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BREAKING BREAD

 
   
 

This is a stressful time for many of us. Some of the amazing cookbook authors who have spoken at my shop are no longer allowed to visit America. Personally, this has caused me great sadness, and in a fit of emotion on Saturday, I posted the above sign in my window, along with books about the foods of Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Iran (there are no cookbooks in English that I know of from Libya or Yemen). The response has been tremendous; the photo was retweeted thousands of times on Twitter, and shared by nearly a thousand people on Facebook. Two great food sites, Grub Street and Food52, published articles about it and promoted books from these countries. I quickly added several of these books to my New Books page so you can order them and see for yourself how great they are. The whole reaction has been overwhelming, and almost all of it positive (a couple people accused me of trying to make money off the backs of refugees; it's a shame they exposed my evil plan to make millions as a cookbook seller - foiled!).

Meanwhile, I've been loyal to my New Year's resolution to cook more from cookbooks I own. I made the deceptively simple poached salmon from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food, which taught me how to make an addictive sauce after poaching the salmon. You simply reduce the poaching liquid (which is enhanced by a few lemon slices and herbs), add some butter, and it splash over the salmon once served. I improved this further by making a sliced potato nest from Cindy's Supper Club by Cindy Pawlcyn, which held the salmon and sauce for about thirty seconds, before it was completely devoured.

Another successful dish was Anna Jones' parsnip and potato rosti, from her vegetarian cookbook, A Modern Way to Cook. Easy to make and healthy to boot, the dish comprises a thick potato and parsnip pancake topped with greens like leeks, chard, or spinach, a zest of lemon, and is then dotted with ricotta. It was satisfying and rich enough to make a whole dinner out of, and we happily had enough left for a savory breakfast the next morning.

I've been busy at the shop adding some beautiful antiquarian books to my website, including a number of important early community cookbooks from around the country. You'll see more vintage books from around the world, which show us how long our fascination with international fare has made us as diverse as we are. Of course, that diversity is always reflected in the author events held at Omnivore, and February is no exception. We've got some great authors coming through, including a cocktail demo and tasting tomorrow night that couldn't be more timely.

Lastly, I'm heading to Louisville at the beginning of March to attend the annual IACP conference. I'll be speaking on a panel about cookbook marketing, which I'm really looking forward to (though not as much as the tour of the Four Roses bourbon distillery I signed up for). Hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Celia Sack, Owner
Omnivore Books on Food
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Upcoming Events at Omnivore Books

 

Thurs. Feb. 2 • Lou Bustamante • The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE, with cocktails!

Learn everything you need to know to craft the perfect cocktail—or two, or three…but who’s counting? Spirits writer and expert Lou Bustamante, in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, collects the best cocktail recipes, techniques, and histories in this must-have volume that has a place in every home bar.

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Thurs. Feb. 9 • Kathy Gunst • Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE, with soup!

There's no better way to cultivate community, foster friendship, or simply nourish family than over heartwarming bowls of homemade soup. And here, soup lovers will find 60 terrific recipes, featuring such classics as creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled-Cheese Croutons plus international favorites like Thai Red Curry-Chicken Noodle Soup.

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Sat. Feb. 11 • Georgia Freedman • There's Always Room for Chocolate: Recipes from Brooklyn's The Chocolate Room • 3:00-4:00 p.m. FREE, with chocolates to sample!

The Chocolate Room has become a place of pilgrimage for chocolate lovers from near and far, thanks to its simple mission: to create treats that bring back those original childhood memories of the pure joy of chocolate. Its chefs have a knack for reconstructing a classic American recipe in ways that improve on the original. Their showstopping Chocolate Layer Cake, for instance, is the cake all other chocolate cakes dream of being; it’s made with a blackout pudding filling, three different kinds of chocolate, and a custardy ganache frosting.

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Sun. Feb. 12 • Alanna Taylor-Tobin • Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours • 3:00-4:00 p.m. FREE

From peak-of-season fruit pies nestled in an irresistibly crunchy crust, to cookies that positively melt in your mouth, author Alanna Taylor-Tobin offers more than 100 wholesome treats utilizing easily accessible alternative grains and flours for every taste and baking level.

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Thurs. Feb. 16 • Andrea Nguyen • The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam's Favorite Soup and Noodles • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE

Author Andrea Nguyen first tasted pho in Vietnam as a child, sitting at a Saigon street stall with her parents. That experience sparked a lifelong love of the iconic noodle soup, long before it became a cult food item in the United States. Here Andrea dives deep into pho’s lively past, visiting its birthplace and then teaching you how to successfully make it at home.

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Wed. Feb. 22 • Rebecca Katz • The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE

This new and revised edition of the IACP award-winning cookbook brings the healing power of delicious, nutritious foods to those whose hearts and bodies crave a revitalizing meal, through 150 new and updated recipes. Featuring science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, tastebud changes, and weight loss.

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Thurs. Feb. 23 • Jane Ziegelman & Andrew Coe • A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE

The decade-long Great Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse of the economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder. A Square Meal examines the impact of economic contraction and environmental disaster on how Americans ate then—and the lessons and insights those experiences may hold for us today.

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Omnivore Books on Food • 3885a Cesar Chavez Street • San Francisco, CA 94131
415.282.4712 • Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm