American recipes flourish in Midwestern-flavored cookbooks

American recipes flourish in Midwestern-flavored cookbooks

Colby and Megan Garrelts are the husband and wife chef-owners of two critically acclaimed Midwestern establishments – the Bluestem fine-dining restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, which opened in 2004 and, Rye, an eatery where the Midwestern flavors the Garrelts grew up enjoying, are celebrated with every meal it has served since making its debut in Leawood, Kansas, in 2012. Despite the restaurants having realized both local and national acclaim and Colby’s capturing 2005’s “Food & Wine” magazine’s Top 10 New Chef award and being chosen as the 2013 James Beard Foundation winner, Best Chef: Midwest, as well as Megan’s being a James Beard semifinalist for Best Pastry Chef, the pair has accomplished even more. In 2011, written with lawyer-turned-food writer/photographer Bonjwing Lee, the Garrelts published “Bluestem: The Cookbook,” a brilliantly photographed book which “delivers the best of their 125 modern, seasonally-driven recipes with a Midwestern flair.” Among the offerings that caught my interest was “Sweet Corn Soup, Maryland Blue Crab,” as fine an up-scale restaurant recipe as any home cook could ever hope to possess and master. Equally enticing, is Megan’s take on Peach Buckle, a “brandy-perfumed” cake, that works equally well with any number of soon-to-be here fruits such as sour cherries, blueberries or nectarines, from the just released “Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes.” Filled with 50 well-constructed recipes, “redefined with updated cooking methods” and comprised of top-quality ingredients from America’s heartland, either of these books helps cooks of all levels do what we love most – cook good food for those we love – with love. To preview these titles, or learn how they may be purchased, visit, or

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