Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee

Buttermilk Graffiti

There is a new American culinary landscape developing around us, and it’s one that chef Edward Lee is proud to represent. In a nation of immigrants who bring their own culinary backgrounds to this country, what happens one or even two generations later? What does their cuisine become? It turns into a cuisine uniquely its own and one that Lee argues makes America the most interesting place to eat on earth. Lee illustrates this through his own li...

Details Buttermilk Graffiti

TitleButtermilk Graffiti
Release DateApr 17th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Cookbooks, Autobiography, Memoir, Travel

Reviews Buttermilk Graffiti

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    "Immigrants: we get the job done." (That's a Hamilton reference, y'all.)Edward Lee veers off in a slightly new direction in this travel memoir that also includes recipes (I really want people to stop calling this a cookbook, it isn't.) He visits places in America that have unique food cultures because of immigrants living there, from Moroccan (and smen, an intriguing fermented butter) in Hartford, Connecticut to a Lebanese community in Mississipp...
  • Cathie
    quite an interesting gourmand travelogue!
  • Colleen
    A fun read from an interesting perspective with recipes at the end of every chapter; my only complaint is that I read it too quickly and still want more.
  • Joe Jones
    This is not your typical cookbook. Not even close. There are recipes at the end of each chapter but they are just a fraction of what I got out of this book. Instead Chef Edward Lee gave me a glimpse of different cultures that came to this country and the foods that define them and how they have adapted them. Wait, even that is only part of the story. I may never get to taste Chef Lee's food but I am thankful I am able to read his writing! He brin...
  • Charles Smith
    Brilliant. There's a sentence at the end of chapter 10 that gut punched me.
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher - American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind...
  • Jenny
    I liked the fact that this book evoked the emotional connection people have with food. It’s not about the taste of something always but who you share it with or memories from the past.I grew up going to visit relatives in West Virginia and eating those same pepperoni rolls. It’s not just the taste I remember but the trips in the car listening to my Dad singing country music on the way. This book is more than a cookbook, though there are great...
  • Robin
    Fascinating look at various American communities and the food that has evolved from melding regions and international cuisine. Lots of recipes included but while they were fun to peruse, they didn't hold much interest since my digestive issues can't tolerate many of the ingredients. I do want to watch Lee's series Mind of a Chef and his documentary "Fermented." Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.
  • Stesha Brandon
    Lee raises interesting questions about authenticity, tradition, and appropriation as he explores how immigrant food cultures impact American cuisine.
  • Graham Oliver
    The recipes and conceptualization of the food mechanics were fine (and I plan on trying to vegetarianize a few of the recipes), but the description/analysis/observations of the places/people/foodways were pretty simplistic/shallow/not interestingly written.
  • Janet
    It’s not a cookbook. It’s a memoir/travel memoir/ode to good food from all over. The food we eat and the places we enjoyed it stick with us in our memories where we can pull them back to offer comfort and good feelings. I enjoyed Lee’s description of all the places he visited, but, most of all, those from my hometown and my adopted hometown.
  • Misha
    It's up and down. Some chapters are great, others dull. I might read an article of eating here around DC now that Lee has estsblished himself here. Nothing close on his road trips.In fall I want to come back to it and try out the buttenut schnitzel.
  • Jen Wood
    Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee. This was an unexpected journey through immigrant culture via food. The author explored restaurants large and small all over the country, meeting chefs, cooks, fishermen, distillers and consumers of food and drink. Some were friendly and open, some notsomuch. I admire his tenacity in every situation. He is curious and intrepid in the pursuit of the culture of food. He travels all over, making conversation, probin...
  • Amy
    I received this book as a gift for making an ongoing donation to my public radio station. So I was a little skeptical it would be good (mainly because they were giving it away). But the premise sounded interesting and I often like a foodie memoir. Edward Lee is a chef here in Louisville, my city, and he has gained quite a bit of prominence nationally for being on Top Chef and winning some James Beard awards. He is Korean American but much of his ...
  • Sandy
    Although I found this book interesting in the beginning by the time I was halfway through it all started becoming repetitive
  • ThatPickledReader
    Buttermilk Graffiti isn't really a cookbook--it's more of a collection of Edward Lee's thoughts and travels throughout America to trace the roots, people and history of various cuisines and food. It is thought-provoking, philosophical and a sentimental book written by someone very clearly passionate about food.
  • Cat
    Cool book! I'd love to just travel around exploring various things! I enjoyed Edward Lee's book and especially the recipes! The recipe for haesenpfeffer will be passed on to my daughter who makes a mean rabbit! Thank you to publisher for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
  • Sally McComas
    Resounding VoiceA thoroughly enjoyable read that was honest, entertaining, and had great voice. I loved the exploration of the topic of immigrant food and how it evolves with each generation. One of the freshest food books I’ve read in a while.
  • Birdie
    I love everything about this book! An unorthodox foodie travelogue! The author finds the soul of the people he meets and shows it to us. I can't wait to read more by him!
  • J.S.
    Not a cookbook, and in the best way possible. A cookbook has never made me cry. This book had me alternately tearing up, laughing out loud, and flat out shaking my head at what I didn't know. The personal stories were moving and thought-provoking. Great job Chef Lee. I will read more of your books. I will look at my mom's old cookbooks in a new light, and try to remember the flavors and dishes that I grew up with and assumed would always be aroun...
  • Ivana
    Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee was an awesome pleasure to read! I absolutely loved everything about this book! It was real. It was human. Culturally enriching. Diverse. Powerful. Expansive. Brilliantly well balanced. My mouth watered. Constantly. I honestly feel as though I've just gleaned some tightly held cooking secrets while having a pretty dope catch up conversation with my friend. Lee's anecdotal realness throughout his exploratory searc...
  • Audrey
    Don’t dive into Buttermilk Graffiti thinking it’s just a cookbook because it’s so much more. I think the little blurb on the front is a perfect representation of what’s inside. In each section, Edward Lee travels to a different location learning the history of the local food and the culture from which it comes. The connections he made between food and its cultural heritage and how foods change over time here in America was so interesting....
  • Michele
    I really wanted to love this book, but was mostly disappointed. His writing is too precious, for example, describing kneading butter: “Her hands clench and relax in a motion that seems as rehearsed as an ancient dance.” He talks about how his nervous system doesn't like MSG. However, he doesn't mention that the ingredient that many Peruvian home cooks use to make their ceviche so delicious is ajinomoto - or MSG...Interesting that talking abou...
  • Adam Stanley
    Chef Ed Lee admits in his writing that he is not actually a writer, but you could have fooled me. His quick pace and poetic styling makes this a breezy read chalk-full of narratives around American cuisine — the who, what, why, and how.
  • lisa
    Edward Lee travels America, eating the local cuisines and talking to the local cuisine makers. Fifteen years ago, during the Bush/Kerry campaign, I did something similar. I enjoyed this book that triggered some long-forgotten memories of my trip around my country, and everything I learned about it on the way. Although Lee explains at the beginning of the book that he didn't include pictures of the food so that people wouldn't be discouraged that ...
  • Cheryl
    I thoroughly enjoyed this food history journey with Chef Lee. Mr. Lee really took me on a grand experience. I not only got to use my sense of imagination but creative as well. This is due to the fact that there was only descriptions of the food as told by Mr. Lee and the contributors. There were plenty of recipes for featured dishes but no pictures. This is as Mr. Lee explains is to open the senses. Without any images, there is nothing to compare...
  • pianogal
    Good read. I've seen Edward on The Mind of Chef and I liked his stories here. He really did a good job finding stories that go beyond just the food. Also, I'd say that he has a very understanding wife for his to travel so much.
  • Angela
    I loved this book! It's part memoir, part travel journal, part cook book. And I love how relevant it is to our current political climate: "As I watch America go through a new cycle of fear and hate, it pains me to see that the lessons of the past have done little to prevent the prejudices of the present. American life has always been defined by the tensions between the old and new immigrants. Maybe acceptance is a naive thing to believe in , but ...
  • Pablo Snazzy
    this is not a cookbook, but it's a cooking book, a book about cooking, philosophy, people, food. it made me think about food, it taught me a lot about different cultures, it was interesting, fascinating, and inspiring. there are recipes that i will attempt, there are recipes i have no desire to try, but still made me think about the food and techniques used, and that will influence how i cook. THANK YOU SO MUCH Chef Edward Lee for such a fantasti...