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The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners

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2007 James Beard Cookbook of the Year

From the book jacket:

The Lee Bros. long-anticipated first cookbook is a culinary coming-of-age tale, narrated in recipes and amusing anecdotes, of how two boys learned to cook Southern without a Southern grandmother Inside, you’ll find exceptional recipes for Fried Chicken, Crab Cakes, and Red Velvet Cake, the Southern classics that have become restaurant hits around the country. But you’ll also find lesser-known preparations such as St. Cecilia Punch, Frogmore Stew, and Shrimp Burgers—dishes that seem fresh and original agains the backdrop of iconic American comfort food. Also here are recipes that bear the hallmark of the Lee Bros.’ style: simple yet sophisticated dishes such as Sagon Hoppin’ John, Scuppernong Grape and Hot-Pepper-Roasted Duck,a dn Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie that usher Southern cooking into the twenty-first century while never losing sight of its deep roots. No one brings the same blend of witty intelligence, reverence and since passion to Southern food culture.

The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook


Chapter 1: Drinks
Chapter 2: Boiled Peanuts, Grazes and Hors d’Oeuvres
Chapter 3: Pickles, Relishes, and Preserves
Chapter 4: Grits and Rice
Chapter 5: Greens, Peas, Corn, Okra, Cabbage, Mushrooms, and Squash
Chapter 6: Stews and Soups
Chapter 7: Poultry, Pork, Beef, and Game
Chapter 8: Fish, Oysters, Crabs, and Shrimp
Chapter 9: Desserts
Chapter 10: The Bread Basket and the Pantry
Full Index

Hardcover, 589 pages $35.00. | W.W. Norton

Special offer: For everyone on your holiday gift list who wants to cook more Southern, autographed copies of the Cookbook of the Year. Discounts on 5 books; double discount and free shipping on 10 books! To order, visit

Awards for The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook:

* Winner, 2007 James Beard Award: Cookbook of the Year Award
* Winner, 2007 James Beard Award: Cooking of the Americas
* Winner, 2007 IACP Award: American Cooking
* Winner, 2007 IACP Award: The Julia Child Award

Accolades for The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook:

* Gourmet Magazine: 10 Books Destined to Become Classics
* Editor’s Pick: No. 1 Cookbook of 2006
* Publishers Weekly: 100 Best Books of the Year
* Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Best Cookbooks of 2006
* New York Sun: Best Cookbooks of 2006
* San Francisco Chronicle: Top Picks for the Holiday Season
* Chicago-Tribune: Top 12 Cookbooks of the Season
* InStyle Home: Top Books for the Holiday Season
* USA Today: Book Gift Guide 2006

What the Critics Have Said:

“Only every little once in a while does a book come along that changes forever our relationship to American food the way The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, does. Bringing a fresh, contemporary sensibility to their re-evaluation of Southern food, this is writing from the heart: personal, informed and opinionated.”

“Destined to become a classic…The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook is filled with explanations and humorous anecdotes followed by well though-out recipes.”

“Hefty enough to inspire the trust you accord a reference book…You can bet your jambalaya that this one’s a keeper.”

“[THE LEE BROS. SOUTHERN COOKBOOK] is a blissful immersion into the foods of the American South, from eastern Kentucky to the panhandle of Florida…Here, they present the suggestive architecture of a good southern dish, allowing readers to follow recipes to the letter or to improvise with the same spirited resourcefulness that is a distinguishing feature of southern cooking.”

“With respect for the past and an enlightened, modern sensibility, the Lee brothers roll up their sleeves and get elbow-deep in Southern cooking in all its sugary, fried goodness…Classy, matter-of-fact and welcoming, this volume deserves a permanent place on cooks’ shelves by day and on bedside tables by night, as a browsable primer on a world and its food.”

“[The Lee Bros.’] writing has exactly the right touch; subtly encouraging, knowledgeable but not wonky, fun but not “Fun!” Their concern with authentic products is serious yet easygoing; the information and tips are passed along in prose so conversational that you don’t even notice how much help you’re getting along the way.”

“The brothers offer constant encouragement and clearly written instructions from dishes that range from boiled peanuts to a two-layer red velvet cake that would make any Southern grandmother proud.”

“This year’s best American excursions are Southern. Matt and Ted Lee, a pair of ingratiating Charleston boys (by way of the Upper West Side of Manhattan), first went into business selling boiled peanuts and other Deep South treats. They have drawn on their back-roads travel for various publications, including The New York Times, in The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook…”

“Brimming with wonderful recipes, stories and photos…There’s never been a better Southern cookbook to cook from.”

“The Lees wax nostalgic for old-time preparations that Lowcountry natives relish: innards-studded chicken bog and she-crab soup, as well as Junior League hostess favorites like tomato aspic. They also acknowledge the region’s evolving ethnic landscape with dishes like cheese-grits chiles rellenos, and detour beyond Dixie altogether with recipes for peach sake and Harlem meat loaf…Whether you were born in the pluff mud or not, you’ll find that [The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook] playfully renders the region’s best foods.”

“The recipes are superb, from classics like fried chicken, crab cakes, and pecan pie to little-known curiousities such as St. Cecilia punch and pickled peaches.”

“It would be difficult to imagine any more enthusiastic or winning advocates for Southern cooking than the Lee brothers.”

“As entertaining as it is informative. Highly recommended.”

What Folks in the Food World Have Said:

“The Lee Bros. have written the classic Southern cookbook. They write with flair, brilliance, and hilarious commentary on the recipes, customs, and eccentricities of the South they celebrate with such passion. Their recipes are so good that I believe cookbook writers like the Lee Bros. may turn Southern cooking into an actual cuisine. I goddamn love this book!”

“The Lee Bros. conjure a world and invite us to share it. This book is a joyful, eccentric read, full of dishes that capture the low road and the high, the Frogmore Stew and the She-Crab Soup. It’s a road map, a family story, a kind of hidden kitchen vision. Cook this book!”

“I am a big fan of that particular brand of Southern poetry and smarts that make up the Lee Bros.’ contributions—the best food pieces I read in the Wednesday New York Times each week—so I attacked Matt and Ted’s new book like a hungry wolf. I found the same genius and eye for good story, as well as simple-to-make recipes of the new exotic cooking of the American South. These recipes make my mouth water, and the prose makes my eyes well up for its beauty, simplicity, and truth.”

“The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook makes me daydream of a long ago summer on a Pawleys Island back porch, the aroma of the marsh and the dinner table mingling with laughter of many generations of families and a few too many glasses of wine. Oh to the magic of being at table together in the South.”

“From adamantly disclaiming the idiotic idea that the South could ever be hostile to vegetarians, to explaining why pork shoulder is the perfect (and most revealing) meal for the third date, the Lee Bros. give us a gem. The recipes are irresistible, but so is the pure Southern storytelling. This is a keeper.”

“The wit and enthusiasm of the Lee Bros. is irresistible, as are the recipes—a mix of traditional Southern classics and unique, highly individual creations—which will have you reaching for you cast-iron skillet.”

“The brothers Lee chronicle a South unbound by geography. They celebrate a people loosed from the burden of history but still mindful of the ties that bind. In the Lee South, boiled peanuts and edamame play well together. So do black and white, young and old, native and outlander. You’ll feel welcome here.”