Stumbling around the web this evening, came across this limited edition set of 5 American chefs celebrated on US Postage stamps. The one chef that stood out to me was Edna Lewis. I suppose there isn’t another American who personified Southern, low-country cooking more than Ms Lewis, but was still surprised to see her along side Julia Child, James Beard and others. Not surprised as though she doesn’t belong, just that she’s not as much a household name.
When I first started cooking, I stumbled onto her book, In Pursuit of Flavor(note, it doesn’t appear to be still in print, but a Kindle version is available). Its less a book of recipes—though they are in the book—rather more a look into how she cooked. It would be an understatement to say her words in that book shaped the way I approach food even to this day.
I think the names Childs and Beard speak for themselves. I’m not familiar with Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, and am only slightly familiar with Joyce Chen, but if they were deemed to be contemporaries of of Lewis and Child for their cuisines, I will look to learn about their contributions to the American plate.