Paddling a wooden dinghy seven miles out to Horn Island for inspiration and to sketch, Walter Anderson personifies the image of a coastal Mississippi artist as naturalist and fisherman. Cooking over driftwood fires in the lees of sand dunes with the smell of fresh caught trout and redfish from his cast iron skillet, the next morning’s smoldering charcoal would likely be used to sketch out the oyster shells leftover from his foraging or even the grace of a seabird washed ashore.
Like the cowboy poets of the west, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is full of old pickup trucks with fishing poles on the rear window gun racks and stacks of finished canvases on the passenger seat along with an ice chest and a black lab or two in the stern. The legacy of coastal artists continues today, whether it’s on the canvas or an angler’s skill at luring that redfish to take the bait in the shallows or a chef perfectly heavy handed with spices going into a cast iron that’s survived over generations and through their storms.
On the Coast is a collection of over 130 recipes from Mississippi chefs, home cooks and charter boat Captains. It holds stories of this coast’s legacy and history on the water reaching back to 1699 and is paired with art by coastal artist, Billy Solitario, whose work is held by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
On the Coast is a deep dive into these waters, the culture and the food of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.