Rage Baking Controversy; IACP Noms

Howdy cookbook fans!

Good to see you all, here in the armpit of winter. We have a lot of cookbook news today, some good, some…less good. Let’s get to it. And, as always, if you want to hear from me again Friday become a paid subscriber by clickity clicking the big old red button below.

#Ragebaking Baker Responds to New Cookbook of the Same Name

It would seem I need to clear up some confusion about #ragebaking . I’ve posted my response on Medium and at Ragebaking.com. Link in bio. #ragebakers
February 14, 2020

Tangerine Jones, the baker/writer who launched the @ragebaking Instagram account in 2016, has responded to the release of a new cookbook called Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women's Voices [Tiller Press 2020] by Katherine Alford and Kathy Gunst. (Full disclosure: I ran a recipe from the Rage Baking cookbook in a newsletter last week, for which I received no fee.) In an essay on Medium, Jones, who is black, writes that she was not contacted prior to the book’s publication:

It’s been really hard to see Rage Baking whitewashed with a tinge of diversity, co-opted, monetized and my impact erased and minimized under the veneer of feminism and uplifting women’s voices. It has been especially hard to have that happen during Black History Month and to be accidentally tagged in Instagram stories by people who have purchased the book.

Jones posted screenshots of a note she received via Instagram DM from Gunst and Alford, where the duo states “the purpose of our book is not to take over, or take away from, the many people using ‘rage baking’ to describe their baking as an outlet for their outrage and their creativity, including you.” They then go on to cite an instance of the term “rage baking” from 2013, as well as one from 2018. (Gunst, Alford, and Tiller Press did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.)

Chef and cookbook author Preeti Mistry tweeted, “I contributed to this book and am now not too proud of that…I am intimately aware of how we, WOC, are so often uncredited or totally erased for the creativity, energy and intelligence we bring to so many industries.” Mistry tells SPN she wrote to Gunst and Alford to express disappointment in the situation, writing, “When you are in a position of power/privilege the onus is on you to correct a situation with folks that have less agency.”

Jones herself writes she was not asked to contribute to the book. When asked for comment, she said she didn’t have any thing to add to the essay at this time. More on this if and when it comes.

UPDATE A statement from Katherine Alford and Kathy Gunst:

The idea for RAGE BAKING developed authentically and organically. The authors, Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford, gathered a range of voices to speak to all those who feel a sense of outrage over what is happening in our society and express their rage and their creativity through baking. In a message of hope and activism, together we thought the phrase “rage baking” fit the essay and recipe collection the authors were putting together.

The intent has never been to claim ownership of the term “rage baking,” nor to erase or diminish the work of others using the phrase. Any attempt to lay claim  to the term “rage baking” denies the universal pull this concept/movement has for anyone who has witnessed injustice and has channeled their outrage in the kitchen—the very reason it made for a meaningful title of the collection.

We have heard the feedback, and in keeping with that spirit of communal activism, believe it is important to acknowledge Tangerine Jones' contributions around the phrase in future editions of RAGE BAKINGas well as the works of others who have used the phrase in their online publishing and social media activity.

While the authors have chosen to donate a portion of their proceeds from RAGE BAKING to EMILY's List, we encourage our readers to support the causes and organizations they believe in, and note that Tangerine Jones has specifically cited the Ali Forney Center, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and The Campaign Against Hunger.

2020 IACP Cookbook Awards Nominees Announced

Okay, time for some more cheerful news! The nominees for IACP’s annual cookbook awards have been announced, and boy are there a lot of them! (They also do journalism/writing/media awards, but that is not our focus here, obvs.) The winners will be announced March 28 at the association’s annual conference, held this year in Pittsburgh (your charming narrator will be on a panel at said conference). Congrats to the noms for their recognition!

Of particular note to me are the recipients of the Culinary Classics recognition, which are below. Click on over for the full list.

  • The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon [Doubleday 1969]

  • Time-Life Good Cook: Foods of the World Series [Time-Life Books 1978]

  • River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine by Baton Rouge Junior League [The Cookbook Marketplace 1959]

  • Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni [William Morrow 1980]

  • Creole Feast: Fifteen Master Chefs of New Orleans Reveal Their Secrets by Rudy Lombard and Nathaniel Burton [Random House 1978]

Check this out!

That’s all for today folks! I’ll see Friday folks Friday, have a good week. And he