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Cookbook Love Podcast

Oct 3, 2019

Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Cookbook Love Podcast. Today I’m excited to talk to you about cookbooks from “a place”. This episode is inspired by a recent cookbook purchase about a restaurant The Noma Guide to Fermentation.  In Episode 50 I interviewed the co-founder of Cookbook Village Wendy Guerrin, and in that episode, Wendy talked about her love of vintage restaurant cookbooks.  This really got me thinking: many of my favorite books in my collection are cookbooks about “a place”. This came to light a few weeks ago when The Best Male Cook and I were moving my cookbook collection, stack by stack, off of the shelves, because we were painting my office. As we moved the books, I kept talking about the books: favorite books, where we bought some of the books, gifts I’d been given, etc. Thus, the inspiration for this show: talk about favorite cookbooks from “a place”. I have been trying to figure out why I love these types of books and the best way for me to describe it is because a book from “a place” like a cafe, market, restaurant, or meditation center, is like a book of business secrets. When a business publishes a book of recipes from their business, they are adding an asset to their business. And this book contains the formula for the very thing that makes their business tick: the food. But here’s the funny thing: publishing a book of their recipes ADDS to the business, it doesn’t subtract. It gives them a place to reveal what they do, yet people still walk through the door to buy their soups, salads, cakes, schnitzel, and bread. That’s because a restaurant or cafe isn’t just about the recipes, it’s about the experience and about us being willing to trade our money for the value a good cafe, market, or restaurant offers: delicious, prepared food served well in an environment that we love. And, a restaurant or market cookbook extends the story of the place far beyond the boundaries of a town or city. It extends it across the world I haven’t ever eaten at Noma. But I have read their cookbook. And that’s what cookbooks do, they transport us to a place we’ve been, or back to a place we haven’t been, to enjoy the food and stories of the place, and to experience in print, what their cooks, bakers, and chefs offer in real life. So enjoy this episode as I take a journey through cookbooks in my collection from “a place”.

Things We Mention In This Episode: