100+ beloved recipes proving that Southern baking is American baking—from the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of the New Orleans bakery Willa Jean.
“Kelly Fields bakes with the soul of a grandma, the curiosity of a student, and the skill of a master.”—Vivian Howard, author of Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Bon Appétit • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Garden & Gun
Celebrated pastry chef Kelly Fields has spent decades figuring out what makes the absolute best biscuits, cornbread, butterscotch pudding, peach pie, and, well, every baked good in the Southern repertoire. Here, in her first book, Fields brings you into her kitchen, generously sharing her boundless expertise and ingenious ideas. With more than one hundred recipes for quick breads, muffins, biscuits, cookies and bars, puddings and custards, cobblers, crisps, galettes, pies, tarts, and cakes—including dozens of variations on beloved standards—this is the new bible for Southern baking.
About the Author
Kelly Fields grew up near Charleston in a family with a strong Lowcountry baking tradition. She has worked as a pastry chef for more than twenty years, including first working under Susan Spicer and then at August in New Orleans before opening her own Willa Jean, after which Eater New Orleans named her Chef of the Year. She won Outstanding Pastry Chef from the James Beard Foundation in 2019 and was named one of the most influential people in the South by Garden & Gun magazine. She founded the Yes Ma'am foundation to inspire, encourage, and mentor the next generation of women in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Like every good Southerner, she has a good dog (Kinney) by her side.
Kate Heddings is a food journalist and writer, and the former food editor at Food & Wine.
“Kelly Fields honors her Southern heritage through her beloved, approachable recipes—many grounded in tradition and others reimagined, enhanced by her whimsical flair. With skillfully detailed, straight-forward, and easy-to-follow steps, this book belongs on every cookbook shelf.”—Claudia Fleming, author of The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern
“It’s hard to resist the laid-back, roll-up-your-sleeves and BAKE energy that Kelly Fields brings to the kitchen. From Creole Cheesecake, with made-from-scratch New Orleans–style cream cheese, to a hummingbird cake spiked with rose petals, her approach to dessert marries a pastry chef’s attention to detail with the breezy, ‘ain’t nothin’ to it’ ethos of a true Southern baker. Dust off your measuring cups, stock up on buttermilk, and get ready to bake!”—Stella Parks, author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
“The Good Book of Southern Baking is the result of Kelly Fields’s twenty years of travel and kitchen experience. She had me at biscuits and cornbread, but I was just as excited about her deep dive into the ‘how-tos’ and ‘whys’ of some of my childhood favorites. She makes baking fun, attainable, and, most of all, delicious.”—Carla Hall, author of Carla Hall’s Soul Food
“Navigating the Southern baking canon is a delicate task. We Southern bakers come from a rich heritage of skill, but one that has been over-looked and codified as ‘quaint’ and ‘simple’ for far too long. Kelly Fields has elevated our region’s baking status with her technical deftness and creative vision. She communicates these recipes with an approachable mastery that speaks to her understanding of ingredients, procedure, and all the mutable variables. With this book, we are lucky to gain access to the great mind of one of our most important pastry chefs and one who explains not only how but why baking works (the key to all good baking). This is an important book—a classic in the making.”—Lisa Donovan, author of Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger