Skip to main content

Midwestern Food

A Chef’s Guide to the Surprising History of a Great American Cuisine, with More Than 100 Tasty Recipes

Midwestern Food

A Chef’s Guide to the Surprising History of a Great American Cuisine, with More Than 100 Tasty Recipes

An acclaimed chef offers a historically informed cookbook that will change how you think about Midwestern cuisine.

Celebrated chef Paul Fehribach has made his name serving up some of the most thoughtful and authentic regional southern cooking—not in the South, but in Chicago at Big Jones. But over the last several years, he has been looking to his Indiana roots in the kitchen, while digging deep into the archives to document and record the history and changing foodways of the Midwest.

Fehribach is as painstaking with his historical research as he is with his culinary execution. In Midwestern Food, he focuses not only on the past and present of Midwestern foodways but on the diverse cultural migrations from the Ohio River Valley north- and westward that have informed them. Drawing on a range of little-explored sources, he traces the influence of several heritages, especially German, and debunks many culinary myths along the way.

The book is also full of Fehribach’s delicious recipes informed by history and family alike, such as his grandfather's favorite watermelon rind pickles; sorghum-pecan sticky rolls; Detroit-style coney sauce; Duck and manoomin hotdish;  pawpaw chiffon pie; strawberry pretzel gelatin salad (!); and he breaks the code to the most famous Midwestern pizza and BBQ styles you can easily reproduce at home. But it is more than just a cookbook, weaving together historical analysis and personal memoir with profiles of the chefs, purveyors, and farmers who make up the food networks of the greater Chicago region.

The result is a mouth-watering and surprising Midwestern feast from farm to plate. Flyover this!

280 pages | 13 halftones | 7 x 10

Chicago and Illinois

Food and Gastronomy

History: American History

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: On Relishes, Sweets, and Sours: Pickles and Preserves
Meet the Locals: Justin Dean
Chapter 2: A Country Well Lit: Cocktails
Meet the Locals: Andy Hazzard
Chapter 3: Baker’s Delight: Breads
Meet the Locals: Titus Ruscitti
Chapter 4: Of State Fairs, Tailgates, and Main Street Cafés: Sandwiches and Handheld Food
Chapter 5: Please Pass the Corn: Vegetables and Sides
Meet the Locals: Rob Connoley
Chapter 6: Pull Up a Chair: Meat and Potatoes
Meet the Locals: Marty and Will Travis
Chapter 7: Burgerlandia
Chapter 8: Midwestern Barbecue
Chapter 9: A Pizza Tour
Meet the Locals: Stephanie Hart
Chapter 10: Sweets: Pies, Cakes, Cookies, and Confections
Meet the Locals: Erika Allen
Chapter 11: What Next, Heartland?

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press