Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, Fictional Food, Book Deals!
Welcome back to Stained Page News!
Howdy cookbook fans!
And welcome back to SPN! Paid subscribers got an issue last week, but this is my first issue back from the holidays for the rest of you. How are you? I hope January isn’t treating you too poorly.
My prolonged absence can be explained! First the holidays came and went in a blur of cooking projects and nursing my ancient dog through a bout with vestibular disease. She’s fine now, but it was a whole thing. (If anyone ever goes through this and wants tips or tricks or just commiseration, please do email me. The only way I got through it was from people sharing their experiences with me on Twitter.) THEN! I went to San Antonio for a 13 day cookbook photoshoot, which was equal parts intense, exhausting work and very much like some kind of cookbook summer camp. More on that at a later date.
Anyway things are finally, finally, finally back to normal, and here I am back in your inbox. I am gearing up for spring cookbook preview, so get pumped for THAT (email me if you have books coming out between now and the end of April)(also email me if you are interested in advertising in the preview).
Today’s issue is a news digest, this is what paid subscribers get every other week, so if you’re into it, join their ranks by clicking the big orange button below. You also unlock commenting privileges!
You can expect more of these this year—they’re my favorite thing to do, and I think the heart of what makes Stained Page News, and also there’s too much cookbook news to keep up with if I only send out two digests a month! So now, without further ado, on to the cookbook news.
Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, Author of 11 Cookbooks, Dies at 85
Cookbook author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo has died at the age of 85. Lo authored an impressive 11 cookbooks throughout her career, beginning with 1981’s The Dim Sum Cookbook (love that cover) through 2009’s Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking. She won two James Beard Foundation awards for her work, one in 2010 for MtAoCC and one in 1986 for The Chinese Banquet Cookbook. She was known for her writing about Cantonese food—she was born in Guangzhou, China—and for her exacting yet accessible recipes. To learn more about the life and work of Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, do go read Priya Krishna’s obituary for her.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: Banchan! Claudette Zepeda! Persian Food! Communion! CAKES! More!
Unless otherwise specified, all book deals are via Publishers Marketplace.
Chef/educator/writer Caroline Choe will write Banchan, a book about, yes, banchan! Great, love it, can’t wait to cook from it. It will include original artwork by the author. Chronicle; she says on her Instagram it’s out 2024.
San Diego chef and Iron Chef/Top Chef alum Claudette Zepeda will write Borderlands, “a cookbook celebrating the unique cuisine of the Mexico-California border.” On her Instagram she writes, “For all the border kids, we are special and we truly have the best of both worlds. Ni de aquí, ni de allá? (Not from here, not from there) somos del mundo enteró (we’re from the whole world).” (If you click through she made a lovely vignette of family photos that was too tall for me to embed.) Clarkson Potter, pub date TBA.
Recipe developer, food stylist, and Instagrammer Haniyeh Nikoo will write an as-yet-untitled Persian cookbook. Love Persian food! Her Instagram is very pretty, too. Page Street, fall 2024.
Instagrammer Diane Morrisey will write an untitled cookbook of 100 “low-effort, high-flavor” recipes for Simon Element. Pub date TBA.
Sommelier Cha McCoy to write Communion: Pairings for the People, a book that looks at wine through the lens of the African diaspora, “blending practical wine information with a side of aspirational armchair travel.” The book will be written with Layla Schlack. On her Instagram, McCoy writes: “The vocabulary of wine and food pairings have been set from a Eurocentric lens. I hope this book gives the rest of us access to think beyond Riesling for so - called ‘ethnic’ foods and grant us the permission to elevate our own food experience.”
Co-editor of Cake Zine Tanya Bush to write Will This Make You Happy, “a narrative cookbook of 52 recipes that combines instruction, memoir, and unexpected flavors to guide the insatiable and anxious through a year of emotional baking. Illustrations by Forsyth Harmon. Chronicle, Fall 2025.
And last but not least! Timothy Pakron, author of 2018’s Mississippi Vegan, to write Garden Variety, “a vegetable-forward cookbook with photographs…inspired by the beauty of the author's home garden in New Orleans.” I love cookbooks that don’t assume everyone is on the same growing seasons as New York food writers. (No offense, New York food writers.) Avery, pub date TBA.
With each decision made, I got closer to the semblance of a book taking shape. With each passing day, week and month, I had to remind myself that this was not a sprint, but a test of endurance and grit. When the pressure of deadlines loomed heavy, would I settle for a recipe that was “not so bad” or push hard and test again until it was spot on? And when no one in my family cared to eat it yet again, would I retest it anyway!? Getting it right demanded diligence, patience and a whole lot of calorie consumption.
—Naomi Ross, author of The Giving Table, on the endless decisions that make up a cookbook. [Aish]
I’ve been very interested in the concept of fictional cookbooks/cuisines for awhile, what that would look like and if it’s even possible. And as the fandom cookbook genre explodes, more and more cookbook authors are not just dabbling in but specializing in fictional foods. One, Chelsea Monroe-Cass, got her start (!) with the official Song of Ice and Fire cookbook in 2012 (so many bread bowls), and has since worked on books based on Star Trek, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings series, and more. Read a profile of her here. [Seven Days]
An interview with Gerry Rounds and Bruce Kraig of the Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois, a group that tracks Northern Illinois culinary history through community cookbooks and reader-submitted recipes. If you have roots in the area, you can help them out by donating a community cookbook or submitting a family recipe. [WNIU]
Suzy Karadsheh, author of The Mediterranean Dish, discusses cookbooks, dorm cooking, and more with her alma mater Calvin University. [Chimes]
Cookbook author Rebekah Peppler (who I did NOT know is also from Wisconsin) on her life as an American food writer in Paris. [France-Amérique]
Okay that’s all for today! I’ll see paid subscribers next Friday, and, soon! SPRING BOOK PREVIEW! Have a fantastic weekend, y’all, it’s good to be back.