Monday, September 28, 2015



 By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-A quarter century ago, Jim Sanders published his cookbook with over 100 recipes ranging from French originals to delights from the kitchens of the Deep South. What distinguished his monumental effort is the pairing of these with appropriate wines. While others have tried in some small way to do this, none begin to measure up.

Jim was a Georgia native, well educated at Emory University and a French-trained chef. To this day, he is recognized as the father of fine wines in Atlanta and the Southeast. His daily joy was serving his dishes with fabulous wines at his store to customers and friends, including one special tasting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (See Down South Today podcast at iTunes.)

Prior to Jim’s death in 1999, he entrusted me with his notes and other documents, all related to food and wine. Among these was a copy of Jim Sanders Cooks for Wine Lovers, which deserved preservation and republication. Thanks to the help of Jim’s friends, it is available again, a lasting testament to his genius and culinary expertise.

Coc au Vin is a page away from Fried Chicken. Normandy Tomato Soup is featured after Cuban Black Bean Soup. Elegant Tournedos Wellington is alongside a recipe for Shrimp Louisianne.

Our All-American entrée, Thanksgiving Roast Turkey with Dressing and Giblet Gravy, is paired with wine selections from Burgundy, Alsace and Germany.

While each page is a treasure for cooks anywhere, the centerfold makes this a genuine collectible. “Guide to the Most Popular French Table Wines” has no counterpart I’ve seen. It is a tour de force of the wines of France, complete with taste characteristics and compatible dishes.

Rib Roast? Margaux, of course. With Brunswick Stew (Sanders recipe is a Southern classic), few wines pair better than a Cru Beaujolais like Saint-Amour.

Jim’s wines, 160 of them, are still available under the J Sanders label. He was a wine retailer and educator. Thousands took his wine course and for me, it was a life changing experience.

This amazing work is the handiest, most useful in my kitchen library. You cannot put it down if you love food, food heritage and the relationship of food with worthy wines.

Jim Sanders Cooks is timeless, a wonderful gift and perfect stocking stuffer.

It will be available in just a few days.

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