The Bookshelf: The Oxford American 2010 Southern Food Issue

The Oxford American Southern Food issue, a love letter to the loud and proud cuisine of the American South, arrived last month, and it is essential reading for anyone who calls the region home or just appreciates great writing. Guest editor John T. Edge and a few contributors read selections from the issue at last week’s Beard on Books. For an issue dedicated to food that’s so entrenched in local history and culture, one of its most absorbing subjects is an import: Peter Chang, an elusive cook from China. In an evocative piece written by Kliman called “The Perfect Chef,” Chang flits from restaurant to restaurant, barely staying put long enough to sully his chef whites. Kliman, who is a food critic for the Washingtonian, is never far behind. He describes the taste of Chang’s food: “I had always thought the food

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