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Nestled in the blue mists of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, the 10,000-acre bucolic refuge of Blackberry Farm houses a top-rated small inn with one of the premier farm-to-table restaurants in the country. This sumptuous cookbook offers a collection of recipes that are as inspired by the traditional rustic cooking of the mountainous south as they are by a fresh, contemporary, artistic sensibility. Some of the dishes are robust, others are astonishingly light, all are full of heart and surprise and flavor and all are well within the reach of the home cook.
California has the French Laundry, Virginia has the Inn at Little Washington, and Tennessee has Blackberry Farm, where the indulgences of a luxury inn are woven together with odes to nature fly-fishing, hiking, foraging, bird watching, and heirloom gardening to create a new way of looking at the world, a way in which anything seems possible.
This is particularly true at the Inn's table and in its award-winning wine cellar. To the farm's master gardeners, food artisans and chefs, meals are an opportunity to express not only the earth and the culture of this remote spot, but also its spirit. On a spring day this might mean Rye Whiskey-Cured Trout with Fresh and Pickled Fennel, and the summer garden might inspire a Chilled Corn Soup with Garlic Custard, a papardelle of baby carrots, or a tomato terrine. In the cooler weather, game and traditionally preserved food cider-basted venison, a shell-bean and gamebird cassoulet, a dried apple stack cake or Bourbon Apple Fried Pies keep conversation in front of the fire lively. For all its artfulness, however, Blackberry Farm's garden-to-table cooking tends to be an ode to a well-loved cast iron skillet, a backyard smoker or a wood-fired grill.
In the foothills, you don't eat to eat, you eat to talk, to remember and to imagine what you will eat tomorrow. In this book, the stories of the people who practice the traditional mountain food arts the bacon man, the heirloom gardener, the cheese maker and sausage man are woven together with the recipes, lore and regional history to reflect the spirit of the cooking at Blackberry Farm. Breathtaking photographs capture the magical world that surrounds the table the hills and rushing creeks, the lights and shadows of the forest, the moods and moments of the garden.