Mississippi Today hosted Chef Vishwesh Bhatt at Members’ Book Club

For Mississippi Today’s first members-only book club, editor-in-chief Kayleigh Skinner was joined by award-winning chef and now author Vishwesh Bhatt to answer questions from Mississippi Today members. Chef Bhatt discussed the inspiration behind his book, how he got into cooking and the importance of community, among many other topics, such as how to properly approach okra. His new book, “I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef,” debuted August 16, and is a collection of recipes and stories from his unique perspective as a chef who has found a home here in the South. Read a full review of Bhatt’s book.

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Born in Gujarat, India, Bhatt later moved to the United States, where he became known for his inventive dishes that bring together Southern staples with subcontinental dishes, such as Peanut Masala-Stuffed Baby Eggplant and Kale-wrapped Catfish with a Spicy Peanut Pesto. He is Southern Living’s Southerner of the Year 2019, James Beard Foundation Best Chef South 2019, and was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs in 2022. Bhatt has been part of Chef John Currence’s City Grocery Restaurant Group since 1997, becoming executive chef of Oxford Snack Bar, Miss.

Bhatt will host a book signing before joining the Taste of the South panel at the Mississippi Book Festival on Aug. 20.

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