Hi there! Miss me? Apologies for the unexplained newsletter break; I ran off on a much-needed vacation. But now I'm back and ready to talk cookbooks.
Starting with one that is my nearest and dearest: The Austin Cookbook! Did you know it makes a fine, fine Father's Day gift? It's true! Even The Strategist thinks so. It's full of recipes for barbecue, grilling, cocktails, and all kinds of other stuff my inbox insists Dads Love™.
Okay on with the show. Declaring bankruptcy on everything that happened while I was gone and starting fresh right...now.
Barbara Kafka Dies at 84
The cookbook world lost one of its greats over the weekend: author Barbara Kafka died at the age of 84. Kafka was perhaps best known for her cookbook Microwave Gourmet, although she wrote several cookbooks over the course of her career. (According to the WaPo obit, she owned 13 microwaves at one point!) "Barbara Kafka's Roasting was the first cookbook I ever heard described as 'controversial.' It had not occurred to me until then that such a thing was possible," tweeted GQ's Brett Martin, referring to Kafka's affinity for roasting at a very high temperature (a technique which can get smoky if not followed properly). Roast a chicken in her honor this week, perhaps?
New Cookbook Podcast Launches
Via the tipline (did you know you can send me stuff over the tipline?): Cookbook podcast Salt + Spine has launched. Episode 4 goes up today with Unforgettable's Emily Kaiser Thelin; previous episodes have featured authors Nigella Lawson, Preeti Mistry, and James Syhabout. The podcast is hosted by Brian Stewart, a journalist and cookbook collector. Check it out!
Deals, Deals, Deals!
Okay, really quick because there are a bunch. Via Publishers Marketplace:
Leo Robitschek, bar director for NYC's NoMad Bar/Restaurant, is writing The NoMad Cocktail Book for Ten Speed. It will contain the recipes included in the pull-out pamphlet from The NoMad Cookbook, plus also some new stuff. Also for Ten Speed, but without the booze, is food writer Julia Bainbridge's non-alcoholic drinks book. Food writer Charlotte Druckman is writing Women on Food, a collection of writings by and about women on food, for Abrams. Odette Williams of OW Brooklyn is writing Simply Cake, which is about, you know, simply cake, for Ten Speed. And who doesn't love a pun: here comes Serial Griller: The South's Best Recipes for the Grill by Matt Moore, published by Oxmoor House.
Out This Week
The much-anticipated Superiority Burger Cookbook [Norton] is out this week! The collection of recipes from Brooks Headley's New York vegetarian paradise of the same name features all your faves. For those who have been asking: yes, it includes the wrap recipe. Yes, it includes sorbets. Yes, I plan on cooking out of it for the rest of the summer.
A couple weeks ago a (non-food pro but talented home cook) friend was telling me she really wished she could improve her knife skills. Which I imagine is a pretty common desire? Well, darlin', the universe has heard you: Sharp: The Definitive Guide to Knives, Knife Care, and Cutting Techniques [Chronicle] by Josh Donald is out this week and looks pretty thorough.
And finally, Cuban food gets the Phaidon treatment: Cuba: The Cookbook by Madelaine Vázquez Gálvez and Imogene Tondre. Fun cookbook fact, according to Gálvez's bio, she has "the most extensive collection of culinary printed materials in Cuba."
Check this out:
- I'm currently obsessed with Anissa Helou's new book, Feast: Food of the Islamic World. 300 recipes covering the incredibly diverse Islamic cuisines of the world? It's epic. Check out Mayukh Sen's profile of Helou for a glimpse of the woman behind the book. ~NYT
- I wrote about the best grilling cookbooks, so you can successfully light things on fire all summer long. (Shameless plug: Remember when I used to write about cookbooks all the time? I can do that for your media outlet! Email me.) ~GQ
- "I’m already working on a second cookbook," says Chicago chef Paul Kahan, author of Cheers to the Publican. ~HP
- "Cookbooks don’t make any money," says Brooks Headley, whose new cookbook Superiority Burger Cookbook is out now. "I was compelled by a higher force to document what we’re doing." ~AM New York
- Speaking of which, how do homemade Superiority Burgers stack up against the real thing? ~GS
- Cookbook author Claudia Roden on recipes and memories. ~The New European
- What's it like to be Ina Garten's assistant? ~F&W
- The oldest cookbooks from libraries around the world! ~Gastro Obscura
- John Martin Taylor, author of Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking, donates his archives to the College of Charleston. ~Post and Courier
- Summer cookbook preview! ~Publishers Weekly
- I am so tired. ~The Takeout
- And, finally, some old timey New York Review of Books cookbook controversy from 1965 that I stumbled across. Just for fun. It's summertime. ~NYRB