John Currence's Tailgating Book, Best of 2019 Mania

And seafood from the Belgian coast.

Howdy Cookbook Fans!

Hope you’ve all recovered from turkey time. We are in the thick of BEST OF LISTS season, and gosh do I have a tons of links to those for you below. Let’s get right into the news. No recipe this week, so email me if you’ve got a recipe for next week and/or SCOOPS! (Also become a paid subscriber! If you want! Paid subscribers get another email on Fridays!)

Amazing, talented, beautiful friends make anything possible. Last two days spent trying to capture a cover image for the new book (out in late August) What do you think: 1. “Tailgreat: Stop Tailgating Like A Chump!” or 2. “Game On! A Guide For Tailgating Like A Pro” or 3. “Let’s Get It On! Tailgate Like A Champ, Not A Chump” Let’s hear something noise!!!
November 26, 2019

Football food, as a genre, is near and dear to my heart. So I was super excited to see JBFA-winning Oxford, Mississippi chef John Currence teasing a tailgating cookbook on Instagram. According to copy that popped up on Amazon, it will be called Tailgate Nation: 100 Winning Recipes and includes 120 recipes for tailgate-friendly foods like “Asian Duck Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tangy Hoisin, NOLA Roast Beef Poboy Bites, Spicy Fried Chicken Buttered Popcorn, and Black-Eyed Pea Falafel with Tzatziki Pita Pockets.” [Ten Speed, September 2020, or perhaps late August, as Currence says above]

Currence’s previous two books, Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey (my interview with Currence on that book) and Big Bad Breakfast (my review, link is PDF) were pretty great, in my opinion. Looking forward to this. Hook ‘em. Go Pack. etc.

Chef Willem Hiele runs a Gault Millau restaurant also called Willem Hiele in Koksijde, Belgium. It’s housed in a small cottage that has been in his family for generations, serving a menu that’s intensely focused on the seafood of the nearby North Sea. (It’s great, highly recommend if you’re ever in the area.) And now he’s released the cover for his first cookbook!

Zeevuur/Seafire will be written in Dutch and English with photography from Belgian photographer Pieter D’Hoop, and features “recipe stories” that don’t contain measurements and seem more like essays or meditations. So something like the Coi cookbook, I imagine, but with 100% more moody photos of the Belgian coast. Preview here, from publisher Hannibal. Out December 9 according to, though your mileage may vary in the US. Brace for tiny shrimp.

Best Of 2019 MANIA

I probably missed some. There will probably be more next week.

Check It Out

  • “Like high-waisted pants or Sally Rooney novels, she’s now a style signifier for the creative class—a part of a shared vocabulary.” —A look at the Alison Roman phenomenon. [New Yorker]

  • Samin Nosrat’s groundbreaking Salt Fat Acid Heat hits the top slot on the NYT Bestseller list for the first time. It was published in April 2017. [IG]

  • For Maine’s bicentennial next year (congrats to Maine!!), writer Margaret Hathaway is collecting historic Mainer recipes for a cookbook project. You can submit your grandma’s recipes at [Bangor Daily News]

  • Plate’s Chandra Ram takes a look at the “creations that made a restaurant’s reputation” in Signature Dishes That Matter. [Plate]

  • Why three generations of Americans all love the same cookbook: The Joy of Cooking. [Electric Lit]

  • Lots of love for Korean cookbook author Maangchi from BA. Gosh I love Maangchi. [BA]

  • An opportunity to say go Pack twice in one newsletter?! The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel goes back to 1984’s Tackling a Packer Palate, a collection of recipes from players’ wives. GO PACK! [MJS]

  • Cookbook author Meredith Erickson (Joe Beef 1 & 2, this fall’s Alpine Cooking) talks taste with The Cut. [NYMag]

  • “Monastic cooking isn’t for everyone or every day; in collecting cookbooks that provide varied vegetarian visions, though, it is a singular voice in the fray.” —Food writer Alicia Kennedy dives into 1976’s From a Monastery Kitchen. [Tenderly]

  • Just a forking good cookbook. [Hypable]

A quick note, because I know this is a sensitive subject: when I link to Amazon, I am linking as a reference point. Whatever else they may be, Amazon is one of the biggest databases of publishing information out there, and often has information that’s not available anywhere else (publisher’s copy, release dates, cover art, serves as confirmation of a rumor, etc.). I am not trying to sell books through this newsletter (Amazon doesn’t allow affiliate sales links in emails anyhow), just trying to cite my sources. I DO link to books when authors graciously allow me to run their recipes, and when I do, I ask where they would prefer I link.

Speaking of RECIPES!!!!! Do you have a book that’s out this fall? Would you be interested in letting me run a recipe from it? EMAIL ME! And also send me SCOOPS! Love ya, mean it.