Cooking The Books dining experience at Mel's Commissary in Carrboro (Ticketed)


Al & Melody Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack and Mel’s Commissary & Catering along with Flyleaf Books and guest chef Bill Smith present Cooking the Books.

A dining experience celebrating recipes from some of Flyleaf’s favorite cookbooks. Join us for a five-course meal with wine pairings.




First Course

Cheese Straws and Andouille-Stuffed Mushrooms from Jason Alexander’s The Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook and Kale & Spinach Dip from Jamie DeMent’s The Farmhouse Chef

Second Course

Oyster Stew from Bill Smith’s Crabs and Oysters

Third Course

Pea Greens with Plum Vinaigrette and Chive Blossoms from Andrea Reusing’s Cooking in the Moment

Fourth Course

Soy Maple Pork Chop from Jean-Francois Mallet’s Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World with Roasted Root Vegetables from Jamie DeMent’s The Farmhouse Chef

Fifth Course

Apple Brown Betty from The Edna Lewis Cookbook


The cookbooks will be available for purchase at the event.

$50 per person, gratuity not included.


About the Cookbooks


The Hattie's Restaurant Cookbook: Classic Southern and Louisiana Recipes, Jason Alexander
Hattie’s Restaurant has been bringing classic Southern cooking to Saratoga Springs, New York, since 1938, when Louisiana native Hattie Gray, then a household cook, saved up enough money to start Hattie’s Chicken Shack. Now, their traditional and timeless fare can grace your kitchen with the Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook, by Hattie’s owner and chef Jasper Alexander. This book traces the restaurant’s history from the beginning to the present through recipes, anecdotes, and photographs.

The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes and Stories from My Carolina Farm, Jamie DeMent
Jamie DeMent opens a bright kitchen window onto the newest kind of North Carolina farming life. On fifty-five acres of beautiful Piedmont farmland in Hillsborough, North Carolina, DeMent and her family raise sustainably nurtured and sought-after heirloom varieties of produce and livestock. Every day on Coon Rock Farm, DeMent cooks robust, flavorful, satisfying meals for family, crew, and farm interns—and now you are invited to share the bounty. The Farmhouse Chef offers 150 recipes for every occasion, from down home to downright elegant, inspired by the farm’s yield through the four seasons.

Crabs and Oysters: a Savor the South® cookbook, Bill Smith
Crabs and oysters take center stage as Chef Bill Smith conveys his passion for preparing these sumptuous shellfish long associated with southern coastlines. Smith's sensibilities as a North Carolinian born and raised down east are vibrantly on display as he recalls the joy of growing up catching crabs and shucking oysters. Smith traveled the coastline, visited with crab fishermen and oyster farmers, and dove deep into a library's worth of regional cookbooks and collections of heirloom recipes from seaside communities, notably in North Carolina and Louisiana. His collection of fifty recipes, organized by courses, ranges from simple, everyday preparations to elaborate ones suitable for fancy parties. From Crabmeat Cobbler, Roasted Oysters, and Hard-Crab Stew with White Cornmeal Dumplings, to Crabmeat Ravigotte and Oyster Shortcake, cooks will find a succulent recipe for every occasion. The book includes seasonal selection information and detailed cleaning and preparation instructions for hard- and soft-shell crabs and oysters.

Cooking In The Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes, Andrea Reusing
For Andrea Reusing—an award-winning chef, a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, and a working mother—“cooking in the moment” simply means focusing on one meal at a time. Tender spring broccoli given a smoky char on the grill, a summer berry pudding with cold cream, or a cider-braised pork shoulder served with pan-fried apples on a frosty night—cooking and eating this way allows food in season to become the foundation of a full life. Cooking in the Moment is a rich, absorbing journey through a year in Reusing’s home kitchen as she cooks for family and friends using ingredients grown nearby.

Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World, Jean-Francois Mallet
This is really the EASIEST COOKBOOK IN THE WORLD. Every recipe has less than four steps and fewer than six ingredients, illustrated with more than 1,000 user-friendly photographs. No wonder it is an overnight international bestseller! Want a quick answer to “What should I eat?” Simple-with its clean design, large type, straightforward photos, and handy icons-will have you enjoying a meal in minutes. Through combinations of basic flavors and fresh ingredients, chef, food photographer, and cookbook author Jean-François Mallet helps anyone, the novice and gourmand alike, prepare tasty time-saving meals. His “at-a-glance” approach will change your relationship with your kitchen.

The Edna Lewis Cookbook, Edna Lewis and Evangeline Peterson
Edna Lewis is renowned as one of the greatest American chefs and as an African-American woman who almost single handedly revived a forgotten world of refined Southern cooking. Lewis (1916-2006) also had a remarkable life story. She was born and grew up in rural Virginia in an area called Freetown. She learned to cook from an extended family that included grandparents who had been enslaved. Lewis’s first book, published in 1972, contains over 100 recipes, arranged in menu form and organized according to the season of the year: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Christmas. With its focus mostly although not exclusively on Southern food, it began the revival of true Southern cooking.

Event date: 
Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Mel's Commissary and Catering
109 West Main Street
Carrboro, NC 27510
Staff Pick Badge
Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307463890
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - April 5th, 2011

Signed copies may be available

The Hattie's Restaurant Cookbook: Classic Southern and Louisiana Recipes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781581573466
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Countryman Press - August 16th, 2016

Staff Pick Badge
The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes and Stories from My Carolina Farm Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469635064
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - September 5th, 2017

Signed copies available

Staff Pick Badge
Crabs and Oysters: A Savor the South Cookbook (Savor the South Cookbooks) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469622620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - September 7th, 2015

Signed copies available

The Edna Lewis Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9781604191066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Axios Press - October 1st, 2016

Simple: The Easiest Cookbook in the World Cover Image
By Jean-Francois Mallet (Original author)
ISBN: 9780316317726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - September 27th, 2016