Influential Mid-Atlantic Cookbooks (Part 6)

Cover of "Chesapeake Bay Cooking"

Cover of Chesapeake Bay Cooking

Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields

            Although John Shields has written several cookbooks on Mid-Atlantic cooking, this is by far his best one. It was released as a companion book for the PBS cooking show which he hosted. he is the owner and operator of the restaurant Gertrude’s named for his grandmother who introduced him to Mid-Atlantic cuisine. He also has his own blog and website at:

The book deals mostly with coastal cuisine but touches on a few of the dishes found in the Alleghenies as well, but its main influence are the Chesapeake Bay. For Mid-Atlantic seafood recipes, this is a great resource and a must have in your kitchen, if you are interested in traditional Mid-Atlantic fare. The TV show is also available on DVD on Amazon:

The series is really well done and actually takes John out of the kitchen and all around the Chesapeake Bay region to gather recipes from native people who have produced this cuisine and maintain its traditions to this day. Anyone interested in this style of cooking, the book and the show will be a valuable addition to your collection.

Some of the dishes are more modern than the original or classic dish, but this just shows the evolution of the style of cooking and where it may soon be heading in the future. There are some great stories included in the series and in the book as well as interesting facts about modern influence on the dish.

While the book is not all inclusive when it comes to Mid-Atlantic cuisine, it does a great job in giving a cross section of Chesapeake cooking and offers a fantastic variety of recipes for several dishes, including all of the usual classics and some less famous, but locally known dishes.

The book can be found anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region and is available on Amazon through used dealers. Pick it up and see why John Shield‘s is referred to as “The ambassador of the Chesapeake.”

About midatlanticcooking

Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 20 years. Painter, writer and traveler.
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6 Responses to Influential Mid-Atlantic Cookbooks (Part 6)

  1. I do love a good cookbook recommendation, especially one that focuses on regional cuisine. I’ll have to take a peek at his blog too. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Sally says:

    Not heard of this author – sounds very interesting.

  3. I am not a cook, but this book makes me want to cook! Lots of love, Emily

    • The whole point of any book, fiction or non-fiction is to inspire. I hope you try some recipes out. Everyone is a cook, it’s just a matter of repetition, that’s why everyone’s Grandma is a good cook. Years of practice, no secrets to it.

    • I have this cookbook, but it is still to new to know how much influence it will have over time, but it is a great cookbook to start with if you are interested in Mid-Atlantic Cooking.

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