The cookie chosen by both Jacques Torres & Dorie Greenspan

We don't usually bring attention to cooking contests - there are far too many of them - but the winner of the recent Fonseca contest caught our attention. First, the contest was rather unique - design a cookie that would go well with Port - and the judges (Jacques Torres and Dorie Greenspan) are no slouches. Then the cookie itself is really… read more

Cookbooks for Mother’s Day!

Less than two weeks till Mother's Day, and we're entering the "spring bump" - next to the year-end holidays, it's the second-busiest time of year for cookbook publishing and cookbook sales. (Which is why my developer timed the launch of my cookbook-rating app, CookShelf - just out! - for now.) And that makes me think...if, like so many people, you're… read more

Is the Paleo Diet more than just nostalgia for the (very far) past?

Most people interested in food-related matters are certainly aware by now of the Paleo Diet - but may not really understand it. This article from Epicurious, Scrutinizing the Paleo Diet,  presents a fair analysis of the pros and cons. It's actually a review of a new book,  Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live… read more

The rebirth of 1970’s kitchen gadgets

According the The Guardian, 1970s kitchen gadgets are making a comeback. And we must say, when they started listing the gadgets, we had to agree they're right. Among the ones they list are: Sodastream -  Jamie Oliver's recent tribute (along with Lorraine Pascale's), created an 85% sales increase for this gadget which allows you to easily add carbonation and flavors to… read more

Jerry Seinfeld on Coffee

Apparently Jerry Seinfeld loves the Morning Edition show on National Public Radio, and just decided to call in one morning to discuss coffee. He is a relatively recent convert to coffee, having only started to drink it five years ago, but - being Seinfeld - has developed many coffee convictions. NPR obviously followed up and has just posted their conversation… read more

Is cooking school worth it?

One of the most prestigious culinary schools in the U.S. - the Culinary Institute of America or CIA - recently experienced a student revolt. About 20 percent of their bachelor candidates (4-year students) walked out to protest falling academic standards and extremely high tuition rates. Several factors led to the walkout: Declining admissions standards designed, according the students, to increase… read more

April 2013 Cookbook Roundup

Every month Susie Chang reviews new cookbook releases and notes trends. And she may also occasionally throw in a review of a "not-quite cookbook." We're arranging for similar roundups like Susie's for books published in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, but until we formally launch those, we'll still be noting new arrivals and providing brief descriptions. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The pace is… read more

An Interview with Karen Stabiner

We recently chatted with Karen Stabiner. Stabiner, a renowned food journalist, just spent two years with Michael Romano to create a new cookbook, Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals from Our Restaurants to Your Home. The book  takes the reader backstage at some of New York's most famous  restaurants -- Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Maialino and… read more

Specialty kitchen tools – which do you toss & which do you keep?

Food Republic recently ran an article dealing with specialty tools, "Spring Cleaning: 5 Outdated Kitchen Tools You Should Toss Right Now." To some degree, we found the list surprising, since of the 5 tools they mention, we consider 2 of them to be remarkably useful: Egg separator: This makes sense - your fingers do the best job Garlic press: Sorry,… read more

Who’s easy now?

Here's the quote that caused the trouble, from a recent story I wrote about preserved lemons: "Preserved lemons can take a month - certainly not less than two weeks. By that time, I've put aside my North African cookbooks and I'm on to an easy French or Hunan cookbook, or a book that's all about ice cream or pickles." [emphases… read more

Foolproof Hollandaise in 2 minutes

Last month we published An honest to goodness foolproof way to poach an egg - which became one of our most highly viewed blogs. That blog pointed to a video from Kenji Alt at the Serious Eats Food Lab on, obviously, egg poaching. Now he has followed up with a somewhat related video how-to: The Food Lab's Foolproof Hollandaise in… read more

Mark Bittman interviews Michael Pollan

In his recent New York Times column, Mark Bittman chatted with Michael Pollan about Pollan's newest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. This isn't a cookbook - in fact, it only has four recipes - Bolognese, pork shoulder, sauerkraut, and bread - that Pollan uses to explore fundamental principles of cooking. As anyone familiar with both men would expect, the conversation… read more

R.I.P. Cupcakes

We're sad to announce the demise of one of our favorie food fads - the cupcake. Three separate news sources have published obituaries.  The first is from no less an unimpeachable source than The Wall Street Journal. In Forget Gold, the Gourmet Cupcake Market Is Crashing they note that the publicly traded cupcake company "Crumbs" has gone from $13/share to $1.70.… read more

Chefs’ favorite knives

The Kitchn recently pointed out this article from, which asked six chefs to name their favorite knives: April Bloomfield, Marc Forgione, Jesse Schenker, Stuart Brioza, Chris Shepherd, and Stephanie Izard. The answers are an unquestioned victory for the Japanese - all of the knives are of Japanese origin - with strong and thin seeming to be the most attractive… read more

Julia Child comes to life in a new, different type of app

Since many of you enjoy our occasional notices of interesting food-related apps, we wanted to alert you to one that Random House, the long time publisher for Julia Child, has  issued - it's a unique app that is far more than just a cooking app. In AppStorm's just-published review of the app Mastering the Art of French Cooking, they describe this… read more

Food as comfort and solace

It felt strange to be driving in to Boston yesterday, the day after the terrible bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.  It was a gorgeous spring day, traffic was light but there was an edgy feeling, not helped by the large numbers of heavily armed police, security and army around the city. But having lived in London during the… read more

Some of the best food moments in movies

Awhile ago we published a blog on The best food movies and movie scenes, which proved to be quite popular. We had a lot of nice responses from our readers about their favorite scenes, including the escargot moment in Pretty Woman, the Solent Green jelly moment, and this scene from Tampopo. So when we saw this blog on Serious Eats, Staff Picks:… read more

Local and localer

In the days before I had my own vegetable garden, I could hardly wait for the farmstands to fill up with local color and variety each year.  What's better than a fresh carrot?  A purple carrot grown five miles away.  What's better than a cool new radish?  a bunch of Easter Egg radishes, ovoid and pastel.  What's better than a… read more

Making a pepper mill more user friendly

ATK's Feed recently published some helpful tips on managing a pepper mill. Most cooks have learned the mantra that freshly ground pepper is much more flavorful than preground, but that still doesn't mean that pepper mills are especially user friendly. Here are some tricks to making them a bit more useful (check out the article, 3 Terrific Pepper Mill Tricks,… read more

Is “A” graded Maple Syrup better than “B”?

It's maple syrup season here in the New England, so we thought we'd take a moment to discuss grades of maple syrup and dispute the claim that an "A" is better than a "B."  We should note that the grades depend whether you're buying maple syrup from Canada or the United States, since the two have different grading systems. Canada, which… read more

Time to play hide-and-seek

It's Friday (at least here in the U.S.) so we wanted to be a little frivolous and this posting from Epicurious touched the spot. In Top Ten Places to Hide Your Snacks Kemp Minifie aims to help those of us who'd like to make the cookies, chips, caviar, whatever just a little harder to dip into. Or, alternatively, keep them to… read more

IACP 2013 Cookbook Award winners

Fiona (left) and Jane (right) were honored to present the Eat Your Books General Cookbook Award last night to Maricel Presilla for her important work, Gran Cocina Latina.  The Awards were tremendous fun and you can see the complete list of winners here. HIghlights of the night were: Meeting Charles Phan of the wonderful Slanted Door restaurant (where we had… read more

Do you need a spice therapist?

The New York Times recently published their special magazine food and drink issue and one article struck us as especially interesting. In The Transformational Power of the Right Spice  they interview a spice purveyor (Lev Sercarz) whom restauranteurs call "a magician" and who  himself considers spices to be both a vocation and a mission. His talent in the former role was… read more

Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook raises controversy

The actress Gwyneth Paltrow has become quite prominent in the food and lifestyle industry. She co-hosted with Mario Batali a PBS food show on Spanish food; published a cookbook (My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness); and set up a lifestyle website at (This latter website raised a lot of eyebrows when it was calculated that… read more

The mainstreaming of the global pantry

When I was first learning to cook, the 80's had just swept past, leaving in their big-haired, big-shouldered wake a trove of newly-popularized ingredients that had once been exotic: raspberry and balsamic vinegars, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes. And because shiitakes were becoming affordable and mainstream, it was now possible to make recipes with "wild mushrooms" any night you wanted to without… read more
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