Is Rihanna Writing a Cookbook?

Probably not, but I'm willing to be wrong about that.


Howdy cookbook fans!

And welcome to weird August, aka the two weeks between fall cookbook preview (see below) and the officially official start of fall cookbook season. After Labor Day, I’ve got some exciting things in store for everyone, but especially paid subscribers, who can look forward to weekly featured cookbooks, Q&As with authors, Friday news issues featuring book deals, and early access to my best cookbooks of 2020 list in November. (Free subscribers will continue to get Tuesday issues, including recipes from fall cookbooks.) I’m excited. Are you excited? GET EXCITED! And become a paid subscriber by clicking the big ol red button below!

Update from Austin: it’s the worst of the heat right now. A don’t-even-bother-looking-at-the-weather heat, an every-plant-is-dead heat, in the midst of which, improbably, it’s time to start thinking about my fall garden. This fall I’m doing snap peas over winter for the first time—I’ve always planted them in February and only managed one harvest before it gets too hot. Beyond that, trying to establish kale and collards to keep going for a few years, and taking another stab at fava beans (I failed miserably last year).

In the kitchen, this past weekend I made my annual pork and hatch chile chili to freeze for quick lunches all winter. I always add apple cider to my green chiles, after reading somewhere that roasting New Mexico chiles smell like green apples. (I have long and fruitlessly looked tried to find this quotation again, if you know what it’s from let me know.) Beyond that, it’s quick and easy pastas featuring okra and eggplant and cherry tomatoes til it finally cools off. It will cool off, right? Right?!

Okay, news time.


The Stained Page News Fall 2020 Cookbook Preview

For the past two weeks, paid subscribers have received daily updates on all the excited new cookbooks coming out this fall. And now the entire Stained Page New Fall 2020 Cookbook Preview is live for all! Click on over to get a sneak peek of everything we’ll be discussing over the next few months.

Introducing the cookbooks of fall 2020! →→→


Is Rihanna Writing a Cookbook?

Scrolled back to 2017 to find this extremely-tangential-to-food photo of Rihanna at a convenience store. :)

Is fashion icon and the voice behind my senior year of college soundtrack Robyn Rihanna Fenty adding a new hyphen to her already lengthy multi-hyphenate career? According to Simon Boyle at The Sun, Rihanna plans on releasing a collection of Caribbean recipes (she’s from Barbados). Per their source:

Rihanna’s always been a fan of good food and during lockdown she worked up plans for bringing out her own book. It will include some of her favourite Caribbean recipes. The dream would be to bring out her own range of kitchenware too.

There is a sliver of evidence to back this up: Boyle notes that Rihanna’s company Roraj Trade LLC has trademarked the termSorry, I’m Booked” for a host of usages. (The term was previously trademarked by The National Council of Teachers of English, which let it lapse in 2019.)

The trademark specifically highlights several culinary applications, including tableware, digital media dealing with culinary topics, cookbooks, kitchenware, aprons, hot sauce, and restaurant services. It also covers a heck of a lot of other uses, including science fiction, romance, and children’s books, so… where are we with this? I am extremely skeptical but also would be very into Rihanna taking a culinary turn. More on this as it develops.


In many cultures, recipes have been passed on orally. I cook food from the Ghanaian culture I grew up with based only on what I have learnt from watching relatives cook. I have always loved eating but I only started cooking as an adult, and by this time I had moved away from home and my grandmother had passed away. There is so much I feel I could have learnt if there was a written or filmed account of her food and my mum shares this sentiment. It’s not necessarily about having something tangible in my hands but more about traditions and knowledge that get lost as time passes. 

Gemma Croffie considers cookbooks over at Vittles.


Inside Drew Barrymore’s Cookbook…Closet?

So, first of all, Drew Barrymore has announced the first pick for her show’s cookbook club: Living Lively by 19 year old speaker/activist Haile Thomas. The book is a collection of vegan recipes that “promote not just physical nutrition but mental and emotional engagement, by paying close attention to the messages we receive from society, our personal relationships, and more to think critically about how they affect us and our outlook on the world.” The show takes place on Instagram Live, watch if you want!

Second, Barrymore is shooting the cookbook club from a kitchen entirely decorated with cookbooks. Thoughts? I’m not opposed, I guess. Seems inefficient. Is this Drew’s kitchen? Or a set? Another view, from Drew’s IG Live:


‘Let none of it be lost’ is the whole reason for writing a cookbook. These women want their children and their grandchildren to be able to enjoy the tradition. For me, I have two grandchildren who come to my place once a week to make different recipes. Then they take what they make back to their homes so they can get an outsider's opinion. So my book is meant to be taken into the kitchen and enjoyed with younger generations.

Anne Willan considers why women write down recipes, as pertains to her new book Women in the Kitchen. [Smithsonian]


I’m really happy with the final cover of our forthcoming book, in part because I’ve been drawn into the background. Pre-order link in bio.
August 14, 2020

Let’s start with a two-part premise: A recipe writer wants to impart the methods that lead to successful re-creation. A reader can choose to follow that lead to the letter or regard it as a jumping-off point.

—…and then what? Bonnie S. Benwick on reading and writing recipes is very much worth your time. [Heated]



When we first opened, we had scored a couple of big collections from estates, or folks who needed to let go of their books but didn’t necessarily want to donate them outright. One of these collections we spent nearly eight hours poring over at a farm in Ventura County. Hundreds of books, late ’60s to late ’70s. At one point, a huge turkey on the farm was very curious about what Michelle and I were up to and just kinda stared us down a few feet from our books. I’ll never forget that turkey.

Ken Concepcion of Los Angeles cookbook and kitchen shop Now Serving on the risks involved with selling vintage cookbooks. [Taste]


That’s it for today! I’ll see Friday people Friday when we have just a TON OF BOOK DEALS to go through that stacked up during fall preview. Get excited!