Sassy Southern Cooking with a French Twist


News about Holly Herrick, her books, appearances and writing.

A Real Book Page Turner

Thank you to The Times and Democrat for a nice  article about me and my books as well as the other two authors participating in next week’s sixth annual Page Turner event, the newspaper’s biggest annual fund-raiser. I enjoyed speaking with reporter Dionne Gleaton. To read the entire story, click on the link below.

Otherwise, here’s a short except and quotes from yours truly:

She  said her first cookbook was based on a newspaper column she had written about shopping at farmer’s markets.

“It really hasn’t stopped since then. It’s been fun. I still love going to farmers’ markets or a beautiful grocery and finding something spectacular. It’s about sharing the knowledge and love of cooking and doing it in such a way that everybody will love and enjoy it,” Herrick said. “The goal is to make it inspirational and fun.”

Herrick said perseverance is a critical to the art of writing.

“You just have to do it. Dreaming doesn’t get it done. The actual art of any kind of writing is to be attuned with what is going on around you all the time. The key is to be very observant and to try to be a good listener. Try to get the undertones as much as possible because that sensitivity will come back through your writing,” she said.

She said food writing is as much an art as novel or poetry writing.

“I think of the myriad of examples of experts in food writing like James Beard and Julia Child. They’re all people who described food and had a poetry of their own. I went to one of the biggest cooking schools in the world, but I learn something new every day even in my own kitchen,” Herrick said.

France, French cooking and her current book series are among the topics which she said she will touch on at the Page Turner Luncheon.

“I’m sort of between two cultures right now, but there are similarities between Southern cooking and French cooking, which most people think of as fancy and impractical. But French cooking actually stems from frugality and freshness,” Herrick said, adding, “I promise to make it fun.”

Here’s more specific information about the event on March 4. I hope to see you there!




Books & Beignets for Valentine’s Day


Wondering what to get your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? How about some sweets for your sweet? Learn how to make fried choux pastry (beignets) with a fresh raspberry coulis from my demonstration and perhaps purchase a signed copy of one (or two!) of my cookbooks after. They really do make lovely gifts anytime of the year for anyone that enjoys cooking. I would love to see you there. It’s going to be fun and delicious.

Bon appetit!





WSJ Has Kind Words for Cream Puffs


Wall Street Journal’s Gastronomy columnist Aram Bakshian, Jr. wrote a very flattering review of The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs(as well as 4 other cookbooks) in this past weekend’s (December 14 and 15) edition. What a lovely Christmas present!

The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs

The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs a new release, October 1, 2013 (Gibbs Smith)

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“There’s a bit more puff to the pastries described in Holly Herrick’s “The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs” (Gibbs Smith, 127 pages, $21.99). The latest addition to its publisher’s volumes on aspects of French cooking, this is a slender tome about a fattening yet exquisitely airy and oh-so-French dessert genre: cream puffs and éclairs. The lightness comes from the choux pastry base of simmered butter, water, flour and eggs, which Julia Child described as “one of the easiest pastries to make,” once you get the hang of it. Whatever its size or shape, the choux pastry serves as a model home for hundreds of fruit, custard, crème, cheese and chocolate fillings. Many of them are included here, from quick-cooking fruit sauces like Coulis aux Framboise (raspberry sauce intensified with crème de cassis) to the multilayered flavors of Profiteroles (cream puffs) with Salted Caramel Macadamia Nut Ice Cream and Warm Caramel Sauce (a great combination of a lot of sweetness with just a touch of savoriness). Ms. Herrick, an award-winning pastry chef herself, is the ideal docent for this classic gallery of French desserts, and her recipes, for even the most complicated items, are concise and clear.”

Mr. Bakshian also rightly states at the top of his piece that “Christmas remains a bastion of culinary custom, a time to open our hearts, loosen our belts, and enjoy food rather than obsess about it.” Indeed! Wishing you and yours an especially warm, loving, beautiful and delicious Christmas and good tidings for 2014.

Bon appetit!


Merci Bonjour Colorado and Holiday Tidings


Thank you to Maribeth Clemenete at Bonjour Colorado for taking the time to talk with me about The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs, making pastry, France and Charleston’s dynamic restaurant scene. You can listen to the full 30 minute link here:

It’s hard to believe Christmas is just two weeks away!

CHRISTMASTREEIf you’re still looking for that special something for the cookbook lover in your life, please consider one of my cookbooks. If you’re interested in a signed copy (copies) mailed directly to you, please message me here with the best contact information for me to reach you, and we’ll make it happen.

The French Cook: Sauces and The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs are beautiful together as a gift for lovers of French cooking in particular. I sell the pair at a 15% discount price of $42 for both plus shipping.

The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs

The French Cook: Cream Puffs & Eclairs a new release, October 1, 2013 (Gibbs Smith)

The French Cook: Sauces (Gibbes Smith, March 1, 2013) by Holly Herrick

The French Cook: Sauces (Gibbes Smith, March 1, 2013) by Holly Herrick

They would look beautiful under the tree and yield many happy and delicious returns for years to come.  Wishing you and yours a beautiful, delicious, safe and happy holiday season and a fabulous 2014.









Sweet Press for The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs

Not to toot my own “choux,” but am pleased to share the happy news that at barely one month since its release, The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs (Gibbs Smith, 10/1/2013) is getting noticed by critical media and cookbook enthusiasts.

Jamie Schler of Huffington Post says of the book in her column Huffpost Taste:

“Most of us think of the chocolate eclair and the cream puff as delightful little French pastries to pick up from the corner bakery on a trip to Paris but much too fussy to make in our own kitchens. Holly Herrick’s newest cookbook is an exploration deep into the world of choux and quickly debunks the myth that this best-known French pastry is something too complicated for the home baker. She walks us through the art of making choux and then gives us recipes for every filling imaginable…”

Profiterole with Salted Caramel Macadamia Ice Cream and Hot Caramel Sauce. Photo by Alexandra DeFurio.

Profiterole with Salted Caramel Macadamia Ice Cream and Hot Caramel Sauce. Photo by Alexandra DeFurio.

This profiterole combo (left) just happens to be one of my favorites.

Thank you, Jamie. For a link to her complete article as well as reviews for several other cookbooks, click below.

The Zebra Has Spoken

About two years ago, I started seeing posts of the most adorable stuffed zebra on Facebook and elsewhere. His name is ZeBot-Planet Doof and his mission is to help children get excited about cooking and to better understand where their food comes from and how to prepare it. The core ingredient? Fun! That’s what Ze-Bot is all about, and he’s adorable to boot.

ZeBot and the Shoe Pastries

ZeBot and the Shoe Pastries


That’s him to the left, sitting in some borrowed “shoes” next to his “choux” pastry.

ZeBot and his creator/partner in crime, the ever talented Laura Martin Bacon, dedicated their blog yesterday to making choux pastry and they used The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs and me as their teacher.

The result is an amazingly creative and wonderfully fun piece showing ZeBot navigating the (at first) confusing world of choux pastry, which he eventually masters, despite the complicated matter of his hooves. There is an award-worthy  video showing ZeBot grooving to Elvis and Blue Suede Shoes.

ZeBot even called the book “brilliant.” I think he’s one very smart zebra.

Thanks ZeBot and Laura. The link to the complete blog and video follows:

Go ahead and join his page if you love fun and teaching children great stuff. I did!

As always, happy cooking. Look for a soup recipe posting soon. I’m busy making delicious soups and stews for the next book, The French Cook: Soupes, Daubes and Potages.


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