Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I'm a native of Clinton, Georgia, now raising a family in Oxford, Mississippi. In addition to writing about American food culture, I direct the Southern Foodways Alliance, a University of Mississippi-based organization that documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South.
Tell us a bit about the book?
It's a recipe driven cookbook, overlaid with street scene from 12 cities where street food matters, from Portland, Oregon to Durham, North Carolina. The recipes are straightforward flavor punches, suitable, for the most part, for weeknight cooking.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I was traveling in Vietnam, falling hard for their street food -- especially cha gio. And I asked myself, "Hey, why don't we have great street food in the US?" I was lucky to ask that question at a time when the American street food renaissance was gaining momentum. Suzanne Rafer, my editor at Workman saw merit in the idea. Bless her.
Which is your favourite project?
I love the fried green tomatoes in chickpea tempura from Chef Shack in Minneapolis. The batter tastes dusky, which plays well off the sweet-sour tomatoes.
What is your craft space like?
I write in a tin-roofed former tool shed, set in our back yard. Above me hangs a mason jar lamp. To my right is a picture of my wife, Blair, in her high school majorette uniform.
Have you always been creative?
I was a wild man in college. If you can call that creative. That said, I've always loved words. I just never imagined I could make a money from the sweet spot where words and food meet.
When did you first start crafting?
Who are your crafty heroes?
I respect the heck out of Calvin Trillin, the longtime New Yorker writer. He began singing the praises of honest local foods like barbecue and fried chicken, deeply rooted in tradition and place, long before anyone else.
Where do you find inspiration?
Strip malls. I think most of the interesting food in America now emerges from dumpy strip malls.
What's next for you?
A narrative and personal history of modern Southern food culture, tentatively titled The Potlikker Papers.
It’s the best of street food: bold, delicious, surprising, over-the-top goodness to eat on the run. And the best part is now you can make it at home. Obsessively researched by food authority John T. Edge, The Truck Food Cookbook delivers 150 recipes from America’s best restaurants on wheels, from L.A. and New York to the truck food scenes in Portland, Austin, Minneapolis, and more.
John T. Edge shares the recipes, special tips, and techniques. And what a menu-board: Tamarind-Glazed Fried Chicken Drummettes. Kalbi Beef Sliders. Porchetta. The lily-gilding Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger. A whole chapter’s worth of tacos—Mexican, Korean, Chinese fusion. Plus sweets, from Sweet Potato Cupcakes to an easy-to-make Cheater Soft-Serve Ice Cream. Hundreds of full-color photographs capture the lively street food gestalt and its hip and funky aesthetic, making this both an insider’s cookbook and a document of the hottest trend in American food.