The Happy Table of Eugene Walter

Southern Spirits in Food and Drink

By Eugene Walter

Edited by Donald Goodman and Thomas Head

296 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 24 halftones, index

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6925-3
    Published: October 2011
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2222-4
    Published: February 2015
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8602-6
    Published: October 2011

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Awards & distinctions

A Fall 2011 Okra Pick: Great Southern Books Fresh Off the Vine, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance

A southern Renaissance man, Eugene Walter (1921-1998) was a pioneering food writer, a champion of southern foodways and culture, and a legendary personality among food lovers. The Happy Table of Eugene Walter, which introduces a new generation of readers to Walter's culinary legacy, is a revelation to anyone interested in today's booming scene in vintage and artisanal drinks--from bourbon and juleps to champagne and punch--and a southern twist on America's culinary heritage.

Assembled and edited by Walter's literary executor, Donald Goodman, and food writer Thomas Head, this charming cookbook includes more than 300 recipes featuring the use of spirits in the food and drink of the South, as well as numerous asides, lovely short essays, and countless witticisms that make for great reading as well as good cooking. A wellspring of southern eating and drinking traditions lovingly collected by Walter over the years, the volume is also a celebration of Walter himself and his incomparable appetite and talent for life and its surprising pleasures. The Happy Table showcases Walter's remarkably contemporary gustatory sensibilities and the humorous and quirky yet incisive voice for which he has long been embraced.

About the Author

Eugene Walter (1921-98), a native of Mobile, Alabama, and author of the classic American Cooking: Southern Style, was a pioneering food writer and editor who enjoyed long sojourns in New York, Rome, and Paris when he wasn't at home in the South. A translator, screenwriter, novelist, puppeteer, artist, costume designer, actor, and more, Walter was a man of arts, letters, and food. The Happy Table of Eugene Walter, a cookbook that Walter was working on in the final years of his life, is the first new book by Walter to appear in more than a decade.
For more information about Eugene Walter, visit the Author Page.


"Any cooking lover should know the work of Eugene Walter, a great Southern food writer and notable character in the foodie community."

"So much more than a collection of classic recipes. . . . This appealing concoction is equal parts Southern culinary and cultural history, well-seasoned with wit and charm. . . . Any serious student of Southern culture should gleefully devour this book and raise a cocktail in honor of Eugene Walter."--Austin Chronicle

"Recipes that are based on the classics but elevated by Walter's modern food sense and cooking acumen."--ForeWord

"This book sparkles with the author's wit."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Not just a cookbook but also a guide to life and a vision of convivial happiness."

"This cookbook contains over 300 Southern-themed recipes for foods and libations that not only inspire but offer a history lesson. . . . this collection shines. . . . It uniquely captures the history and culture of the South and is highly recommended."--Library Journal

Multimedia & Links

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Visit coeditor Thomas Head's website,