The New Midwestern Table

Clarkson Potter, September, 2013
Photos by Jennifer May
Illustrations by Amber Fletschock


“The roots of our cooking remain behind closed doors, where the old ways of preparing food – gardening, preserving, fishing, hunting, and otherwise plucking good things from the woods or the fields – are not only still alive, but enjoying a transformative, active present tense (…) The fact is, without the atmosphere-the daily drive past corn fields and pine plantations, felted green pastures dotted with cattle, and others scraped down to the nub, beautiful lakes and even prettier sloughs-this wouldn’t have been the same book. The endless road pointed the way and led me on through countless cultural influences, many state lines, through city and countryside, meals of pure discovery and those ridden with teachable moments, haute cuisine, deer camp cooking, soup potlucks, and butter and lard, the facts of our land.” — From the introduction

logo_jamesbeardAvailable for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and iBookStore.

Praise for The New Midwestern Table

"The New Midwestern Table is a book to get excited about. Being more accustomed to regional Italian myself, it is simply wonderful to discover and become engaged in regional American cuisine. Amy’s Midwestern table is a richly woven tapestry of nature’s bounty, and a tale of the passionate love and gentle care that goes into its preparation. Finding yourself lost in the folds of this culinary story—filled with delicious recipes—is an exciting journey, and one I most certainly recommend.”
- Lidia Bastianich

"We read Amy Thielen’s work with the same excitement that readers from outside the South must have felt upon first encountering Edna Lewis and Bill Neal in the 1970s and 1980s, when they learned that Southern cooking was diverse, deeply rooted in the landscape, and compelling. The New Midwestern Table marks the debut of a major new voice in American cooking.”
- Matt Lee and Ted Lee

"Amy Thielen’s beautiful book honors a cuisine that is all too often ignored or disrespected by bicoastal trend seekers: heartland fare that is nourishing in all sorts of ways. To cook from this book is to partake of precious national tradition. To eat from it is to savor food unique to America, with roots all around the world. For the Lace Potato Pancakes recipe alone, The New Midwestern Table earns a prominent place on our shelf of favorites.”
- Jane and Michael Stern

"Amy allows us all to see our American culinary history through the eyes of an experienced, talented, and hungry, contemporary chef. She uses her training and imagination to recognize the full potential of her native Midwestern landscape highlighted with delicious foods, flavorful family traditions, excellent producers, and a society eager to reconnect with a distinctive, regional dining culture.”
- Michael Anthony

"Thielen has done the impossible, breaking new ground on a well-worn food meme. Like finding the perfect new leather coat that looks like gramps wore it for decades, she has channeled a seemingly brilliant incongruity. In hybridizing her northern prairie–übercool grandma meets modernist-craftsman gastronaut, she has defined the food of our ‘place’ in a way that’s never been done before. Beautifully written, culturally meaningful, and loaded with brilliant cookery, The New Midwestern Table dances on a wire with one foot in the twenty-first century and the other in the nineteenth.”
- Andrew Zimmern

"I’m biased on the Midwestern book, as it’s my home turf, but the Minnesotan Thielen, who logged serious years as a cook and chef at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan until she began a family, brings new life to recipes that are so at home in this part of America, dishes featuring our lake fish and our abundant venison, and vibrant takes on pot roasts and meat pies, recipes from simple salads to more elaborate preparations for headcheese and red current jelly."
- Michael Ruhlman