Cover of The Fresh Table, photo by Frank McMains (March, 2013: 288 pages, cloth, $34.95)

After a year of editing, writing, recipe testing, and more than one food photo-shoot, The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round is finally here! 

As part of the Spring 2013 new books list for LSU Press, The Fresh Table is one of the first books to be published with the new food and foodways division of the press, specializing in Louisiana cooking any month of the year.  A few weeks ago, LSU Press issued this press release (see pages 2 and 3 for my 2-page spread! Holy Cow!) or simply read up on my book here.  As I’ve said and will continue to say, it’s an honor to be published with such an incredible institution of Louisiana culture like LSU Press.  (You can read more about the press here.)

A sample of pictures you can find in the book’s galleries—Petite Crab Cakes, Raspberry Cream Tartlets, Stuffed Mushrooms, Pear and Pancetta Salad, Roasted Beets, and Tomato Basil Soup.

(Not pictured: the some 30-40 new recipes you can’t find on the website!)

For now, I get to sit back and relax while the book gets published, but will be adding a series of book signings, talks, and cooking demonstrations in the new year (stay tuned!).  The Fresh Table is uniquely special to me not just because it’s my first book, but because of the several years of writing and photographing in southern Louisiana that’s made it possible.  I introduce each recipe with a personal story that adds the last ingredient required for a true Louisiana dish–my connection with and appreciation for my community.

Whether you’re a reader in New Orleans or New York, I hope you’ll find dozens of clearly delicious dishes for your own table and learn a little something about Louisiana’s year-round growing season. It may be December, August, or May, but every table can always be a little bit fresh.

What you can expect in the cookbook:

-Pantry Breakdown (what to have on hand and how to use it)

-Seasonal recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts

-Color Images

-List of wonderful online resources

-List of Farmer’s Markets and Produce Stands Across the State of Louisiana

-Seasonal Produce List in Spreadsheet Form

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Helana Brigman is the creator of the award-winning blog Clearly Delicious, a food writer, photographer, and chef whose work has appeared in Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine, and her column “Fresh Ideas” for Louisiana’s state newspaper, The AdvocateA doctoral candidate in English, Brigman lives in Baton Rouge, LA, with her dog Cara where she writes, photographs, and eats the best of southern cooking.