It’s hard to think of a more romantic gesture than cooking up a batch of smoky, savory bacon bejeweled with sweet brown-sugared pecans; that’s why the New Orleans chef Toya Boudy makes praline bacon part of her family’s Valentine’s Day breakfast spread. But in her new cookbook, Cooking for the Culture: Recipes and Stories from the Streets of New Orleans to the Table, she asks, “Do you really need a reason?” Good point.
Delicious Southern recipes are the heart of Boudy’s new book, but the stories, poetry, and pictures coursing through its pages capture a life marked by struggle and resilience. Boudy celebrates Black culture, the love of family, and the beautiful city of New Orleans, reminding us that there’s joy in the simple act of doing what we do every day for and with each other: cooking and eating. So go ahead and make this sweet and savory goodness any day of the year. There’s no wrong time to spread the love.
The cookbook is on sale February 7.