Today, I bring you something that The April Blake was kind enough to write for me. This was intended to be used as a foreword to my book, but ultimately the editors decided not to use it. I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. I asked April if that was alright with her, and she graciously agreed. April was the only person who read my completed manuscript (other than the editors) before it was published. I'm very grateful for all of her feedback and comments. Here is what she had to say in the intended foreword. Hopefully it will give you a quick overview of what to expect, should you decide to purchase my book.
When one thinks of Columbia, South Carolina no special attribute sticks out immediately, since it isn't necessarily known for its genteel history like Charleston or Savannah; and it isn't known for the quirky counterculture like Portland or Asheville. But given its unique positioning two hours from the ocean to the east and two hours from the mountains in the west, and surrounded by acres of farmland both inside and right outside of city limits so we've got access to fresh seafood, orchards full of fleshy apples, and more types of produce than you can shake a stick at within driving distance of tens of thousands of hungry and eager residents of the wide reaching Columbia metropolitan area. Happiest of all are the chefs, farmers, artisans and fans of these ingredients who are quickly and happily rallying around is the very real idea that our fair city can be known for its passion and reverence for local food.
And who better to tell the tale of the history and the present of Columbia's food scene than the local food blogger Hungry Lady? Laura created her food blog to detail and share her tastiest meals after winning a contest where the prize was gift certificates to a lot of local restaurants. I came to know her through her food blog, and as a fellow local food writer we became friends, dining pals and blogging buddies. Though she doesn't have native roots in our proud Southern soil, she lays out a rich tale that showcases the same pride that any homegrown would present in bringing our colorful heritage and connection from the earth to our plates to the forefront- right where it belongs.
Woven throughout the chapters of Columbia Food: The History of Cuisine in the Famously Hot City are stories of the folks like local pig wrangler and Soda City market founder Emile DeFelice who have taken a grassroots approach towards getting residents to know what they, their children, neighbors, and community are putting into their mouths on a daily basis. You'll read relatable tales of chefs like Ricky Mollohan who worked his way from prep cook to owner with the dream of creating culinary masterpieces that are alive with flavor. On the dirtier (seriously, these things are covered in dirt before they make their way to our forks) end of the business of local eating, you'll learn about the families that use their hands and hearts to bring your food from seed to fruit, from sow to sausage.
Columbia Food: The History of Cuisine in the Famously Hot City is coming on the cresting wave of Columbia's food scene, detailing it in a way that has never been done before. Read it now and ready yourself as the knowledgeable one next time you find yourself gathered with friends, family or colleagues around the table at one of the places described in the book, eating the very foods that you know came from out of the backyard of this state.