I was full of excitement when I received the invitation from Tim Rutherford to write the foreword to his book, “Savannah, Let’s Eat!”
Although I am Northerner and was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Harrisburg, PA, for the pass 17 years my approach to the cuisine of The South and The Lowcountry came while I was teaching at my cooking school in Savannah.
From the wonderful Southern cooks that took my classes, I discovered that pride and love are vital aspects of food preparation, whether the ingredients are few and the recipes are simple or the pantry is plentiful and thrifty.
From Martha Nesbit, former food editor of the Savannah Morning News. I learned the importance of cooking with fresh seasonal ingredients. And from noted historian W. W. Law, I was inspired to read books on Southern cookery that have help me to reflect while continuing to learn.
Reading, “Savannah, Let’s Eat!” has given me a feeling of longing for that time in the early 1960s. It reminds me of the important things the Southern cooks I worked with at The Harrisburger Hotel taught me about the things Southern cooks brought to American culture and its table. And most of all, it left me wanting.
My mouth waters with the desire for a taste from a pot of Savannah Red Rice. It doesn’t take much thought to know the pleasure of savoring a Oyster and Shrimp Purloo. One of the most desired rice dishes of the Lowcountry is the pilau or purloo.
I could tantalize you with countless other selections from this significant book;, I suggest you treat yourself. I feel certain that, “Savannah, Let’s Eat!” will become a standard and that it will revitalize an awareness of what is possible in original American cookery.
Joseph G. Randall
Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School