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As a Southerner, I love my family’s classic dishes, but I’m always on the lookout for fun variations—and that’s what I found in Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul, by Lazarus Lynch. The Chopped champion, chef, singer-songwriter, and social media star infuses his recipes with lots of personality. His book satisfied all my Sunday-dinner cravings but with a different kind of flair. Want to do something to collard greens besides boil them with smoked meat? Make his BBQ Collard Green Salad with Crispy Bacon. How about a new take on yams? Lynch tops his with brûléed goat cheese—genius. His Maple Bourbon Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Dr Pepper Up My Sesame Ribs made for appropriately sticky fingers and kept all elbows on my dinner table. The book is also a joy to read (and may have also inspired a Beyoncé dance party in my kitchen).
Buy it! Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul, $16; amazon.com