But sadly, we know that not everyone will.

However, thanks to the generosity of author Ann McMan, who has teamed up with Vivián Joiner and Chef Stephanie Tyson, owners of Sweet Potatoes (Well Shut My Mouth) Restaurant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we are reaching out to you—our friends, our family, our readers—asking you to help ten local food banks reap a little holiday harvest.

We’re asking you to donate $75.00 or more to YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK and share that receipt with us (email or  ) with the words “Bywater Holiday Harvest” scribbled somewhere in sight.
In return, you will reap your own holiday bundle of joy: autographed paperback copies of both The Big Tow and Well Shut My Mouth: The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook (which include many of the recipes that made Sweet Potatoes’ great low country southern soul food the biggest star of Ann’s newest novel). Shipping costs are included.
Please know, we have only ten paperback bundles to give away to those of you in the United States.
But, if you live outside the US, and you make a generous donation to your local food bank, we ALSO have five eBook bundles that we will be gifting.
These gifts of $75.00 or more will feed many needy families throughout the upcoming season, and it is our fervent hope that food banks everywhere will be inundated with support because no one should ever go hungry.

Sweet Potatoes (Well Shut my Mouth) Restaurant is located in the downtown arts district of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Well, Shut My Mouth! The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook is all about the recipes—recipes from the restaurant, recipes from the families of Chef Stephanie Tyson and co-owner Vivián Joiner, recipes that are Southern, plain and simple.

In creating the recipes, Tyson used all of her influences—Geechee flavor from Joiner’s father, who was from the Hilton Head area of South Carolina; her mother’s working-woman “out of the can and into the pan” shortcuts; and her training in culinary arts at Baltimore International College and her later work in South Carolina, the Florida Keys, Arizona, and Maryland.

Just the names of the recipes in this book are enough to whet one’s appetite: Pimento Cheese Fondue; Sweet Potato, Corn, and Country Ham Risotto; Gullah Shrimp and Crab Pilau; Slow Cooker Chocolate Stout Pot Roast; Down-Home ‘Tata Salad; Molasses Dijon Dressing; Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Pecan Crunch Topping; and many others. Most recipes include a bit of flavorful commentary from the chef, such as this tip for spicy greens: “If you are faint of heart (burn), eliminate the red pepper altogether.”

Well, Shut My Mouth! is also the history of the two Black lesbians who started a locally and nationally acclaimed restaurant (Our State, Southern Living, and the New York Times). As Tyson says in her introduction, “Every part of me is a part of Sweet Potatoes.” In this cookbook, Tyson shares a culinary experience that has been a favorite of Winston-Salem natives and visitors for years. Now, patrons have the tools to re-create the Sweet Potatoes dining experience in their own homes.

As a small taste of what’s to come, click HERE to watch as Chef Stephanie makes up a fluffy batch of sweet potato biscuits with country ham.


“Everything about this book is correct except the title. Anyone with a taste bud in their mouth should follow these recipes and open their mouth.”

Maya Angelou

American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist

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