There seems to be a lot of online debate in the last few days on
what the future holds for cookbooks. The most exciting
article for us, because EYB was the focus and it was carried
around the globe, was the Associated Press article by Michele
Kayal. One of our most enthusiastic members, Mary-Claire van
Leunen does a great job promoting the benefits of using the
On the side of print cookbooks
is Adam Roberts, whose blog The Amateur Gourmet, has spawned a memoir/cookbook.
As Adam says "Cookbooks aren't just vessels for information, recipe
containers that serve a purely functional purpose. The best
cookbooks transcend their function-they become indelible objects,
beacons of inspiration." The vast majority of the post
comments couldn't imagine switching from print to digital (and EYB
got a couple of mentions as the perfect bridge between the
On the other side of the argument was Paula Forbes on Eater.com who said "Much like how music
has become a cheap, digital commodity, cookbooks will follow suit -
mere texts that will be sold on Amazon or iTunes for, say, $3.99.
The printed cookbooks of the future will be gourmet trophies."
Jennifer Day in the Chicago Tribune takes as her starting point
the imminent release of Mastering the Art of French Cooking as an
eBook. Cookbook author
Molly O'Neill is quoted extensively and backs up the assertions
of Paula Forbes "Ultimately, O'Neill says, she thinks that print
cookbooks will continue to thrive, but with more of a literary
bent. Recipes and instruction will continue to migrate toward
electronic formats. Some cookbooks may feature fewer recipes and
push people to the Web for more."
I'm going to leave the final
word to Jay
Rayner, the extremely witty British food writer, whose memoir
The Man Who Ate the
World I can highly recommend. In an article in the Guardian last year he said "What
I would love to see is someone going into the Apple store on Regent
Street to explain that the reason their iPhone is broken is because
they smeared pesto all over it. I think people will find when
their iPhone is covered in crap, that cooking with an iPhone is not
such a good idea."