Press Release - Detail
Contact:  Chanda Temple, Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library                   
Phone: (205) 444-9279 (cell)

New Cookbook will Benefit the Birmingham Public Library

Birmingham, Ala. (Oct. 8., 2014)  ­– Nearly 90 recipes from Birmingham-area restaurants and bars will be featured in a new cookbook that highlights the area’s culinary community.

Food Network Star finalist Martie Duncan and other local food experts joined forces this summer to create “Birmingham’s Best Bites: Favorite Recipes from Restaurants, Bars, & Food Trucks Around the Magic City. ’’ The book will be revealed at a launch party on Friday, Oct. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the downtown Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place. The book will cost $20.  Proceeds will benefit the library. 

The book launch party is part of the library's Eat Drink Read Write Festival, Oct. 3 - 10. During the Oct. 10 party, 17 area restaurants will provide some of their "best bites.'' Advance tickets to the launch party are $10. 

“We’ve got a really good book. It’s a beautiful book,’’ says Duncan. 

There are recipes from well-known and award winning chefs such as Frank Stitt, Chris Hastings and James Boyce; newcomers such as Melt, Hotbox and El Barrio; landmarks such as Bright Star and Fife’s; favorite barbecue restaurants; and meat-and-two locations such as Eagles Restaurant, which Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern featured in 2013. Recipe entries range from appetizers and entrees to desserts and cocktails. Several of the restaurants in the book have gained national attention for their food and history.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell says he’s excited about the library’s efforts in putting together such a recipe book so that it may be shared with individuals to show that “Birmingham is moving forward in a quality way as it relates to our restaurants.’’

“I want to thank all of the chefs who make it possible to have such great food here in Birmingham, Ala. And we look forward to continuing to grow that arena because it helps attract people to come here for conferences and conventions,’’ Bell says. “And also when people come here and they see the fine quality of life with the fine food that we have, it makes them want to live here as well.’’ 

Says Angela Fisher Hall, the library's interim director: "There are so many great restaurants in Birmingham - each has its own style and flavor.''

Duncan worked with a team to complete the book. Some of them include Connie Blalock, a Birmingham Originals board member; Chef Chris Vizzina; Anne Cain, a former Time Inc. editor; and Arden Ward Upton of Arden Photography.

“The photography is incredible. The recipes are brilliant,’’ Duncan says. “For the home cook or the experienced chef, I think people will find something they will want to make. Some of your favorite recipes are in here like Hot and Hot’s Tomato Salad, Ashley Mac’s Mac and Cheese and Dreamcakes’ Brown Sugar Pound Cake with  Bourbon Caramel Glaze.’’ 
Duncan sees the book as a way to shine an even brighter light on the city’s food scene. “The diversity of recipes and places in the book, I think, will make people want to come to Birmingham to eat the food,’’ she said. “I think it will encourage people who live here to go and try new places.’’

Duncan says she’s loved the library since she was a child growing up in east Birmingham. “The library has a big place in my heart. From the time I was a kid, I would ride my bike to the East Lake Library to get books,’’ she says. “I would try to fill up my summer reading card to show how many books I’d read.’’ 

“For many people, the library is familiar and comforting,’’ she says. “They provide resources for people who may not have access to certain materials. We have to continue to support it.’’ 

Proceeds from Friday's party will also benefit the library. 

To buy the Oct. 10 tickets, visit For more information about Eat Drink Read Write, visit

The enclosed photo of the Orange and Blue Oyster Poppers from Dixie Fish & Co. is by Arden Ward Upton. The recipe for the oysters is in the new cookbook.  
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