Tag Archives: cookbook

Writing Wednesday: MediaBistro Book Club’s August ’11 Reading

31 Aug

I’m becoming a regular at MediaBistro Book Club.  It’s one of my favorite reading series, essentially because it’s targeted toward people specifically in book publishing, so I get an opportunity to hear some great literature and chat with fellow book publishing professionals.

Usually when I attend publishing networking events it’s just other editors there, and when I attend readings it’s just bibliophiles and aspiring writers there.   MediaBistro Book Club is one of the rare readings that’s actually geared towards those who work in the publishing industry.

This time around the MediaBistro Book Club was held at the Union Square Lounge, which provided an intimate set-up and good drink specials.  I attended with one of my co-leaders from the Redeemer Writers Group and Burnside Writers Collective’s new fiction editor Mihaela Georgescu, and met some other creative writers, editors, designers, and production editors while mingling.  Here’s a photo of me at the event.

Everyone always talks about how small the industry is, and the more I attend readings and connect with people through social media the more I see this to be the case.  I spied David Goodwillie, whom I heard read at the reading The Shrinks Are Away, chatting it up with MediaBistro Book Club reader Andrew Foster Altschul.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all that they’re friends, given their cultural critiques.

Altschul’s Deus Ex Machina is a scathing look at reality tv.  He’s also the author of Lady Lazarus.

 

 

Nelson Aspen is the Ryan Seacrest of Down Under.  He dished on being an exercise trainer to Princess Diana and meeting the official voice of Fred Flinstone (he even sang the Flinstones theme song!), as he told us about his celebrity cookbook Dinner at Nelson’s.

 

 

Margaret Floyd took the food talk in a more nutritional direction when she talked about her discovery of just how much food influences health and well-being.  She tells all in Eat Naked Now.

 

 

Ben H. Winters claims he never had bedbugs even though he says 1 out of 3 New Yorkers have had them—even though no one will admit to it.  He wrote a whole fright-fest called Bedbugs.

 


After the readings there was a spirited Q&A, where Aspen said he believes self-publishing is the way to go and Winters said he hatched Bedbugs with his publisher, one of my favorite book publishers Quirk Books, and therefore never even had to submit a book proposal.  Interestingly, the fiction writers, Altschul and Winters, knew they wanted to be writers (instead of lawyers, which their parents’ wanted them to be), while the nonfiction writers, Aspen and Floyd, said that getting published was something that happened organically because of their other passions.  I think the lesson for nonfiction writers is that in addition to a desire to write you should have a passion for another subject.

See you at the next reading on November 17?

Greek Cookbooks at BEA 2011

2 Jun

Zigzagging my way through the Javitz Center last week at BEA, I discovered two beautifully packaged Greek cookbooks I want to share with you.

 

I’m a huge fan of pretty much everything Chronicle publishes, and their upcoming book Kokkari is no exception.  Written by executive chef Erik Cosselman and food writer Janet Fletcher, the cookbook gives insight into life at the Greek restaurant Kokkari in San Francisco.  Look for it this coming September.

Marketing copy not yet available, but the book will be 224 pages of text and color photography.  Just look at that cover design!  Rather than focusing only on traditional Greek fare, the cookbook will discuss contemporary Greek cooking through the lens of what is servied at the popular California restaurant.

 

Arsenal Pulp Press showed off last year’s publication From the Olive Grove—and with good reason: Helen Koutalianos’ and Anastasia Koutalianos‘ book pairs the history and health benefits of olive oil with classic Mediterranean recipes.

Marketing copy reads as follows:

The healthful virtues of olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, have become well-known in recent years; its monounsaturated fats and antioxidants are beneficial in preventing heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while simultaneously raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.

Helen Koutalianos has preached the gospel of olive oil and its benefits for years; at the same time, consumers across North America have become more sophisticated and appreciative of flavorful, boutique olive oils that are not mass produced. In this charming, intimate cookbook, Helen and her daughter Anastasia have collected 150 delectable, Mediterranean-inspired recipes (Greek and beyond), many of which have been passed along from Helen’s mother and grandmother, in which olive oil is a central ingredient; these include Olive Oil Poached Lamb, Quail with Olives, Turkish Kebab with Garlic, Shrimp and Feta Casserole, Octopus in Wine Sauce, Seared Scallop and Prawn Gazpacho, Artichokes with Lemon, and Kolokethakia Yemista (Stuffed Zucchinis with Lemon Egg Sauce).

The book also takes readers through the artisan olive oil-making process, from cultivating and processing the fruit to the production of the oil itself. Complemented with full-color photographs of recipes, From the Olive Grove will seduce and inspire readers to create their own delicious, heart-healthy meals at home.

 

Perhaps in the downturn of the Greek economy, more Greeks have been immigrating to the United States, because I’ve noticed at least two new Greek restaurants pop up in Manhattan in the past six months.  In the past few years, Peruvian and Korean food seems to have assimilated into the culinary world, and while Greek food has been around for a while, I wonder if we might be headed into a bit of a Greek food renaissance—with a focus on new, contemporary explorations of Greek cooking.