Atlanta chef and Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie (of Eater 38 member Gunshow and the upcoming restaurant Revival) has a simple goal with his second cookbook: "I hope readers become excited about using pork in their cooking on a more regular basis," he tells Eater. To that end, Gillespie's Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World is a high-spirited primer on all things pig. And it's not just a book full of pork belly and bacon recipes: Gillespie says the well-rounded book will allow readers "to see the versatility [pork] offers, both in cooking techniques and the ability to make dishes from all over the world."
Gillespie stays true to his subtitle. Influences range from the American South to East Asia: The pork shoulder chapter alone includes recipes for Coca-Cola Braised Pork Shoulder, Slow-Cooked Barbacoa, Pork Pastrami on Rye, and Korean Barbecue Pork Bulgogi. And like in his first book, 2012's Fire in My Belly, the chef took special care to make sure the recipes were in fact "totally cookable" at home. "We made it a point not to use traditional chef avenues for sourcing ingredients so these are items you can buy in your neighborhood grocery or market," Gillespie explains. "The recipes were tested using household equipment in a residential environment and in timeframes that most people have to cook within." There are also helpful tips scattered throughout the book, and Angie Mosier's photography sometimes showcases techniques step-by-step.
While Pure Pork Awesomeness is certainly expansive — there's pasta, there's dessert, there's a little bit of everything — it doesn't present itself as the final word on pork. "Visually, my goal was a book that is more of a worker's manual, like a Boy Scout manual," says Gillespie. "I didn't want an encyclopedic book about pork."
Pure Pork Awesomeness hits shelves on March 31st. You can pre-order now on Amazon, and take a look inside with the exclusive preview below: