ISO: The Quintessential Floridian Cookbook
i would like a regional cookbook that best represented Florida.
could you also recommend ones that represent just Miami and Just Tampa Bay area?
Thanks in advance,
There is The Florida Cookbook, authors Jeanne Voltz and Caroline Stuart, published by Knopf in 2003. A Floridian gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago so I could learn about Cuban bread.
Used to live in Orlando, and traveled to Tampa/St. Pete quite a lot. The only truly local cookbook that I ever saw was "The Gasparilla Cookbook." I think it's published by the Junior League of Tampa, which is, coincidentally, where I would first point anyone looking for recipes representing a particular city that doesn't have a well-defined food scene (like NYC or New Orleans). Also, I believe the Columbian (a very popular local restaurant in nearby Ybor City) has published a book as well - while I can attest to their food being quite good, I can't attest to the cookbook itself.
Try this link:
For Miami, you might try the "Three Guys from Miami" books - although mostly Cuban-American takes on traditional Cuban cuisine - it's a bit limited in scope (Miami has a lot of different cultures like any big city), but the recipes are all very good, although I do think the book is a bit hokey. You could probably find a better cookbook, but I don't know of one (I always drove right past Miami in a hurry to get to Key West).
As for general "Floridian" books, I haven't seen anything promising in particular, but I do recommend anything by Norman Van Aiken. Floridians claim him as their own (his style is called "Floribbean") - and his recipes always remind me of the natural cultural fusion that Floridian cuisine always seems to provide.
Not sure if you will find it practical, but if you enjoy old cookbooks, Marjorie Kinan Rawlings, Cross Creek Cookery is a really fun read through. A good antique cook book and a nice snapshot of the Southern diet pre WW2. And some of the recipes still work well!