Down home with the Neelys

November 19, 2009 (CHICAGO) (RELEASE) They show them on Food Network every day (, and now they're ready to show you how to turn your ho-hum holidays into a down-home celebration.

After working for years to make their family restaurant in Memphis one of the most successful barbecue restaurants in the South and hosting two popular cooking shows on cable TV, the Neelys are here to launch their first cookbook, Down Home with the Neelys.

When Pat and Gina, who had been teenage sweethearts, reunited big time at their 10th high school reunion, Pat and his brothers were already on the 'long and smoky road,' running two thriving restaurants that turned out some of the best ribs in Memphis, according to Sybil Pratt, who reviewed Down Home with Neelys for Bookpage. "Gina joined them, and her special savvy, verve and love of traditional Southern food just made it all even better," Pratt says. "The recipes in their new cookbook reflect the Neelys' shared joy and delight in down-home cooking and invite their readers to take a place at the family table."

In their debut cookbook, the Neelys share the delicious food they have been cooking up for years both at home and in their restaurants. Pat and Gina hail from families with a boundless love of cooking and bedrock traditions of sharing meals. At the Neelys', mealtime is family time, and that means no stinting on "the sauce." Indeed, that's one of the Neely secrets: the liberal application of barbeque sauce to almost anything -- spaghetti, nachos, salad, you name it.

Down Home with the Neelys features more than 120 tried-and-true southern recipes that have been passed down from one Neely generation to the next, including many of their signature dishes, such as Barbeque Deviled Eggs, Florida Coast Pickled Shrimp, Pat's Wings of Fire, Gina's Collard Greens, Grandma Jean's Potato Salad, Nana's Southern Gumbo, Memphis-sized Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Slaw, Get Yo' Man Chicken, and Sock-It-to-Me Cake. Certainly, no self-respecting southerner would dream of offering a meal to a guest without a proper drink, so Pat and Gina have included some of their favorite libations here, too.

You can meet Patrick and Gina, as they share holiday tips and recipes during the Annual Holiday Taste of Sam's Club in Evergreen Park. The Neelys will also be signing copies of their book on Friday, November 20 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm at: Sam's Club, 9400 S. Western Ave.

About the Neelys: Patrick and Gina were high school sweethearts in the 80's, reunited at their 10-year high school reunion and were married in 1994. They live in Memphis with their two daughters, Spenser and Shelbi.

12:30 to 2:30 pm
Friday, November 20
Sam's Club
9400 S. Western Ave.
Evergreen Park

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