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Cookbook Keepers: Page 1

Cookbook buys seldom travel. Two fates await a cookbook.
It reposes on a collector's shelf, or, it becomes part of an estate and handed down to next-of-kin.



Nancy Leson
Food and restaurant writer

The Seattle Times, cookbook reviewer,
author, radio food commentator.
Seattle, WA

seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/allyoucaneat/

Her favorite cookbook:
All About Braising
The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
W. W. Norton & Co. c 2004


Nancy reports in from her West Coast...

Nancy Leson is the prototype professional when it comes to collecting cookbooks. As a working author and restaurant reviewer, she shelves approximately 1,500 cookbooks in neat categories for quick research access. Her home office stash dates back 30 years.

As for cookbook access arrangement, she says "...shelf? SHELF? Sheesh. They're all over the house; on shelves in many rooms...most in my office, on tables, bedside, and so forth..."


Keeper Leson's second favorite cookbook:
Silver Palate Cookbook 25th Anniversary Edition
by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
Workman Publishing Co.
c 2007

When first published in 1982, Silver Palate was an instant success. Palate came along in the early 1980s when more and more people dined out in restaurants. They were becoming aware of how food should taste. Palate at the time was considered by many as a text for seasoning...how to season. As such some cookbook reviewers were rating Palate for readability. Peter D. Franklin's syndicated Cookbook Nook column was as pleased with the narative structure as with the recipe-ingredient exactness. Franklin, in addition to his weekly column for 30 years, was a hard nosed newspaper editor which accounted for his cookbook readership in more than 250 daily newspapers.


A third fave for her deadline writing:
Food Lover's Companion
Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6000 Food, Drink, and Culinary Terms
by Sharon Tyler Herbst
Barron's Educational Series
c 2001

Written originally as a reference source for professionals, the book was researched by her husband, Ron Herbst and Sharon. Rather than collect shelf dust it has become a favorite read for all serious foodies. Besides a loaded shelf of her own authored food and wine books, she was a travel journalist with emphasis on the food. The Herbst Companion was her fourth book.

It is a chunky dictionary-style guide, 790 pages...no recipes, just the definitive meanings of each...like the subtitle advises...nearly 6,000 entries. One veteran daily newspaper restaurant reviewer explains the Herbst Companion this way. he gives his copy more use than his Noah Webster...

Ms. Leson: "I have a reference shelf in my office with books (editions) that include Sharon Tyler Herbst's Companion and many others..."


A Leson confession:
"For more on my collection, read this 2008 blogspot (my husband swears I've greatly underestimated the number of my cookbook collection and today likely have as many as 1,500..."

Click Here: My name is Nancy, and I am a Cookbook Junkie


Donna Jarvis-Miller
Conference and Events Planner

Washington, D. C.
donnajarvis-miller@vacoxmail.com

Her favorite cookbook:
How to Cook Without a Book
Recipes and Techniques Every Cook
Should Know by Heart

by Pamela Anderson
Clarkson Potter
c 2000


Keeper Jarvis-Miller as a career books cookbook authors and star chefs, those who might be considered the flavor of the year for their flash demonstrations on morning television shows. She once booked Pamela Anderson (no, not THAT Pamela) for a cooking demo at the Columbus Dispatch Home & Garden Show. Of course, back stage they talked food and cooking.

Author Anderson has the rep for this book. She was executive editor of Cook's magazine, a slick high tone production. She authored The Perfect Recipe. All that and she wants to teach Americans a new way to cook without having to rely on recipes. She grew up watching her parents and grandparents make meals simply by using ingredients on hand. They cooked from the larder and cabinets with what was there, using techniques they knew.

This Pamela story is a movie waiting to be made. The simple plot: The kitchen setting with trial and overcooking through the ages until everything is on the table. No crime. No sex, No hunger. No reality of gobbling grubs and bark. No love interests beyond "simple stir-frys, weekend ravioli and lasagna." Ms. Pamela wrote that line. Jarvis-Miller could write a movie script with this book.

Ms. Jarvis-Miller's profession requires her to travel. A lot of movement about the country. She long ago found a way to find a comfort level on airplanes, airports, hotels, even between coast-to-coast jaunts. While most hurried travelers relate an airport to the food concessions, she mentally idents a specific airport by the book store ...or news stand that has a book rack. She calls it a hobby. Her home cookbook shelf is loaded, now with a near-count of 80, with volumes that mentally identify the city in which she was there as a conference planner. To keep her sanity, her solution, "...so the next time you want to escape your cell phone, e-mail, and computers or simply escape, grab a cookbook and take a journey..."

If she had book plates for each purchase, they would read...LAX, ORD, CMH, JFK, MIA, TUS...and runways in between.

Second Keeper choice:
The Loews Hotels Family Cookbook
A Collection of Favorite Recipes by the Chefs of Loews Hotels
Edited by Pat Brown
Loews Hotels
c 1998


Her kickoff: This is the cookbook that got me stated picking up cookbooks as a hobby. It contains recipes from executive chefs of the Loews properties - from New York to San Diego, from Canada to Florida and states in between. I bought it because a portion of the proceeds go to Share Our Strength - one of the nation's leading anti-hunger, anti-poverty organizations.

The recipes contained within the 88 pages range from the simplest dishes such as peach and blueberry crisp from Executive Chef Jed Miles Gidaly with the Regency Hotel in New York City to Loews Giorgio Hotel's top chef Tim Fields. His creation: Espresso chocolate torte.



Her Very Personal Keeper, a Collection:
The Gourmet Galaxy Collection
Editions Published Annually, 1990s

The Gourmet Galaxy Collection, a set of cookbooks with recipes prepared and demonstrated by leading chefs in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch produced the Home & Garden Show annually running for nine days. Ms. Jarvis-Miller was the events planner for the Dispatch. She knew and worked with each of the 40 chefs selected for tastings and demonsrations. Additionally, she had dined in each of their restaurants.



Jennifer Korb
Culinarian, Caterer, Teacher, Author Home Economics Education,Oklahoma State University

www.jenniferskitchen.biz

Her favorite cookbook:
Winners: Winning Recipes from the Junior League of Indianapolis
Illustrator: Dick Listenberger
c 1985

Meet Ms. Korb:

My favorite cookbooks are written by true cooks... the ones in the kitchen every day, cooking for family and friends...while leading a busy life...living on a budget...not always able to get ingredients. They don't cook to be showy; they cook for the pure joy of it.

Cookbooks should tell the story of the food the cook is about to make. Can you make it ahead, can you freeze it? Where did the recipe come from?

My favorite cookbooks have more than one or two recipes that I like. The recipes need to have recipes that are common or that can be substituted easily. The instructions need to be clear and informative. giving every level of the cooking process. The recipes are the star, not the author.

I like cook books that suggest what to serve with the dish or a little history of the recipe I am preparing. It makes me feel a part of the dish.

Cooking is an art; it comes from the heart. You are serving it to people you care about. It becomes an extension of yourself. For generations people have been bringing meals to loved ones, cookies to new neighbors or homemade chicken noodle soup to sick friends. Good food is the essence of hospitality. It is not about famous people or glossy pictures; it is about good cooks across America who have graciously shared their recipes. Those are the recipes/cookbooks I cherish.

Postscript: When I suggest to my culinary classes that a Junior League compilation of recipes might be a good start for them, at times I get questioning double takes. Winners is a legitimate cookbook, not a fund raiser as is a vanity publication. In concert with Winners, two other selections from my personal collection are ...


Terry Ward Libby
Burlington Vermont
Restaurant reviewer, cookbook author;


Married to Tony Libby, Travel, Food Photographer
Ms. Libby's Contribution:



Her favorite cookbook:
Silver Palate Cookbook
25th Anniversary Edition
by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
Workman Publishing Co.
co 2007


Ms. Libby's Report:

My all-time favorite cookbook? Had to put some thought into this one. But I do have a definite fave: The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Russo (first edition 1979). That book changed the way I cook, and I think it did so for many other home chefs. It was the successor to "The Joy of Cooking," and took us all to a new level. It taught me to use a repertoire of ingredients I'd never used before, and with confidence. I once asked Charlie Trotter the same question, and he also named The Silver Palate Cookbook as his personal favorite.

Libby learns to cook:
All Around the World Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins
Workman Publishing Co.
c 1994

When first published in 1982, Silver Palate was an instant success. Palate came along in the early 1980s when more and more people dined out in restaurants. They were becoming aware of how food should taste. Palate at the time was considered by many as a text for seasoning...how to season. As such some cookbook reviewers were rating Palate for readability. Peter D. Franklin's syndicated Cookbook Nook column was as pleased with the narative structure as with the recipe-ingredient exactness. Franklin, in addition to his weekly column for 30 years, was a hard nosed newspaper editor which accounted for his cookbook readership in more than 250 daily newspapers.

This is the glowing quote appearing on the back cover... "one of America's best-loved cooks cooks the best of all possible worlds..."

Ms. Libby's world of Keepers: "All Around the World Cookbook also by Sheila ... I learned to cook some truly exotic and authentic international dishes from scratch. The Gourmet Magazine Cookbook by Ruth Reichl (2004...it has1,000 recipes from the magazine and I have never had anything but superb results...Mastering the Art of French Cooking... Julia Child, both volumes. Goes without saying. She taught 'real' French technique. Spare not the butter...All of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks by Ina Garten are reliable, too...I have to mention good ol' gal Paula Deen here, if only for her country fried steak with cream gravy recipe. People who look down on such dishes don't deserve to eat them. I have one of her cookbooks (purchased at The Lady and Sons in Savannah) and have made many a fine meal from it."

A Keeper's shelf: The Libby cookbook library consists of 300-plus books in a a "much soiled and dog-eared" collection dating into the 1970s. The Libby stacks include little-known French cookbooks published pre-Julia Child, vintage publications from standard bearers like Better Homes and Gardens, and Fanny Farmer with retro, home cooking from the 1940s NS 1950S. She keeps regional American cookbooks that offer authentic dishes from Georga-South Carolina Lowcountry and the Southwest. Also among her keepers: East Indian and regional Mexican. Of the latter, Libby says, "the definitive cookbooks for those ethnic cookbooks offering reliable recipes have yet to be written."

Authored by a Keeper: Libby researched The Hunter's Table, The Countrysport Book of Wild Game Cuisine, published 1999. It is one of the 96-count selections on this website...Book 84...
www.foodreportingsyllabus.com


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