I’m about to do something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS!
Confession: I’m a food and drink book addict. OK. Maybe you’re not surprised at all by that.
My home is literally wall-to-wall cookbooks, food history books, and a library’s worth of wine and spirits books. They make me happy. And when I’m happy, I want to share it. So, a food and drink book club has been on my wishlist for decades. But life kept getting in the way…
Until recently. The opportunity to share this obsession finally arrived. And, of course, now I want to share it with you!
how did it happen?
When I lived in NYC, I worked at Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore on and off for several years. It will always be my “happy place!” And it’s not just me. This store is an absolute heaven for book-loving food and drink geeks (and a long list of famous chefs).
For many years KAL has partnered with the New York City cultural institution the 92nd Street Y, hosting Talks & Tastes. This seasonal series of live talks and interviews with food and drink book authors and cognoscenti played to sell-out crowds. When the programing had to make a huge 2020 pivot, some new doors opened… and I was lucky enough to be invited to join the fun!
a virtual journey through two brand new books & two beloved classics
I’ll be writing about them here on this blog–but even better–there may still be time for you to join the club! Group membership includes brand new copies of each book from Kitchen Arts & Letters as well as four sessions led by me featuring culinary guests!
If you miss it this time, stay tuned for next season and more from The 92nd Street Y. You should also get on my email list to be the first to know. And, if you want to cook along outside the group, all the books are available on Kitchen Arts & Letters’ website.
My hope is that each book will lead us all on kitchen adventures that bring new perspectives on food, cooking, and culture. We’ll all be doing lots of cooking from these books. Even more importantly, I also encourage you to cozy up with each of them. Read beyond the recipes.
Get to know the stories, the history, even take a peak at the intricacies of cultures not our own. And, in the case of Sam Sifton’s No Recipe Recipes, dig a little deeper into your own relationship with ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques. Pay attention to your personal response to the absence of measurements and detailed instruction. We’ll talk about this challenge very soon!
I like to think of cookbooks as travel guides. Read through for highlights before embarking on the journey. Get your imagination going and work up to the ultimate engagement with the recipes themselves.
what to expect
I’ve selected a menus worth of recipes from each book. Edna Lewis’s book, The Taste of Country Cooking, lends itself well to this.
I’ll record video of some of my experiences cooking each menu then share them with you here. Mostly, I’ll share stories & cooking experiences from working with each book. I’ll also write more about the books in depth–kinda like a book report, just more interesting.
A couple of the authors and a special guest or two have already expressed interest in visiting our group to answer questions. I’m hoping they’ll share some tips with this blog’s audience as well!
I’m absolutely thrilled to be embarking on this journey of exploration with you!