If you think Chesapeake Bay cooking is all about the hard- or soft-shelled blue crab—about crab cakes, deviled crab, crab soufflés, crab-stuffed mushroom caps, ham and crab imperial, crabmeat curry, crab fluffs, crab and artichoke dip, crab loaf, crab quiche, and soft-shell crab sandwiches—you have another think coming. This isn't to say that the first 60 or so pages of Chesapeake Bay Cooking aren't dedicated to the blue crab. They are. But then John Shields moves right into oysters, then seafood, soups and stews, chicken and game birds, meat and game, and on all the way to desserts, pickles, and preserves.
Companion to a public television series, Chesapeake Bay Cooking is part travelogue, part history of a region's cooking, part call to environmentalist arms, part paean to childhood past, and part plain old cookbook devoted to the food products and cooking styles indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay.