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What’s Cookin’ Local


Good lookin’ book is ‘What’s Cookin’ Local’

By Juliana Goodwin, Springfield News-Leader – June 15, 2014

The name pretty much says it: “What’s Cookin’ Local – Springfield.” A new electronic cookbook features 130 recipes all from Springfield restaurants, independent grocers, chefs, caterers and bartenders.

The e-book has more than 70 online videos, too.

“It was a little more than what I thought when I first started this project, I guess they always are,” said JE Cornwell, the publisher. “We tried to keep it independent, so we got mom-and-pop guys at Rib Shack, Hemmingway’s and the White River Conference Center. Little places like Elle’s Patisserie and big places like Fire and Ice and the Tower Club. We tried to get a good mix of people in town.”

Some recipes are easy, some require more skill level, but it all reflects the diversity of the recipe creators, he said. There’s everything from steak Diane to alligator tail and a Reuben pizza.

“What’s Cookin’ Local – Springfield” is available to upload now at for $5.99; a CD version for $6.99 will be available at some featured establishments, who get a portion of the sales.

Elle Feldman, owner of Elle’s Patisserie, made potato candy and gooey butter cake for the book, including a video shoot. “I think it’s where technology is at as far as electronic cookbooks with videos. That is a different market. The way people get recipes is changing,” Feldman said.

For people who still like to physically touch a recipe, on each electronic page, there is an icon to print and the recipes will print on regular size paper.

The cookbook is split into seven sections: appetizers, soup, salad and sandwich, beverages, entrees, miscellaneous, desserts and extras.

Marina Backes, who owns Circle B Ranch in Seymour with her husband and has a line of products such as meatballs, barbecue sauce and marinara sauce, prepared several dishes for the book, including pulled pork two ways and a Terrell Creek Goat cheese paired with Backes cranberry chutney on a buttered crostini.

“I think what JE is doing is great. We all need to know that there is really quality, local food available,” she said.

Cooking up books

Cornwell has a background in the restaurant industry but decided to switch to publishing cookbooks more than 10 years ago.

He has published numerous cookbooks, including “Taste of Springfield” in 2008. Part of the proceeds from that book went to Urban Districts Alliance, which also sponsors the annual “Taste of Springfield” event downtown.

Like “What’s Cookin’ Local – Springfield,” that cookbook also featured recipes from Springfield independent restaurants and was very popular, he said.

Last fall, Cornwell was at Taste of Springfield and ran into several people he worked with on that book. They asked him when he planned to write another one.

He took the same concept but opened it up to more people, like grocers and caterers. To keep up with modern times, he created videos to accompany the e-book. You can find the videos online for free when you click on the book from the publisher website, or go to, (but no recipes until you buy.)

“It’s all going online,” said Cornwell, of his decision to create an e-cookbook versus a print cookbook. “I’m pretty pleased with it.”

The “Part 1” cookbook includes recipes from more than 60 contributors around the Ozarks.

Sponsors and contributors can be found on the cookbook’s website.

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