Down South

Perhaps best known as the James Beard Award-winning chef behind some of New Orleans’s most beloved restaurants, including Cochon and Herbsaint, Donald Link also has a knack for sniffing out a backyard barbecue wherever he travels and scoring an invitation to sample some of the best food around. In Down South he combines his talents to unearth true down home Southern cooking so everyone can pull up a seat at the table and sample some of the region’s finest flavors.

Link rejoices in the slow-cooked pork barbecue of Memphis, fresh seafood all along the Gulf coast, peas and shell beans from the farmlands in Mississippi and Alabama, Kentucky single barrel bourbon, and other regional standouts in 110 recipes and 100 color photographs. Along the way, he introduces all sorts of characters and places, including pitmaster Nick Pihakis of Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ, Louisiana goat farmer Bill Ryal, beloved Southern writer Julia Reed, a true Tupelo honey apiary in Florida, and a Texas lamb ranch with a llama named Fritz.

Join Link Down South, where tall tales are told, drinks are slung back, great food is made to be shared, and too many desserts, it turns out, is just the right amount.


As a native Southerner, I thought this cookbook would be a worthy addition to my library. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, but it is filled with gorgeous photos, some of which are actually of the food. More than a cookbook, “Down South – Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything” is a story of the food of the South. Its rich descriptions and details are to be savored, much like the recipes it contains.

Now, I will say that some of those recipes are not quite what I expected. There are a few unusual ones – at least to my own plebeian tastes. Many of the recipes are dishes I have yet to experience. Guess I will just have to try some of them but some of them I will probably skip.

“Down South – Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything” is a lovely book that would be quite at home on the coffee (or cocktail) table and is one that will make good reading for an evening at home.

This book was provided for review by Blogging For Books.