The Hot Chicken ProjectWords + Recipes | Obsession + Salvation


The Hot Chicken Project is more than the sum of its parts. Yes, it’s a cookbook, but it’s also a narrative, a photographic celebration and most importantly, it’s Aaron Turner’s love letter to his obsession. This book is about immersing yourself into the world of hot chicken.

For acclaimed Australian chef Aaron Turner, hot chicken isn’t just food – it’s salvation in crispy, fried and devilishly spicy form. In The Hot Chicken Project, he travels back to Nashville, the place of its birth, to pay his respects to the makers, to chart the love and obsession that has shaped his world, and to make sure that what he does back home is doing it justice. Part cookbook, part pilgrimage, The Hot Chicken Project is both an epic love letter to the fiery bird and a celebration of a way of life that is in danger of vanishing forever.

The Hot Chicken Project is part recipe book (40 recipes covering the best mains, sandwiches, sides, salads and sauces), part narrative, part pictorial celebration of the history and power hot chicken holds over the city of Nashville – and now beyond (including Melbourne!).

It frames the stories of the people and families and communities who have cooked and eaten and appropriated it in Nashville over several generations. It offers a loud, opinionated take-no-prisoners perspective on food culture in the US (and beyond) today, as well as being an incomparable how-to manual for the VERY best hot chicken and accompaniments – wherever you are.

Growing up by the coast in Portland, Victoria, Aaron studied graphic design before travelling and working overseas. In 2009 he opened his first restaurant, Loam, in Drysdale, which went on to win numerous awards including Regional Restaurant of the Year in The Age Good Food Guide 2012 and Regional Restaurant of the Year in Gourmet Traveller. Since closing Loam in 2013 Aaron has worked and consulted in Nashville and opened The Hot Chicken Project and IGNI in Geelong. In its first year of business IGNI has won Gourmet Traveller’s Restaurant of the Year and has been awarded two hats by The Age Good Food Guide 2016, as well as winning the guide’s awards for both Regional Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year.