Besh Group and Alon Shaya settle their dispute

Shaya: An Odyssey of FoodSeveral months ago, when the news of sexual misconduct allegations about John Besh came to light, another problem for Besh's restaurant group was also brewing. Chef Alon Shaya, who led the Besh Restaurant Group (now known as BRG Hospitality) establishment bearing his name, said that he was forced out because he spoke up about the allegations. The dispute between the two has finally been settled, reports GrubStreet

Although we do not know all of the settlement terms, we do know that BRG gets to keep both the restaurant and the rights to the name. Both Shaya and BRG issued polite statements regarding the settlement, so we can only hope that Chef Shaya received compensation for the loss of the rights to his name on the door. 

Shaya's well-received cookbook has been popular with EYB Members. Don't forget to enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of Shaya: An Odyssey of Food. Although the chef isn't staying at his eponymous establishment, he is staying in the restaurant business and in New Orleans - at least part time. He is opening a restaurant just down the road from Shaya, named Saba. It also looks like he's opening an outpost in Denver, Colorado called Safta. 

Martha Stewart to be part of 'Chopped' next season

Martha Stewart

After managing dozens of successful ventures including publishing, design, writing and several television programs, Martha Stewart could retire to her Maine estate and live a quiet retirement. But that is not the domestic doyenne's style, so it should come as no surprise that she has found another project. Discovery Network recently announced that Stewart would become a judge on the 'Chopped' cooking competition program. 

This isn't Stewart's first foray into the 'Chopped' family; she served as a guest judge in 2015 on holiday episodes of 'Chopped Junior'. She will be a regular panel judge for the upcoming season of the regular  'Chopped' show on Food Network. It will be interesting to see how Stewart, who is known for being very particular about foods, will react to some of the interesting flavor combinations that come out of the contestant's hampers. 

Reactions to the announcement on social media were mixed but generally positive. A few people suggested that she bring her VH1 co-host, Snoop Dogg, on the show with her. That would certainly change the dynamic of the program. At the same event where it announced Stewart's new gig, Discovery Network also touted a new show to air on the Cooking Channel. It will feature "Better Call Saul" co-star Michael McKean as host, and is called "Food: Fact or Fiction".

Ottolenghi keeps it simple in his new cookbook

 Ottolenghi 'Simple'

Show of hands: how many of you have preordered Yotam Ottolenghi's upcoming cookbook Simple? Oh my, that's a lot of hands (mine included)! Four of Ottolenghi's books command the #1, 2, 6, and 8 spots in the EYB Library by number of bookshelves. It's no wonder, as his approachable recipes burst with flavor, color, and texture. 

His latest effort, due out this fall, continues in this tradition, but takes a new approach. The recipes in Simple  contain all the inventive elements and flavour combinations that Ottolenghi is loved for, but with minimal hassle for maximum joy. In an interview with TasteCooking, the chef explains the impetus for the new book. It started when The Guardian asked him to create a small seasonal booklet of simplified recipes. 

This gave him pause, "because, you know, I love my ingredients and the processes involved, and looking for things that are special and a little bit exotic," he explained. However, after speaking with people on what they felt constituted a 'simple' recipe, he found a way to keep all of the flavor while reducing the work. The 140+ recipes in Simple are organized in different categories, because everyone their own particular idea of what simple means. 

For example, recipes coded 'S' represent "Short on time," with each recipe taking less than an hour to make. The 'E' by a recipe means "Easier than you think", while 'I' designates that there are 10 or fewer ingredients. I will be heading straight for 'L', which means lazy, e.g. slow-cooking or long-marinating dishes with a lot of hands off time. 

Nigella Lawson says never call yourself "just" a home cook

At My TableAs Nigella Lawson embarks on her US tour in support of the new cookbook At My Table, fans across the country are making plans to visit the domestic goddess at their local bookstore. For those who are not fortunate enough to live near one of the tour spots, we have a small consolation prize: a wonderful letter she penned for the website Lenny

In the missive, Lawson wants us home cooks to be proud of our efforts to put food on the table. Too many times, she posits, when serving a meal or treats to other and receiving praise, we will say we are "just" a home cook, unfairly comparing ourselves to professionals. While it may be true that we are not chefs, she says, "to deduce that we are inadequate at the task of creatively feeding ourselves and others is madness."

One of the reasons women put such a qualifier on their self-description is that for centuries, professionals had been male and paid while home cooking was "women's work," less valued and respected by society. More recently, in an effort to distance ourselves from the domestic sphere, some women have disparaged the act of cooking. This is a mistake, says Lawson. For her, the act of feeding ourselves is one of "primary independence." It can also be a fulfilling creative endeavor, providing satisfaction that goes beyond the mere filling of our bellies. "Cooking provides deep aesthetic pleasure though it is manual work," she says. 

Julia Turshen creates database for underrepresented voices in food

Feed the ResistanceLast fall, Julia Turshen released her latest cookbook called Feed the Resistance, which aimed to foster community and provide sustenance for the mind and soul in this era of activism. Proceeds from the book will be donated to the ACLU. Based on the response to that cookbook, and drawing on projects like Women Who Draw and Creatives of Color, Turshen embarked on a new project. The result is a database that will assist marginalized voices in food.

Acccording to Eater, the database, called Equity at the Table (EATT), is a "slick, searchable database of activists, bakers, lawyers, authors, chefs, and other food industry professionals composed of women/gender-non-conforming individuals, most of whom are people of color and in the LGBT community."  Turshen hopes that organizers of food conferences and festivals, magazine editors, and anyone who wants to help lift others, will use the tool to find speakers, writers, and other professionals to help diversify their events and publications. Currently, the "creatives" portion (chefs, writers, stylists) is limited to people of color and queer women/gender non-conforming individuals, but the "resources" portion (lawyers, accountants, etc.) is open to all women.

As you might expect, the endeavor was expensive, and Turshen footed the bill for the startup of the project. She is accepting support for ongoing efforts via a Patreon page. She has plans for future growth, eyeing concepts such as a career board.  "We'll see where it goes," she told Eater. "We've heard from enough straight white men and I want there to be a place that listed up a lot of other voices." 

Today's Google Doodle recognizes one of the first modern cookbook authors

The Art of CookeryThe Google Doodle often celebrates historical figures. Today's Doodle recognizes the 310th birthday of a woman considered one of the world's first modern cookbook authors, Hannah Glasse

Glasse was born Hannah Allgood in 1708 in London. She married John Glasse in 1724 and together they had several children. In 1938, historian Madeline Hope Dodds discovered Hannah Glasse to be the author of a popular 18th century cookery book, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. The book did not reveal its author, instead noting that it was written 'By a Lady'.

Glasse's life following publication of the book was not easy. Her husband died the year the book was released, and financial issues plagued Glasse throughout the remainder of her life. At one point she was confined in a debtors' prison for several months. Glasse wrote more cookery books, but is best known for The Art of Cookery, which was intended to be used by servants. 

The book was comprehensive, containing over 950 recipes, some of which Glasse collected from others. She is credited with naming one of England's most iconic dishes, Yorkshire pudding, which was previously known as dripping pudding. Today's Doodle depicts  Glasse retrieving a batch of Yorkshire puddings from an oven.

A cook and a book


Members of cookbook clubs like the EYB Cookbook Club are used to working their way through cookbooks, asking others for advice, and offering their own. It's a great place learn how to decipher what a cookbook author means, or expound on changes that worked out better than the original text. 

If there is anything better than learning from your peers and hearing their thoughts on the latest cookbooks, it might be having your favorite cookbook author try a few recipes from someone else's book and provide commentary. If that sounds like an excellent idea, head on over to Food and Wine's website. Charlotte Druckman has a new column there called 'A Cook and a Book' that features cooks and authors trying recipes from new cookbook releases

Druckman described the new column in a recent tweet as "sorta like a cookbook review & sorta like a profile of a person of interest in his/her kitchen. sorta both those things but also not."  In the first installment, esteemed chef and author Nancy Silverton tries a couple of dishes from Nigella Lawson's new book At My Table

Even though she's written nine cookbooks, Silverton admits that she is terrible at following other people's recipes. She is dubious about some of Lawson's suggestions, including heating Greek yogurt and straining some of the excess egg white before poaching an egg. Nevertheless, she gamely follows the instructions and in the end is pleasantly surprised by one of the techniques. 

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."

Ruth Rogers and Nigella Lawson keynote speakers at Cherry Bombe's Jubilee


Cherry Bombe Magazine is hosting its sixth Jubilee conference next month. The keynote speakers at the conference are two culinary icons: Nigella Lawson and Ruth Rogers. "The two women are such a powerhouse duo, in terms of one representing the working chef and the other the home cook," says Cherry Bombe  co-founder Kerry Diamond.  

The conference will be held April 14 in New York City, and will feature a mix of discussions, meals, and networking opportunities. The event has moved to a larger venue that will accommodate 600 attendees. The complete lineup is still taking shape.

The first Jubilee was created in response to the striking gender imbalance at food events. Following a 2013 Eater article describing this imbalance, Diamond and co-founder Claudia Wu were inspired to create a women-focused event. If you are interested in attending, tickets are on sale now and cost $350. 

Dorie Greenspan's 'must read' cookbooks


Other than Julia Child, probably no one has translated French cooking and baking better than Dorie Greenspan. Her cookbooks have legions of fans worldwide. This fall, she will be releasing Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook. We can't wait to dive into the latest from Dorie, but until October, we'll have to make do with her list of 'must read' books about French cooking, as told to Saveur Magazine

Starting off the list is French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. What does Greenspan love most about this book? "The writing, the writing, the writing," she says. Naturally, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child is also on the list. While Greenspan did not learn to cook from this book, she appreciates the clear voice that Julia Child puts forth in the cookbook. 

A book by Child's co-author, Simone Beck, also makes the cut. The recipes in Simca's Cuisine may be best suited for a more advanced cook, but each "has something really interesting about it," says Greenspan. That could be a technique or twist that you would not have thought about on your own. 

A more recent volume recommended by Greenspan is My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz. Lebovitz, she says, "is a meticulous recipe tester…[and] this gives an interesting view of food in Paris today-that mix of classic, bright, innovative, and a lot of ethnic food as well." Visit the Saveur website to see which other books Greenspan recommends. 

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