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Want to Meet Big Bad Chef?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

John Currence is coming to town to sign copies of Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey, his new cookbook. Photograph courtesy of Home Team PR

NOVEMBER 13, 2013

Want to Meet Big Bad Chef?
Chef John Currence visits High Wire Distilling Co. for a one-night-only book signing fête

written by Kinsey Gidick

You have to appreciate a cookbook that pairs a song with each dish. Such is the case in Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $40), the debut tome from Oxford, Mississippi, chef John Currence, who visits Charleston next Tuesday for a book signing at High Wire Distilling Co. In the book, the chef who helms multiple ovens, including that of famed City Grocery, dishes up smoked mushroom tamales with Lucinda William’s “Drunken Angel;” serves his Blood Marys with a side of Guns n’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” And, my personal favorite, suggests Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears” with his sweet corn pudding. (Lawd have mercy, Ray, it brings a tear to my eyes too just thinking about that puddin’.)

But it’s not just the “song with your soup” scheme that makes this book so entertaining. It’s the tales Currence spins along the way in his classic, irreverent voice.

On duck prosciutto: “In my experience, this has been the charcuterie hack’s easy go-to, ‘hey-look-at-me-I’m-doing-charcuterie’ item.”

On black pepper: “Immediately throw away any pre-ground black pepper you have.”

On “grown-up” drinks: “I don’t much go in for overwrought, froufrou cocktails.”

On lard: “Don’t engage the lard enemies as more often than not, they have no f#*$ing idea what they are talking about.”

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey displays what admirers have long since suspected, that the man they call “Big Bad Chef” can tell a great story almost as well as he can cook a great meal. And now Charleston fans have a chance to meet the author themselves for a taste and tell signing featuring bites from the book prepared by local chefs Jason Stanhope of FIG, Jeremiah Bacon of Macintosh and Oak, Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk, and Stuart Tracy of Butcher & Bee. It’s an evening of culinary inspiration from a man who’s cooking advice is simple, “Find recipes that strike you, put on some music, relax, and surrender yourself to the process.”

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey Book Tour Event
Tuesday, November 19, 6-8:30 p.m.
High Wire Distilling Co., 652 King St.
$85 per person (includes copy of book)

For tickets, click here.

For more local events, click here.