St. Johns Reads Building Community Through Books January 2023

In its 18th year, St. Johns Reads is the St. Johns County Public Library System’s annual “one book, one community” event focused on creating a shared conversation on a selected novel. St. Johns Reads is proudly supported by the Friends of the Library groups.

january, 2023

About the Book

About the Book

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 the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories?

A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. There’s a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, and their efforts to re-create the flavors of their lost country. A Uyghur café in New York’s Brighton Beach serves a noodle soup that seems so very familiar and yet so very exotic—one unexpected ingredient opens a window onto an entirely unique culture. A beignet from Café du Monde in New Orleans, as potent as Proust’s madeleine, inspires a narrative that tunnels through time, back to the first Creole cooks, then forward to a Korean rice-flour hoedduck and a beignet dusted with matcha.

Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.

About the Author

About the Author

Edward Lee is the Chef/Owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY, and the Culinary Director for Succotash in National Harbor, MD, and Succotash Prime in Penn Quarter, DC. Chef Lee was the recipient of the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Writing for his book “Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting Pot Cuisine.” He is also the author of “Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen” (Artisan Books, May 2013). Lee has been a six-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast. In 2018, Food & Wine Magazine named 610 Magnolia one of the country’s most important restaurants of the past 40 years. The Michelin Guide DC awarded Succotash a Bib Gourmand in 2019.

Chef Lee appears frequently in print and television and his writing has been featured in The New York Times, Esquire, Food & Wine and many other national publications. He was nominated for a daytime Emmy for his role as host of the Emmy-winning series, Mind of Chef on PBS. He has hosted and written a feature documentary called Fermented. In 2018, Chef Lee launched The LEE Initiative, which works to bring more diversity and equality to the restaurant industry. In 2020, the relief efforts of LEE Initiative has totaled more than $5 million of direct aid and has been recognized as one of the foremost organizations helping restaurant workers and farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Chef Lee won the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for his work with The LEE Initiative.

Meet Chef Ed Lee

Join us for a special event featuring author of “Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting Pot Cuisine,” Chef Edward Lee. Chef Lee will discuss his novel, host a Q&A, and sign copies of his book.

  • When: 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023
  • Where: First Coast Technical College
    Character Counts Conference Center
    2980 Collins Ave., St. Augustine, Fl

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Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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