Best of the Best

This cookbook is a strange mix of personal and impersonal, but we chose to include it because there isn’t really anything else quite like it in the collection. One day, Gwen McKee was struck with the desire to collect signature favorite recipes characteristic of every state—and she meant every state. With her close friend Barbara Moseley, she visited every single state in the United States over the course of 22 years, an endeavor that culminated in 2005 with the completion of the “Best of the Best” cookbook collection (over 19,000 recipes). Best of the Best of North Carolina is, of course, only one of fifty, but the nature of its creation—two women on a very dedicated quest—makes this an interesting balance of commercial and personal. Including recipes from all across the state, this cookbook is a window into regional cooking as seen from outside the region (as the women are from the South, but not Appalachia), which is always a valuable point of view to have.

McKee, Gwen, and Barbara Moseley, eds. Best of the Best from North Carolina Cookbook: Selected Recipes from North Carolina’s Favorite Cookbooks. Best of the Best Cookbook Series. Quail Ridge Press, 2006.