In the spirit of giving, here are some of our favorite food and drink-related books by Charleston area authors.


Mama Doonk’s Gullah Recipes

Gullah storyteller Theresa Hilliard’s debut cookbook came out in Nov. 2018, a small paperback sprinkled with anecdotes and recipes Hilliard grew up eating on Edisto Island. A recipe for the Barbecue Pig’s Feet begins, “When Grandma killed a hog, nothing went wasted. We ate the feet, the head, the intestines, the ears, the skin, and the tail. I guess you can say, she made Gullah dishes from the rooter to the tooter. A cookout was not a cookout without pigs feet on the table, make sure there are lots of napkins on hand!” You can find Hilliard’s book at

Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture
Through Cocktails

Our favorite traveling mixologists, the Cocktail Bandits, released their book Holy Spirits!, an “overview of Charleston cocktail culture from a unique, urban perspective,” Nov. 2017. The book includes a history of alcohol in Charleston (like the Gullah Geechee Corridor’s famous rice wine) in addition to recipes and insight on the beverage (and influencer) scene from Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves. Follow the Bandits on Instagram to see where they’re popping up next — and get your book copy signed so you can say, ‘I knew them when.’ Purchase Holy Spirits! At

Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food
World’s Riskiest Business

Matt and Ted Lee released their inside look into the fast-paced, high-stakes world of commercial catering in early 2019. They went totally method, donning aprons to work for a NYC “catering giant.” Although they became entrenched in a world far away from the Lowcountry, the Lees were familiar with Charleston’s own highly competitive catering industry, having partnered with companies like Duvall in the past. For our winter Dish 2019 issue, we took our own look into this quietly thriving arm of the hospitality industry. At the time, Duvall, who has been in business for over four decades, said that they’d catered more than 20,000 events since inception. That’s a lot of chicken skewers. Purchase Hotbox at

Say Grace: How the Restaurant Business Saved My Life

Indigo Road founder Steve Palmer just released his gripping, raw debut memoir about getting sober in the restaurant industry. Now managing partner at Indigo Road, a hospitality group that oversees more than 20 concepts across the southeast, Palmer lays it all out for the reader, from the cocaine-fueled binges to the slow chipping away of his mind, body, and spirit. It’s not filled with recipes or tips and tricks for entertaining, but it’s a quintessential read for anyone who has ever stepped foot in a restaurant, and especially for those who worked in one. Find Say Grace online or at your local bookseller.

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