Synopses & Reviews
ALEXE VAN BEUREN is the owner of The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery. Raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, she now lives with her husband and their two children in Water Valley, Mississippi.
DIXIE GRIMES is an Oxford, Mississippi, native, who has cooked for more than two decades in many fine restaurants. She has helmed the kitchen of the B.T.C. since 2011.
"Water Valley, Miss., is a small, rural village saved from obscurity by being just 25 minutes from the campus town of Oxford, and by being fortunate enough to be the home of chef Grimes and self-made business woman van Beuren. B.T.C., which stands for 'Be the Change,' is their little grocery cum diner that could, a local favorite that caught national attention when van Beuren was profiled in a 2012 New York Times article that also highlighted Grimes's pear zucchini soup. This effort to share the B.T.C. experience is a gentle mix of traditional Southern fare, creative variations thereon, and profiles of the only mildly colorful local residents like Mickey Howley, who drops by for cauliflower soup, and Billy Ray Brown, their milkman. Van Beuren's unadorned prose keeps the character studies pure, with a refreshingly minimal amount of folksiness, while Grimes's 120 recipes alternate between classic and surprising. Her shrimp salad is chock full of Hellmann's, but her tuna salad calls for two types of raisins. Having cooked in several fine restaurants over her 20-year career, Grimes also has no problem combining interesting flavors and textures, as with her honey pecan catfish and her oyster casserole with pimentos, dry vermouth, and nutmeg, topped with crushed Ritz crackers." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.