The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food, edited by Randall Kenan, offers a collection of food-related stories set in North Carolina, though geography is sometimes secondary to the main theme, which is food in any form: meals and manners, cooking and ingredients, recipes and recollections. More
At the intersection of food and story, The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food offers a collection of food-related stories set in North Carolina, though geography is sometimes secondary to the main theme, which is food in any form: meals and manners, cooking and ingredients, recipes and recollections. Novelist Michael Parker writes about his mother's reluctant, but exclamation-point-laden food column for her husband's newspaper; Celia Rivenbark remembers her summer job at the only sit-down restaurant in her eastern Carolina hometown; chef and former vegetarian Cathy Cleary reveals what led her to sit down to a pork dinner. Bridgette Lacy celebrates mid-summer "Mater Days" in newsrooms of daily papers where she worked. Writer and goat farmer Tom Rankin writes about taking his goats to be slaughtered by a halal butcher from Afghanistan in Sanford. John McElwee takes us to the annual celebratory Blue Monday shad fry along the Cape Fear River. The collection is edited by Randall Kenan, an award-winning novelist and food writer. Some of North Carolina's favorite writers regale us with stories: Lee Smith, Daniel Wallace, Marianne Gingher, Jill McCorkle, Jaki Shelton Green, Wayne Caldwell, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Michael McFee, Zelda Lockhart, Crook's Corner's popular chef Bill Smith, noted cookbook author Nancie McDermott, and many others.
Advance praise for The Carolina Table
"In his novels and short stories, Randall Kenan has proved a master of place making. In The Carolina Table, he renders place through food, framing North Carolina in 'ballads to hunger' and 'hymns of satiation.' This choir sings of cheese puffs straight from the bag and pollo de la brassa straight from Peru, while connecting the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East and the Piedmont of North Carolina. Smart, inclusive, generous, and, at times, evocatively random, The Carolina Table sets a national standard for food writing collections." —John T Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South
"Read The Carolina Table and you pull up your chair to the best groaning boards in the state. Randall Kenan’s choices are acute, delicious, and big-hearted. I love the family lore, the discourse on butter beans, the recipe for grape hull pie, free use of the word 'fatback,' and the elements of cleaning crab—beer, a hose, mosquitos. Most of all, I love the humor and the quirky voices of my Southern brethren." —Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun and most recently Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir