"Table" vs. "Kitchen"

Table cookbook cover

A funny thing is going on at Marketing Department, c/o Cookbook Publisher, Industry St., Anytown USA.  I was just perusing the titles of cookbooks published in the last 30 days, and it seemed to me (I stress the unscientific nature of this impression) that practically half the titles contained either the word "kitchen" or the word "table".  Here are a few examples:  

And a few more:

 Maybe it's my imagination, but it feels like "Table" books are trying to disarm and personalize; to think about what it really means to break bread together; to focus on the host - guest relationship, why a cook cooks, and all the themes of love and nature a cook brings to the. . . table.

The "Kitchen" books seem intent on opening up a space for exploration - a way of traveling from one country to another through magically connecting kitchens.  A kitchen, these titles seem to say, is a place to learn new things, to be educated, to try something new.  It's about the how's of cooking, rather than the why's.

I'm probably over-reading the situation.  But still, it's fun to speculate.  Why "Kitchen"?  Why "Table"?   Why not "Cook"? or "Pot"? or "Stove"? or "Knife"?!  I have my theories, or course.  Regardless, those two remain the words to conjure with these days.

1 Comment

  • ellabee  on  3/19/2013 at 9:21 PM

    Comparing the results of EYB searches for 'Table' and 'Kitchen', sorted by popularity, bears out your unscientific impression. Someone to ask might be Maggie Beer, who produced in succession Maggie's Farm, Orchard, Harvest, Table, and finally Kitchen. ;>

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