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
GenreFood and Drink, Food, Nonfiction, Cookbooks, Autobiography, Memoir, Travel, Cooking

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...
  • 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...
  • Taryn Pierson
    My husband and I discovered after bingeing all available seasons of The Great British Bakeoff that we really enjoy food-related television, and our fascination led us to Netflix shows like Cooked, Ugly Delicious, and Salt Fat Acid Heat. Buttermilk Graffiti is like those shows, but in book form. Chef Edward Lee traveled around America, eating in local restaurants and worming his way into as many kitchens as he could, because he wanted to learn abo...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Linda
    I really enjoyed this one, maybe because Lee writes about places and foods familiar to me: Louisville, Houston & the Gulf, fufu, beignets. His adventure with a dead chicken in Paterson, NJ, was a delight. This made me want to be more adventurous with my eating, she said, then ate a plate of spaghetti.
  • Mitch Karunaratne
    After reading this I have a massive list of places I want to go and food I want to eat...including eating a Shapiros pastrami sandwich at the Brownstone speedway track in Jackson County. However, it’s Edward Lee himself that is the hidden star of the show! His writing is brilliant, he’s thoughtful, challenging, inquisitive, kind and brave / crazy! He’s my new new found hero! Lee takes us to meet and hear the stories of people making real fo...
  • Rebecca
    Book 2 of the Brother/Sister book club was a big hit with my brother who went and got Lee’s Smoke & Pickles as well! This is similar to Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene but in essay length dives into the history of cuisines brought to the US as opposed to Twitty’s deep dive into his own heritage and cuisine of slavery. Lee is an engaging and engaged foodie and brings out the best in the locations he visits- one of which is slaw dogs from W...
  • Charles Smith
    Brilliant. There's a sentence at the end of chapter 10 that gut punched me.
  • 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.
  • Mahlon
    I like Edward Lee a lot, he's good on TV and a good storyteller. The book itself is surprisingly well-written but when he got deep into the origins of the names of various things like benights I just lost interest.
  • Stesha Brandon
    Lee raises interesting questions about authenticity, tradition, and appropriation as he explores how immigrant food cultures impact American cuisine.
  • Sandy
    Although I found this book interesting in the beginning by the time I was halfway through it all started becoming repetitive
  • Pete Wung
    I became aware of Edward Lee as a contestant for the Top Chef show on Bravo, the Austin Texas edition. I identified with him because we are both of Asian descent, and we don’t see too many Asian folks on shows like Top Chef. In addition to that connection, I noticed he is from Louisville, a city I travel to quite often, at least twice if not three times a year. So, I kept track, hoping that he would open up his own restaurant, I wanted to taste...
  • JD Mitchell
    I was not expecting a whole lot from this but I live in the same city as Edward Lee and I love what he does for the community (feeding TSA workers, making donations to LGBTQ Youth Groups), so I figured I would check it out. And I loved it, almost immediately. In each chapter/essay, Lee profiles an immigrant/marginalized chef in a different city who deserves more attention. He writes about the culture and circumstances that birthed the food, the s...
  • Lucie
    Follow Chef Lee on a journey to find where he fits in the American culinary scene. Half Korean and half black, he refuses to be cook what other people think he should cook, but rather he wants to chart his own course. Part of that course is to see what has become of immigrant food preparation as it adjusts to different ingredients available in the U.S. Is this newly changed cuisine "authentic" or not? Chef Lee visits several ethnic neighborhoods ...
  • Carolyn
    thoughtful, entertaining, and well-written
  • Jamie Jones Hullinger
    Loved this. It is fascinating, unique and fantastically presented.
  • Karin
    I'm on a reading hot streak lately it seems.... this is a tight collection, exploring how the foods of different cultures change and blend across time and geography. Lee's voice is strong and the recipes he contributes look fantastic and original. My new benchmark for culinary writing.
  • 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 ...
  • 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!