Disney is launching an online food channel

Chef MickeyAt its annual presentation to advertisers of upcoming new video content, the Walt Disney Company announced that it was creating a new online channel and editorial site dedicated to food. The digital brand, called Disney Eats, will host culinary shows and products aimed at families.

The content, much of which was created in a partnership with global entertainment company  Tastemade, includes shows like "Kitchen Little," which features children working with celebrity chefs; "Tiny Kitchen," where chefs create small replicas of Disney food; and a kitchen science program. The shows will focus on "co-cooking" experiences, or parents and children cooking together. 

Disney hopes to draw in a new generation of viewers by pitching the shows at their parents, who grew up watching YouTube videos and are now looking for suitable content for their children. Naturally, there will be product tie-ins to the shows, with branded products, like kitchen utensils and bakeware, as well as cookbooks. While the online food channel may be new, Disney is no stranger to cookbook publishings; the EYB Library contains dozens of Disney-themed books

Ina Garten announces new cookbook

Cook Like a ProWe've just received good news for Ina Garten fans - the Barefoot Contessa announced that she has a new cookbook coming out this fall. Named after Garten's latest program, Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks is set to hit store shelves this October. You can preorder it now through Amazon

In her new book, the popular television host shares some of her very best "pro tips," from the secret to making her custardy, slow-cooked Truffled Scrambled Eggs to the key to the crispiest and juiciest Fried Chicken Sandwiches. For Garten, cooking like a pro also means hosting like one. Throughout the book you'll find great ideas to boost your entertaining skills such as how to set up an elegant home bar and how to make showstopper desserts ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests. 

Cook Like a Pro is already a #1 bestseller on Amazon, which comes as no surprise. Judging by the popularity of Garten's other books in the EYB Library, this one is likely to be another blockbuster with our Members. Books like Barefoot Contessa Foolproof and Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? have earned 4.5 star ratings and reside on thousands of our Members' bookshelves. As the release date approaches, we will have more information about the book to share with you. 

Are pancakes set to be the next big food trend?

 pancakes

Pancakes are easy to love, because they offer an excuse to eat cake as the main part of a meal. Although they never really went out of style, pancakes are currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight, says Eater's Meghan McCarron, who spies an increase in pancakes on restaurant menus across the US. 

Instagram and other social media seem to be driving this phenomenon, as gleaming photos featuring stacks of hotcakes, griddle cakes, and Dutch babies proliferate. This creates cravings which can only be filled with steaming hot cakes topped with a dizzying array of syrups, fruits, and even vegetables and sweets. This demand creates special offerings on menus and even entire restaurants dedicated to pancakes and their kin. 

McCarron views this less as a trend than as a fetish. The difference, she says, is that trends are "kind of boring" if you aren't involved in the restaurant world while a fetish "commands the attention of a much larger portion of the discourse, including people with somewhat sane relationships to food." A fetish also contains a bundle of emotional appeal, which fits nicely with the comfort food factor of pancakes.

The downside of being a food fetish can mean overpriced fare and increasingly outlandish ingredients or preparations, says McCarron. However, she thinks pancakes can stand up to the pressures of Instagram and remain popular despite some mistreatment at the hands of chefs seeking a moment in the spotlight alongside their creations. 

Photo of  Ricotta pancakes with sour cherries, clotted cream and honey from The Guardian Feast supplement by Sabrina Ghayour

Christopher Kimball's Kuhn Rikon Durotherm Casserole at Sur la Table

Christopher Kimball's new line at Sur la Table hit the shelves last month and I am loving the items I have tried so far. Be sure you read more about these quality products and enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street: The New Home Cooking, a  Traverse Power Whisk, and a $50.00 Sur la Table gift card! 

Today, I am back to tell you about the Kuhn Rikon Durotherm Casserole. It was the first piece that caught my eye and particiularly this sentence: "Revolutionary DUROTHERM double-wall construction saves up to 60% energy by requiring less heat and cooking time, and keeps food hot for up to two hours for stress-free cooking - no need to reheat." 

As I stated in my original post, one of the issues that causes me anxiety when entertaining is keeping a meal hot while waiting for others to get to the table. This piece lessens that worry considerably. I am resharing this from the Sur la Table website:

"This state-of-the-art casserole comes with interior quart markings for precise measurements, a removable heat-retaining base that protects our surfaces, two ergonomic side handles for easy transport, and delicious recipes to take full advantage of the cookware. The double-wall insulated stainless steel pan and lid lock in vitamins, minerals and flavor by circulating moisture to the middle of the pan. Meals will cook consistently thanks to the even browning and rapid heat absorption of the Superthermic solid aluminum sandwich base."

 

I always judge a pot by its weight. Quality, sturdy pots with some heft are my preference. This product passed that test. My second requirement is style - it has to look good. This one is a beauty so much so I really didn't want to break it in. I wanted to preserve that new shiny pot look. But I caved and have used it twice now. 

For Easter this year I made my stove-top macaroni and cheese in this beauty. Before I talk about that I want to point out a few things. Read the instructions before beginning - specifically as the pot is double-walled there is no need to cook on high heat. You are able to obtain the same results at a medium temperature. But most importantly remember to take the base off before using. The latter tip seems obvious but if you have a lot of balls in the air, it might slip your mind as the trivet base locks in well and you may forget to twist it off. 

The water boiled quickly at medium temperature and I cooked my pasta. After draining the pasta, I started my cheese sauce and pulled everything together. I used the Traverse Power Whisk to make my bechamel. It does get into those corners better and made quick work of the sauce (and it looks great too).

About 3 p.m. the macaroni and cheese was finished and piping hot. At 4:30 p.m. we sat down for dinner and I am happy to say the mac and cheese was very warm - almost hot. I had left the pot on the stovetop as I finished the rest of the dinner preparation so that may have contributed to it staying so hot. Today, I used the pot to make Marcella's Tomato sauce with onion and butter - it has been slowly simmering all day. 

This is an incredible piece of cookware - for performance, style, stove to table serving - it hits all the marks. The Kuhn Rikon Durotherm Casserole would make the ideal gift for a wedding shower, busy family who needs that extra assurance that dinner remains warm and waiting and for someone who entertains - potlucks, game day parties and the like will all be easier with this vessel.

I am using the gorgeous photos from Sur la Table on this post because while I wanted to take photographs on Easter - our guest showed up over an hour early and threw me off my game. I should add that the pot cleans up perfectly and comes with a Swiss cleaner but I used plain dish soap and dried it well.

 

Thanks to Sur la Table for providing me with a sample of the Kuhn Rikon Durotherm Casserole for review and to Kuhn Rikon for sending me the Traverse Power Whisk. I have my eye on the Christopher Kimball pop-up steamer/colander with the adorable bow ties for Mother's Day. 

A conundrum for food critics (and cookbook lovers)

 restaurant

In response to the numerous chefs and restaurateurs who stand accused of sexual abuse and harassment, food critics have been reassessing their role in perpetuating the problem. Critics are struggling to balance the damage an omission can have on the lives of a restaurant's staff versus the damage wrought by praising the dining room of someone who has mistreated his (and less frequently, her) staff. Four food writers for The San Francisco Chronicle are currently grappling with this conundrum as they prepare their annual listing of best restaurants in the Bay area. Each of the four has written an essay explaining his or her thoughts on the matter.

For Esther Mobley, context matters. She notes that readers look to critics to provide more information than just whether the food tastes good; they want to know about the atmosphere, the service, and additional details such as the provenance of the food itself. "If we draw attention to the fact that a business is locally owned, uses fair-trade products or favors organic produce, we have no excuse for not drawing attention to how the business treats its workers," she notes.

Michael Bauer, on the other hand, feels that passing over a restaurant because of the accusations against a chef or owner does a disservice to the many employees who toil to provide excellent service and quality food. Why should employees be punished for their bosses' sins, he asks. "When I wear my critic's hat I'm not evaluating what happens behind the kitchen door. I'm writing about what comes out that door," states Bauer.

As I read the article, my thoughts turned to the cookbooks written by chefs who have since become embroiled in scandal. If a story of abuse or harassment implicates a chef whose work I admire - and whose cookbook I own - does the chef deserve my continued support? Would I hesitate to use a recipe from Mario Batali, for example, because of the accusations of unwanted sexual advances leveled against him? Do I give away the cookbooks that bear his name because I do not support his actions? Would it make a difference if I knew any of the people he has harmed?

Another question to ponder is the possibility of redemption. Speaking of Batali, Kim Severson of The New York Times reports that the chef has quietly started asking industry experts how he can return to the profession he loves, and if such a return is even possible. Opinions diverge on whether he should attempt such a comeback, regardless of the sincerity of his apology and attempts to improve his behavior. The answers will not come easy, and we will be contending with these issues for some time to come.

Chef's Table: Pastry

Netflix's Emmy-nominated "Chef's Table" returns on April 13, and this time they are taking a sweet turn with a look inside the world of internationally recognized pastry chefs. "Chef's Table: Pastry" follows four different chefs and their unique specialties. The trailer for this series has me excited!

From the official description: "'Chef's Table: Pastry' goes inside the lives and kitchens of the world's most renowned international pastry chefs. Each episode of the four-part series focuses on a single chef and takes a unique look at their life, talent, and passion, from their piece of culinary heaven. Dessert is front and center as viewers learn the history behind Christina Tosi's wildly popular and accessible 'Crack Pie;' are treated to luxurious Italian gelato with Corrado Assenza; take in the essence of a tropical paradise with Will Goldfarb; and gain inspiration from Jordi Roca's whimsical masterpieces."

So you are prepared for this series, make sure you have these pastry icons' cookbooks ordered and ready! 

Will Goldfarb's Room for Dessert will be published April 6th by Phaidon. Please remember that members of Eat Your Books receive a 30% discount when ordering Phaidon titles using this link. I've previewed the electronic version and it is stunning and can't wait to get my hands on the hard copy.

Christina Tosi's newest title All About Cake will be published on October 23rd by Clarkson Potter. Milk Bar Life and Momofuku Milk Bar, her previous titles are indexed for our members and favorites of mine. 

Jordi Roca's The Desserts of Jordi Roca: More Than 80 Sweet Recipes and El Celler de Can Roca are both inspirational and elegant. The first of course deals just with desserts while the second is mostly savory. 

 

JBF Cookbook Award nominees announced

 cookbook collage

Today the James Beard Foundation announced the nominees for its 2018 Cookbook Awards and other food writing/media awards. It is always interesting to compare the JBF list to the IACP list to see how many books overlap between them. If a book has made both lists, it has to be one of the best of the year. In 2018, fifteen books appeared on both lists, including Member favorites BraveTart by Stella Parks; Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat; Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh; Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark; The Pho Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen; and The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis and Kathleen Squires.

This year JBF switched up a couple of the categories; for instance 'Cooking from a Professional Point of View' became 'Restaurant and Professional', and 'Nonfiction' morphed into 'Writing'. We will not see any controversies in the JBF awards similar to what happened with Six Seasons at the IACP, as the JBF does not allow any staff or trustees to be considered for its awards.

Sometimes the category choices are puzzling. For example, On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen  by Jeremy Fox and Noah Galuten is in the 'Restaurant and Professional' category, while Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg - also written by a restaurant chef - ended up in  'Vegetable-Focused'. This placement comes despite the latter having a quarter of its recipes including fish or meat, while the former has no meat recipes at all.

Brushing away these minor inconsistencies, we see a strong list of contenders for the various categories. Sweet has a chance to redeem itself from the upset loss at IACP, although BraveTart will provide stiff competition. Likewise, the 'General' category features robust candidates as Christopher Kimball's Milk Street faces off against favorites Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat.

A smattering of non-U.S. and internationally-published books vie for honors this year, including The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis and the above-referenced On Vegetables (remember EYB Members get a discount on all Phaidon books), and The Beauty Chef by Carla Oates.

As is to be expected, many of the nominees were featured on Jenny's best of 2017 list, including  Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots by Matt Jennings and State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski and JJ Goode, among others.        

At a ceremony in New York City on April 27, 2018, the JBF will announce the winners of the awards, along with the inductee to the JBF Cookbook Hall of Fame.  Jenny had the honor of being a judge this year. She and Jane will attend the awards, so watch this space for a report afterwards. See all of the nomineees on our James Beard Awards 2018 page. 

David Chang announces new multimedia company

MomofukuFresh off the success of his Netflix series "Ugly Delicious," restaurateur and chef David Chang has announced the creation of a new multimedia company called Majordomo Media. In a statement, Chang called the company a place to create content revolving around "food and culture in a way nobody has really ever tried" before. 

Chang formed the new company along  with Christopher Chen, a former business development executive at  Looper producer Endgame Entertainment, and former Wired  editor-in-chief Scott Dadich. A couple of editors from the recently-shuttered publication Lucky Peach are also joining the team, as will forner Conde Nast Media Group president Lou Cona, who has been appointed chief of business and strategy. 

Majordomo Media will produce content for a variety of platforms, including its own. The company "is a place for people to connect over the things I believe define culture: travel, food, music, sports, exploration," Chang says. "I don't want to tell people what to do or show them the new cool thing. Plenty of places do that. I want to teach them how to find -  and understand -  new and different things themselves and let them bring their friends along for the ride."

Paula Wolfert receives the 2018 JBF Lifetime Achievement Award

The Food of Morocco

Yesterday the James Beard Foundation announced the recipient of its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. This year the honor goes to Paula Wolfert, who has won numerous awards including three  Julia Child Awards, five James Beard Cookbook Awards, The M.F.K. Fisher Award, and The Tastemaker Award. She's also been a finalist for the British Andre Simon Award. 

Wolfert's many bestselling cookbooks include The Cooking of the Eastern MediterraneanThe Food of Morocco, and The Cooking of Southwest France. In 2008, the author was named to the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame. 

Most recently, Wolfert was the subject of an award-winning cookbook/biography, Unforgettable, by Emily Kaiser Thelin. The book tells the incredible story of Wolfert's pioneering life and work. Wolfert was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's disease in 2013, and following her diagnosis, she decided to stop teaching and writing so she could to devote herself to Alzheimer's activism. 

It's difficult to imagine a more worthy recipient of this prestigious award, which is bestowed upon a person in the industry whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and think about food in America.

IACP 40 An exhausting, exciting weekend

If you follow Eat Your Books (see right sidebar on home page for links) or myself on social media, you may have scrolled through a few of our photos documenting our trip to New York for the 40th anniversary of IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Documenting is probably not the correct word because we spent so much time connecting, learning and sharing that few photos were taken and even fewer shared. This morning before I head home, I wanted to give our members a short recap of our adventures include a sampling of those rare shots.

Let me begin by mentioning that it was an honor to attend this conference and to represent Eat Your Books. It was also fun, exhausting, empowering, exciting, exhausting....did I say that twice? I did. It's a non-stop pace and trying to do a little writing work is nearly impossible so I'll have a lot to catch up on when I return home.

Friday night kicked off the celebration with a gala and everywhere you turned there was a face we recognized including the legends Madhur Jaffrey (photo left with Jane), Grace Young, Andrea NguyenNathalie Dupree, Dorie Greenspan, and David Tanis, and then future legends James Brisicone (his third title is coming soon!), Ignacio Mattos (who we met on Saturday night - his debut cookbook Estela should be amazing), and Cameron Stauch (his debut book is stunning). There are countless others to mention but I have to catch a plane and don't wish to overwhelm, but know that every writer, blogger and person that I met was a thrill for me (Jane knows nearly everyone!) I felt like I was on the edges of the red carpet spotting all the celebrities and fangirling. 

We were privileged to attend a Workman Party on Saturday night where Ignacio Mattos (L in photo) and David Tanis (centre in photo) were cooking up recipes from their books - Estela (Oct 18), and Market Cooking (Oct 17) - the latter our main selection for March in the EYB Cookbook Club

Our Jane knows everyone so she introduced me to many people and I squashed my inner introvert (yes believe it or not, I am) and went up to James BrisiconeIgnacio Mattos and Cameron Staunch and introduced myself - and no one got hurt from my exuberance. 

The sessions were informative and specifically Sunday's keynote address/panel was empowering.  Look for a separate post on that subject next week (I was able to hug everyone on that stage and Kat Kinsman gave a shout out to Eat Your Books). It truly was a wonderful experience all around and will take me until April to recover just in time for the James Beard awards. Jane will be my date (I was a judge this year) and it should be a much less hectic trip. This time around we also met with publishers and were able to talk about all the spectacular books coming out this Spring and Fall with many promotions coming for all of them, to include more territories when possible.

Sunday night's award ceremony was great fun. Darcie's post shares the winners that we were live tweeting.  We were thrilled that Joe Yonan, Bonnie S. Benwick and Matt Brooks of The Washington Post won Publication of the Year (circulation of 300,000 or more) and Alice Medrich won an award for Food-Focused Column "Rogue Baking Tips (and Recipes)" at Food52. Joe and Gail Simmons were great hosts. Joe is working on a new book all about beans and Gail's Bringing it Home is a title I am enjoying. 

There was a book I fell in love with - Amalia's Guatemalan Kitchen: Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair - and I'll be doing more on that title soon. How did I not know about this one? I was also able to touch Modernist Bread - swoon - and page through Cameron's Vegetarian Viet Nam (which will be waiting for me at home). Cameron did a stellar job on his debut book.

Eva Kosmas Flores' second book First We Eat is gorgeous and I was able to stow that book in my suitcase. The Cook's Atelier was sitting across the table during our meeting at Abrams and will be coming to me soon along with promotions on these two books plus other Abrams titles. 

At Houghton Miffin, we had a peek at Dorie's BLAD for her new book, the galley for Flavor Bombs, Glow 15 and talk about other new books. A BLAD is a promotional mockup of the book with photos and images. See my Preview Post for 2018 for most of those titles and I'll be updating soon. Another highlight was my meeting Rose Levy Beranbaum who is lovely (everyone was) and she proudly showed us her beautiful blad for Rose's Baking Basics. I want to mention The Bordeaux Kitchen: An Immersion into French Food and Wine, Inspired by Ancestral Traditions by Tania Teschke will be coming this June and I met up with Tania several times - this book looks amazing. 

Everything looks so beautiful for the Spring and Fall. This was an experience I will never forget and one that will take a few days to recover from. Look for more detailed posts in the next few weeks and promotions to come!

Last night we had the most amazing meal at Prune and I learned something new besides how outstanding the food and service is there. I discovered that Jane Kelly created the index for Prune which can be downloaded, if you would like a copy for your book. Gabrielle wanted the book to look like a kitchen manual hence the tags, faux stains and no index and since EYB indexed the title Jane took a few days to create a pdf for the public. The things you learn and I did request that Gabrielle get busy on a second cookbook. 

Mark your calendar for May 10-12, 2019 for IACP's next conference in Santa Fe!

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

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