Want to avoid advertising?

Join as Premium member »

High tech oven aims to change how we cook

Oven dial

It seems that every appliance in our homes is going digital - our smart phones perform a variety of tasks, washer and dryers have sensors to determine how dirty or dry the clothes are, even our refrigerators are connected to the internet. One appliance has, until now, eluded the digital age: the oven. That is about to change, as US entrepreneur Matt Van Horn and his business partner Nikhil Bhogal are set to release the June Intelligent Oven

Says Van Horn, "The oven in my home today looked almost identical to the vintage ovens on shows like Mad Men … and not much had changed." He thought that it needed to be brought into the 21st century, and aimed to make a device complete with a touchscreen and a camera that would take the guesswork out of cooking.

During their research, Van Horn and Bhogal found that two processes were critical to consumers: maintaining temperature and knowing when food was done. The June oven aims to prevent overcooking foods, one of the chief complaints from home cooks. By utilizing "the precise heat from the elements and the machine's accumulated knowledge of the food - this is an oven that learns as it goes along - the oven can then give suggested cooking times to the user and alert them when the dish is finished."

The oven, which resembles a microwave, contains several features not found in conventional ovens. The unit is heated by six carbon fibre elements that can reach their full power astonishingly quickly. The oven can reach 175C (347F) in just over four minutes. Another feature is a camera that transmits live coverage of the food to a mobile phone. Sophisticated algorithms help identify foods inside the oven by shape, texture, and color. 

Call me a Luddite, but I'm content with the "modern" features on my oven like true convection and a self-clean cycle. The price of these machines will approach $3,000 USD in stores - rivalling much larger and more versatile high-end ranges. That's quite a price to pay for a guarantee of better roasted chicken (the oven is too small for the holiday turkey).

'Tis the season for "best of" cookbook lists

cookbooksAs the year draws to a close, it's human nature to take a look back and reminisce on the best things of the year. Plenty of experts will be weighing in on which cookbooks were tops in various categories. Jane assesses hundreds of these lists (last year she waded through over 300) and tallies the results to make an ultimate "best of" list for cookbooks. She requests that any EYB members who spot a "best of" list, please send her the link to info@eatyourbooks.com.

Until the 2015 Best of the Best is produced, we will give you a taste of which cookbooks might end up on top. USA Today compiled a list of the best books of 2015 for hungry travelers to give and get. One of this month's releases already made the list - The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual. Says USA Today, "For serious cocktail enthusiasts, and those who foolishly try to go round for round with them, 'The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog Drinks Manual' is required reading." Other books making the list - and generating buzz in other quarters - include The Nomad Cookbook, Olympia Provisions, Zahav and The Yellow Table Cookbook

The blog tastebook.com has a list of the best Asian books for 2015 that includes a few books from the USA Today list. Among these are Dale Talde's Asian American and The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook. Also mentioned are Benu by Corey Lee (eligible for the Phaidon special offer to EYB members) and Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees.

If we turn to the bestselling list on Amazon (US), we find a slightly different story. Riding high on the 'Quick & Easy Cooking' list is Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime, and J. Kenji Lopez Alt's The Food Lab tops the Food Science category. Other books high in the Amazon rankings include Food52's Genius Recipes (highly rated in the EYB Library) and Happy Cooking by Giada DeLaurentiis.

If you were making a best of 2015 list, which books would you include?

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection? You can now do this even if you have a free membership!

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf. Happy cooking & baking everyone!

From blogs & websites:

43 recipes for using up Thanksgiving leftovers
Or try searching for recipes using ingredients such as cooked turkey or mashed potatoes
From AUS/NZ books:

78 recipes from Perfect Roasts by The Australian Women's Weekly,
indexed by an EYB member

From US books:

6 recipes from  Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California by Travis Lett

6 recipes from The NoMad Cookbook by Daniel Humm & Will Guidara

33 recipes from Crossroads: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine by Tal Ronnen, Scot Jones, & Serafina Magnussen

31 recipes from Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson
Her blog 101 Cookbooks is indexed too!

26 recipes from V Is for Vegetables: Inspired Recipes & Techniques for Home Cooks -- From Artichokes to Zucchini by Michael Anthony


Holiday Promotions!

From now until December 14th, save up to 75% on Phaidon cookbooks and hundreds more art, photography & design books. View the Phaidon EYB offer and make sure to use coupon code BF15 at checkout.


The most memorable meals in literature


Food plays a starring role in many movies and books; too many to begin to count. Choosing the best meals from literary works would be a daunting task, yet that is exactly what Diana Secker Tesdell has done. She has compiled a top 10 list of the most memorable meals in literature.

Tesdell compiled the list while researching her anthology, Stories from the Kitchen. As she whittled down the list, she found that "the most memorable meals are those in which much more than food is at stake... When exceptional culinary and literary artistry combine, the results are satisfying in more ways than one."

She starts with a meal from The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin, noting  that what "begins as a breakfast demonstration of his technique for egg-and-cheese fondue turns into an impromptu day-long affair as he presses more and more food on his delighted guests. Brillat-Savarin's wit and love of life are on full display here."

Not all of the meals on the list are in books by food writers. One of the memorable meals comes from the short story The Manager of The Kremlin by Evelyn Waugh. The story about a young Russian cadet in Paris with only 200 francs in his pocket. He faces a choice of either scraping by on meagre meals for a couple of weeks or blowing the whole lot on one extravagant meal. Says Tesdell, this "choice has unexpected consequences in this short story; perhaps nowhere else in literature has a luncheon of caviar and crepes suzettes so changed the course of a life."

What literary meals have stayed with you long after you were finished with the book?

Love your leftovers

Stuffing hash

We'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to our Members in the US, where the turkey is ready for the the oven, the potatoes are on the stove, and the pies are cooling on the rack. After the meal is over and everyone has recovered from their food-induced stupor, you'll probably be thinking about what to do with all that extra food that you made. The EYB Library and indexed blogs and magazines have both tried-and-true and novel ideas for using up the leftovers.

Some leftover uses are well-known: turkey tetrazzini, potato pancakes, and turkey pot pie. But you don't have to stop there. Indexed magazine Bon Appetit provides several creative ideas for using the remains of your feast over the next few days. Stuffing hash (pictured above) is a brilliant idea, especially good for those who have overnight guests.

If you're like most families, you have a lot of leftover cranberry sauce. One interesting use for it is in a Cranberry grilled cheese, which you can also make with fresh cranberries. Mashed potatoes that remain can be turned into crispy, delicious potato croquettes, because what dish isn't improved by deep frying?

For even more variety, you can spice things up with a recipe for tamales made with leftover turkey. If you have big "Black Friday" plans, fuel up with a real pumpkin spice latte made with leftover pumpkin puree, or try a twist on a game-day classic: turkey nachos with a spicy cranberry salsa. What is your favorite thing to make with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Gin is in for 2016 - a look at cocktail trends

Bamboo cocktail

The forecast for next year's foods trends has begun in earnest. But it's not just food predictions being made; cocktail trends are also being watched. According to the Kimpton Hotel group's bar gurus, gin is the spirit of the moment going into 2016, especially barrel-aged gins. Rosé and sour beer are on the rise, and they predict that the Bamboo Cocktail will be the comeback kid next year. Bartenders are also mixing it up with mismatched vintage glassware, herbs and florals, unique ice cubes, shrubs and house carbonated spirits.

Mocktails are poised to be big next year, targeting people watching their diets, designated drivers, pregnant women, and even "foodie" children.Tropical cocktails, replete with teeny umbrellas, should make their way back onto many drink menus in 2016 as well. Upscale cocktail pairings, with drink flavors designed to specifically complement dishes, will sit alongside traditional wine pairings.

Speaking of wine, consumption of white wines is predicted to continue growing. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris will double digit growth and Chardonnay, America's No. 1 selling varietal, will continue its ascent. Read about more beverage trends, including a focus on bubble mania.

Photo of Bamboo cocktail from Saveur Magazine

November 2015 cookbook roundup

Every month Jane and Fiona wade through hundreds of cookbooks, selecting and reviewing all the best new releases of U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand cookbooks. The only thing left for you to do is to add them to your Bookshelf.

November is a bit quieter than October but retains a few of the same trends including an emphasis on chef and restaurant books. In addition, several familiar faces return with new works, and baking books also remain popular. Cocktails get their day in the sun and healthy eating - with a focus on simple and local - stays on fleek.


cookbook collagecookbook collageThe Mission Chinese Food Cookbook by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying: The star chef, founder, and co-owner of the wildly popular restaurant Mission Chinese Food chronicles his unconventional and meteoric rise in a "cookbook in conversations" that combines raucous storytelling with delicious recipes. Written as a series of dialogues between Bowien and essential crewmembers, the stories are accompanied by photographs and recipes for hits like schmaltz fried rice and hot-and-sour soup dumplings.

The Laws of Cooking…and How to Break Them by Justin Warner:  Not so much cooking laws as flavor laws are the focus of this book that encourages improvisation and play. Warner explores his unique "flavor theory" by introducing eleven laws based on familiar foods (e.g., "The Law of Peanut Butter and Jelly"). The book's aim is to teach you why certain flavors combine brilliantly, and then show how these combinations work in real recipes.

Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste by Dominique Crenn: Atelier Crenn is the debut cookbook from the first female chef in America to be awarded two Michelin stars. The book traces Crenn's rise from her childhood in France to her unprecedented success with her own restaurant in San Francisco. Crenn's food is centered around organic, sustainable ingredients with unusual, inventive, and stunning presentations.

Payard Cookies by François Payard: Third-generation pastry chef Payard shares his favorite cookie recipes ranging from bestsellers at his popular New York City patisseries and cafés, to recipes he learned from his father and the ones he makes at home. They range from simple sablés to picture-perfect macarons and everything in between.

cookbook collageSeasons to Taste by Jonathan Bardzik: From DC-based storyteller, cook and author Jonathan Bardzik, Seasons to Taste is a four-season celebration of farm and garden-fresh ingredients and the people - friends, family and farmers - that cooking and sharing food brings together. 

Sweet Middle East by Anissa Helou: While savory Middle Eastern foods have gained tremendous popularity worldwide, until now the sweets section has been limited to one or two items. The doyenne of Middle Eastern cooking, Anissa Helou, presents dozens of classic desserts fragrant with spices, honey, dates and nuts, and steeped in tradition.

Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis: The Food Network superstar shares her year-round approach to living a healthy and happy lifestyle with a book that focuses on healthy eating strategies and maintaining a balance between peak nutrition and the occasional decadent indulgence.

Slow Fires by Justin Smillie: In this book, the celebrated chef of Upland explores the fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling - and shows you how to see them in new ways, learning the rules in order to break them. The chapters progress from the fundamentals of each technique to variations like altering ratios of moisture, intensities of heat, or reversing expected processes.

cookbook collagePraise the Pig by Jennifer L. S. Pearsall: From the author of The Big Book of Bacon, Praise the Pig highlights the consumer-friendly parts of the pig that you can find readily in any grocery store--loins and tenderloins, ham, bacon, sausage, and shoulder. Pearsall illustrates how to make full use of each part for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks on the go.

The New New England Cookbook by Stacy Cogswell: Cogswell was a contestant on Season 12 of Top Chef and a 2014 nominee for Eater Boston's 'Chef of the Year' award. She's lived, breathed and eaten New England food her whole life. Here she offers new takes on regional staples and fresh, seasonal produce.

The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food by Matthew Gavin Frank: Following his critically acclaimed Preparing the Ghost, essayist Matthew Gavin Frank takes on America's food. He examines a quintessential dish in each state, interweaving the culinary with personal and cultural associations of each region. From key lime pie (Florida) to elk stew (Montana), The Mad Feast commemorates the unexpected origins of the familiar.

Prison Ramen by Clifton Collins and Gustavo "Goose" Alvarez: Yes, this is a book about ramen hacks in prison. But more than that, it's a firsthand look inside prison life, a scared-straight reality complementing the offbeat ramen recipes. The coauthors are childhood friends - one an ex-con, now free and living in Mexico, and the other a successful Hollywood character actor who has enlisted friends and celebrities to contribute their recipes and stories. You won't find any hand-foraged wild mushrooms here, just gritty and fascinating realism.

cookbook collagecookbook collageCook the Pantry by Robin Robertson: If you're interested in vegan cooking but think it's too time consuming, you may want to give this book a try. It features simple instructions to get you in and out of the kitchen in no time using only plant-based ingredients. Chef and cookbook author Robin Robertson also shows you how to create a well-stocked vegan pantry.

Duff Bakes by Duff Goldman: Ace of Cakes star Goldman may dazzle fans with his breathtaking cake decorating, but behind the rigged-up gravity-defying cakes and fancy fondant is a true pastry chef who understands the fundamentals of making incredibly delicious baked goods at home.

Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread by Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky: In the oven of his Brooklyn bakery, Chef Zachary Golper creates loaves that are served in New York's top restaurants and sought by bread enthusiasts around the country. His secret: long, low-temperature fermentation, which allows the dough to develop deep, complex flavors. Bien Cuit tells the story of Golper's ongoing quest to coax maximum flavor out of one of the world's oldest and simplest recipes.

Sea Salt Sweet by Heather Baird: This book explores the ways salt accentuates sweet goods - think salted chocolate caramels. Here award-winning blogger and master baker Heather Baird teaches you how to use fine artisan salts -- from Maldon Sea Salt and Red Hawaiian Salt, to Himalayan Black and French Grey Salt -- to make mouthwatering desserts for any occasion.

cookbook collageThe Fire of Peru by Ricardo Zarate: Lima-born Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Zarate delivers a standout cookbook on the new "it" cuisine -  the food of Peru.  He captures the spirit of modern Peruvian cooking, which reflects indigenous South American foods as well as Japanese, Chinese, and European influences, and balances that variety with an American sensibility.

Falafel Nation by Yael Raviv: Far more than a quest for the best hummus recipe, Falafel Nation explores the role food plays in the Jewish nation. Raviv ponders the power struggles, moral dilemmas, and religious and ideological affiliations of the different ethnic groups that make up the Jewish State and how they relate to the gastronomy of the region.

The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme: The antithesis of Prison Ramen, this book features advice for simplifying, beautifying, and living a more thoughtful life from the blogger and recipe developer. Organized by the months of the year, and by categories such as "Live", "Do", and "Make", The Year of Cozy contains activities, recipes, and projects that aim to make the little moments in life just as exciting as the big. 

Gone With the Gin by Tim Federle: The author of Tequila Mockingbird returns with cocktail recipes for die-hard silver screen aficionados. Included within are dozens of drink recipes with titles like "A Sidecar Named Desire" and "No Country for Old Fashioneds", paired with winking commentary on history's most quotable films.

cookbook collageThe Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry: Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in Lower Manhattan has dominated the bar industry, receiving awards including World's Best Cocktail Menu. The bar's first book details the founders inspiring rags-to-riches story that began in Ireland and took them to New York. Like the bar's decor, Dead Rabbit's award-winning drinks are a nod to the "Gangs of New York" era, ranging from fizzes to cobblers to toddies, each with its own historical inspiration.

Bitterman's Filed Guide to Bitters & Amari by Mark Bitterman: If you have been confused about the dizzying array of the fast-growing bitters selection, this book can help you decode bitters and their kindred spirits amari and shrubs. The field guide including tasting notes, profiles of important makers, and even a few recipes for DIY bitters.

Eatymology: The Dictionary of Modern Gastronomy by Josh Friedland: From award-winning food writer and author (and creator of "Ruth Bourdain," a Twitter mashup that won the James Beard Award for Humor), Eatymology demystifies the most fascinating new food words to emerge from today's professional kitchens, food science laboratories, pop culture, the Web, and more.

Kitchen Hacks by Cook's Illustrated Magazine: A compilation of tips and tricks from 20 years of Cook's Illustrated magazine includes hand-drawn illustrations accompanying the hacks to show you exactly how to succeed. Kitchen Hacks also features 22 of CI's favorite weird and wonderful test kitchen recipe discoveries.


True NorthTrue North: Canadian Cooking From Coast to Coast by David Dammann and Chris Johns: David Dammann is one of Canada's most extraordinary culinary artists. The creative force behind DNA and Maison Publique restaurants in Montreal, Derek has grown steadily in stature and influence in Canadian cuisine. True North is a culinary coming-of-age story, detailing not only the path of Dammann's career but also the rise of the Canadian culinary scene as a whole. Chicken in the Mango Tree

Chicken in the Mango Tree by Jeffrey Alford: Best-selling food writer and photographer Jeffrey Alford has been completely immersed in the unique culinary tradition of the small village of Kravan in rural Thailand for four years. The diet there is finely attuned to the land, made primarily of fresh, foraged vegetables infused with the dominant Khmer flavours distinct from the dishes typically associated with Thailand. With stories of village and family life surrounding each dish, Alford One World Kitchenprovides insight into the ecological and cultural traditions out of which the cuisine of the region has developed.

One World Kitchen by Chris Knight: This book celebrates the cultural diversity of Canada. One World Kitchen features five passionate and engaging hosts each of whom represent one cuisine-Indian, Thai, Italian, South American and Japanese. This vibrant mix of traditions and ingredients is both a celebration of distinct heritage and a recognition that good food is best shared.



cookbook collageCornersmith by Alex Elliot-Howery and James Grant: Cornersmith serves up the recipes and methodologies used in the creation of the food that draws visitors from all over the world to the Cornersmith cafe in Sydney. Awarded best cafe in Sydney, Cornersmith is one of the most cutting edge food venues around, and has been likened to Ottolenghi. This the UK publication of the book released last month in Australia.

The Only Recipes You'll Ever Need by Tony Turnbull: Feeling a lack of inspiration in the kitchen? Tired of making the same recipes over and over again? This book will rescue you from that plight. Turnbull's brilliant cookery feature in The Times Saturday magazine - the only four recipes you'll ever need - has been a huge success from the moment it first appeared. Readers love the simplicity of the concept: four simple but delicious alternative recipes for the foods we really love to eat. Now you can have the complete set, plus new specially written recipes, all in one book.

Indian Slow Cooker by Neela Paniz: In this book, Chef Neela Paniz adapts curries, dals, vegetable and rice side dishes to the slow cooker including classics like Pork Vindaloo, Mixed Yellow Dal, and Black-Eyed Pea Curry. Indian Slow Cooker also features key accompaniments like chutneys, chapatis, raita and fresh Indian cheese.

Whole Food Slow Cooked by Olivia Andrews: This slow cooker book focuses on healthy foods, highlighting plenty of meat-free options, such as tamarind and pumpkin sambar or butter miso mushroom risotto, in adition to an array of curries including Southern Indian chicken and sweet Javanese beef. Whole Food Slow Cooked also features breakfast options Build Your Own Sandwichand desserts to round out the meal.

Build Your Own Sandwich: More Than 60,000 Sandwich Combos by Vicki Smallwood: This fun and practical guide to creating delicious and original sandwiches has literally thousands of combinations, and would be well suited to a beginning cook. The book is split into four sections - bread, sauces, fillings, and toppings - and cooks can mix and match elements by flipping the four cut pages to create their ideal sandwich. Classic sandwich combos such as the Reuben and the Elvis fit side-by-side with vegetarian, vegan, skinny, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.



The K Club CookbookThe K Club Cookbook: Producer to Plate by Finbarr Higgins: 2016 is set to be a very special year for The K Club as it marks the 25th anniversary of the world-renowned Irish hotel and country club and to celebrate this milestone they are launching their first ever cookbook. The coffee-table tome will embody the elegance and sophisticated luxury of The K Club and will also celebrate the plethora of Irish artisan suppliers that chef Finbarr Higgins works closely with in creating the club's magnificent fare.



cookbook collageGelato Messina: The Creative Department by Nick Palumbo: Since opening in Sydney in 2002, Gelato Messina has set the benchmark for gelato in Australia. Gelato Messina provides detailed instructions for creating the eatery's most famous and elaborate gelato cakes. Plus, there is a whole chapter dedicated to weird and wonderful soft-serves.

Biota: Grow, Gather, Cook by James Viles: Viles, chef and owner of two-hatted Biota Dining in Bowral, New South Wales, has become one of Australia's most respected young chefs and restaurateurs. He champions the use of seasonal, ethical produce to create honest, pure and delicious dishes. In his first book, Viles invites readers to celebrate spectacular food created from the perfect balance of animal and plant life in the Southern Highlands.

Life in Balance by Donna Hay: Australia's most trusted home cook is celebrating a fresher approach to eating. Hay counters the confusing and often contradictary advice on what to eat with a realistic, sustainable and more balanced approach to fresher, healthier eating. Each chapter in Life in Balance  from has simple recipes enriched with nature's superfoods - think leafy greens, bright fresh berries, creamy nuts and nourishing grains.

Maggie Beer's Summer Harvest Recipes by Maggie Beer: This book from one of Australia's best loved cooks brings together all of her signature recipes from the summer chapter of Maggie's Harvest, including detailed descriptions of seasonal ingredients and inspiring accounts of memorable meals with family and friends. The recipes highlight Maggie's philosophy of using the freshest and best seasonal produce available in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, and treating it simply, allowing the natural flavours to speak for themselves.

cookbook collageDelicious. Feel Good Food by Valli Little: Another collection from a familiar voice features recipes aimed to make you feel good everyday. Here Valli Little brings her signature style to recipes that look and taste utterly indulgent, yet offer a balanced, more holistic approach to everyday eating and wellbeing. This is the tenth book from Little and the delicious team.

Ben's Meat Bible by Ben O'Donoghue: Ben's Meat Bible builds on the success of his series of books for people who love unfussy, easy food that's fresh, seasonal and tastes great. This beautiful full-colour paperback introduces cooks to O'Donoghue's spin on his favourite meat dishes from around the world. Barbecue lovers are once again well looked after, but there's more here for people who like to experiment with other cooking methods.

New Kitchen by Karen Martini: The way we cook and eat has changed dramatically over the past decade as people experiment with new dishes and ingredients. In New Kitchen, Karen Martini draws inspiration from around the globe as well as locally, and looks at the culinary factors influencing us all, from our love of wholefoods to our desire to learn how to make things from scratch once again.

A Simple Table: Fresh and Fabulous Recipes for Every Day by Michele Cranston: From one-pot cooking to a relaxed, weekend family meal on platters around the kitchen table, the recipes in A Simple Table are contemporary, uncomplicated and fresh, using accessible and interesting ingredients to create amazing tastes, textures and flavours. Throughout, there are notes that link to other recipes in the book, or give quick tips, shopping lists or ingredient information.

cookbook collageSummer on Fat Pig Farm by Matthew Evans: This book evokes images of lazy summer days filled with the bounty of the season. The foods are at once indulgent and rustic as gourmet farmer Matthew Evans showcases beautiful seasonal produce with simple recipes to help you bring summer into your kitchen.

Special Delivery: Favourite Recipes to Make and Take by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe: In Annabel Crabb's accidental second career as the host of political cooking show Kitchen Cabinet, she negotiates her way into the homes of Australian politicians, bringing dessert - the internationally recognised culinary code for "I come in peace." The book elaborates on the theme of food used as communication with recipes for knockout desserts as well as ideas for soups, salads, pastries, breads and other treats ideally suited to make and take.

Masu by Nic Watt: Japanese cooking demystified for the home cook; from Nic Watt of award-winning restaurant Masu. In addition to creative styling and design with accessible recipes, the book is also the story of Masu, a Japanese restaurant in Auckland that has won several awards, including Metro Restaurant of the Year 2014, in addition to receiving acclaim from diners.

Riverstone Kitchen Another Helping by Bevan Smith: The third cookbook from one of New Zealand's most recognised chefs and beloved rural restaurants, Another Helping features recipes for a variety of foods showcasing the best of modern New Zealand cooking.La Latina

La Latina: A Cook's Journey Through Latin America by Grace Ramirez: Venezulan-born New Zealand-based chef Grace Ramirez shares her interpretation of traditional recipes from throughout Latin America. Utilising readily available ingredients, Grace recreates the authentic tastes she grew up with in contemporary dishes full of bold flavours. In addition to recipes, the book contains fascinating tid-bits of information about each Latin American country's culinary history.Traditional Christmas Modern Christmas

The latest from Australian Women's Weekly Weekly:

Traditional Christmas Modern Christmas

Awesome Cakes for Kids

Buy a gift certificate and win a free lifetime membership

Gift certificate 15

You know how useful you find Eat Your Books? How about sharing that benefit with all your friends and family who love to cook? Gift certificates are available for one, two and three year memberships. And every gift certificate you buy between now and Dec 31 will enter you into a drawing to win one free lifetime EYB membership - you will never have to pay a membership fee again!

Also, please remember to link from EYB before making any purchase on Amazon. We earn a small affiliate fee for every purchase made in the next 24 hours after you click a Buy Book link. The more income we make, the more books we can index!

Gift certificate link

Dana Cowin steps down as editor of Food & Wine

Dana Cowin cookbooks

There is yet another departure from a major food publication as Dana Cowin is stepping aside as editor of Food & Wine magazine, a post she has held for 21 years. She will retain a tie to the publication, however, as her new job will be "chief creative officer of Chefs Club International, the parent of Chefs Club by Food & Wine, a restaurant group with locations in Manhattan and Aspen, Colo. The restaurants are showcases for prominent chefs, notably those selected as "Best New Chefs" by the magazine."

Cowin will stay on at Food & Wine through mid-January to finish the March, 2015 issue. At Chefs Club, she will join culinary director Didier Elena, who worked with Alain Ducasse; chef Matthew Aita, formerly of Le Philosophe; and business development director Louise Vongerichten, daughter of Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

In addition to staying on through the March issue, Cowin will help select her successor at Food & Wine. Cowin said that she hadn't considered leaving until she was approached by Chef's Club president Stephane De Baets. "I'm surprised that I could find something new that's this exciting," she explained.

Old habits die hard

Danny Meyer

On Friday, Danny Meyer's restaurant The Modern in NYC began a new, "no-tipping" policy. It's part of a plan to make all of his Union Square Hospitality-run restaurants tip-free by the end of 2016. Meyer implemented the policy to level the playing field between wait staff and kitchen staff as the latter generally makes much less. But the new policy is meeting with some resistance, reports Grub Street.

The new, higher-priced menus all include the line "Please note that our prices are all-inclusive," and the receipts remind diners they've just eaten at a "no-tipping restaurant." There shouldn't be any confusion, but as a survey of diners shows, the policy is not being followed yet.

"We left a [$20] tip," one couple said. "We forced her. We left it and ran. [The server] was very polite and did not want to accept it, but we felt she had made such beautiful wine choices and she needed to be rewarded for her extra effort." A different guest said he's "a little opposed because I don't really know what's going into the hands of the staff," so he left a 30% tip.

Other restaurateurs are likely watching this situation closely. There has long been a debate over tipping policy in the U.S. In most states, wages for professions that customarily receive tips are much lower than the non-tipped minimum wage (as low as $2.13USD per hour). This makes tipping less of a reward for good service than part of the wage. Many groups have lobbied to change this situation, but only a handful of areas have done away with a tipping wage (but tips are still allowed and even encouraged).

A recent poll of New York City diners showed that they actually liked being able to tip, so it will be interesting to see if Meyer's new policy will be accepted. Says Meyer, "I don't have a crystal ball. We could be dead wrong on this thing." Would you welcome a change to a no-tipping policy?

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!