While working as a reporter and producer for North Carolina’s public television network, Bob Garner took his “love of good food to work” where he created a weekly program devoted to the state’s barbecue culture. That evolved into several programs about traditional cooking. Over the course of his many years with UNC-TV, Garner established himself as a country-cooking connoisseur and viewers came to love his trademark “mmm-mmm” whenever he tasted a dish that met his standards. In Foods that Make You Say Mmm-mmm, Garner discusses such signature North Carolina dishes as Brunswick stew, livermush, calabash-style fish, Moravian chicken pie, persimmon pudding, fish stew, and scuppernong grapes. Each chapter provides historical background, recipes and preparation tips, and listings of the best venues where the readers can sample for themselves. In addition to the classic dishes, sidebars about favorite brand-name food and beverages, including Krispy Kreme donuts, Texas Pete hot sauce, Cheerwine, and Mt. Olive pickles, are interspersed throughout the book.
Television personality, restaurant reviewer, speaker, author, pit master, and connoisseur of North Carolina barbecue, Bob Garner is the author of two previous books about barbecue. He has written extensively for Our State magazine, including “Bob Garner Eats,” a 10-part series on traditional Southern foods. He has appeared on the Food Network’s Paula’s Home Cookin’ featuring Paula Deen, and Food Nation with Bobby Flay; the Travel Channel’s Road Trip; and ABC’s Good Morning America. Garner was executive producer and host of the UNC-TV series Carolina Countryside and has been a featured speaker at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in New York and the Southern Foodway Alliance’s annual symposium in Oxford, Mississippi. He speaks frequently to a wide variety of audiences across North Carolina. In 2011, Garner joined with Empire Properties in Raleigh, North Carolina, to work with Ed Mitchell at The Pit to promote barbecue heritage; plans include traveling across the state to host heritage dinners and pig pickings, accompanied by live bluegrass music. Garner divides his time between Burlington and Raleigh, North Carolina.