Cookware heavy hitter Williams-Sonoma is acknowledging the expertise and power to move books of one independent bookseller. Starting August 2, each of Williams-Sonoma’s 259 stores is recommending a cookbook chosen by Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books on Food in San Francisco, in a feature called “Omnivore Recommends.”
Omnivore, a 560 square-foot space in Noe Valley, carries a mix of old and new books (it skews morePierre Herme than Rachael Ray). Since opening the shop in November 2008, Sack has built its reputation as one of the premiere cookbook stores in the country, hosting readings by nearly every serious cookbook author writing today.
Williams-Sonoma initiated the partnership and is paying Sack. In an e-mail, Sack wrote, “I guess enough of their employees came in and raved about the shop (including [W-S founder] Chuck Williams himself), that they decided to ask me to help them out.” The chain is changing its monthly book recommendation promotion from "What We're Reading" to "Recommended by Omnivore.” Every month, Sack will select a cookbook that she thinks “no cook should live without” and will share a quote about what she loves about the book.
Sack’s August pick is 5 Spices 50 Dishes by Ruta Kahate (Chronicle, 2007); her September pick is The Encyclopedia of Pasta Oretta Zanini De Vita (University of California Press, 2009); and her October pick is Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010).
Sack will also assemble a selection of unique, antiquarian cookbooks for each of Williams-Sonoma's top 29 stores in the U.S. and Canada. (Sack was previously a rare book specialist at an auction house in San Francisco.) W-S will display signs about Sack and Omnivore with the vintage books.
For more cookbook news and reviews, check out PW's cookbook page.