keaveny which region of Italy his menu features. Tuscany? Apulia? Keaveny’s answer is always the same: ‘Virginia.’ Keaveny aims to cook food that he imagines Italians would eat if Virginia were in Italy: dishes created from the area’s best seasonal ingredients. It is Virginian Italian cuisine.”—Charlottesville29.com

  • The Food We Eat, the Stories We Tell edited by Elizabeth Engelhardt with contributions from Jeff Mann and Emily Wallace 
    “Appalachian food is more than beans and corn bread, and this anthology explores its depth… There are several takes on the food of immigrants, from Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland… In all, [The Food We Eat, the Stories We Tell] contains a diversity of voices, styles, and cuisines that will be a pleasant surprise to those unfamiliar with the region.”—Booklist

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