New cookbook presents a culinary history and tour of Virginia

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Jun 12, 2013 - 11:23 AM

Photo: More than 70 copies of “Dishing Up Virginia” were sold at the April 25 launch of “Dishing Up Virginia.” Photo by Bette Wrenn Day

More than 70 copies of “Dishing Up Virginia” were sold at the April 25 launch of “Dishing Up Virginia.” Photo by Bette Wrenn Day

Photo: “Dishing Up Virginia” author Patrick Evans-Hylton, pictured at left, signs copies of the 288-page cookbook published by Storey Publishing. Photo courtesy Mariner's Museum

“Dishing Up Virginia” author Patrick Evans-Hylton, pictured at left, signs copies of the 288-page cookbook published by Storey Publishing. Photo courtesy Mariner's Museum

The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, founded in 1932, is one of the largest maritime museums in the world. The museum recently hosted a food tasting and lecture to launch the cookbook "Dishing Up Virginia." Written by Patrick Evans-Hylton, with foreword by Marcel Desaulniers and photography by Edwin Remberg, the book has attracted attention across Virginia. Participating restaurants and caterers from Tidewater prepared dishes from "Dishing Up Virginia" and guests attending got to taste them at their leisure, listen to a lecture and had a chance to buy a signed copy.

Patrick has been living in Virginia for 23 years, moving here from Atlanta. But his family’s early roots stemmed from the Old Dominion. "My ancestors came through Virginia in 1680 but continued a little further south."

Penning cookbooks is not new to Patrick. He’s written five history books, two of which are on food history. He’s done a community cookbook and one on popcorn.

Three years ago saw the birth of "Dishing Up Virginia." It contains 145 recipes from Colonial times to today. Patrick, who is a graduate of Johnson & Wales Culinary School and a certified chef, kitchen tested 100 of them and did some editing, not to change the recipes but to convert them to modern measurements making them more understandable.

The book takes you on a culinary tour of Virginia from the shorelines of the east to the mountains of the west and into the Piedmont region, citing a great deal of history page after page intermingled with each of the area’s native recipes.