The Piglet Picks Peter
Was Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann with Peter Kaminsky (Artisan) really the best cookbook of 2009? If you follow the results of Food52’s Tournament of Cookbooks, the book—which judge Nora Ephron admitted “has got all sorts of things wrong with it”—certainly was. The idiosyncratic cookbook contest pitted 16 cookbooks against each other over four weeks, with 17 food writers and chefs knocking all but the final book out, one by one. The last two books standing were Seven Fires and Canal House Cooking by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, which the authors self-published. The winner was announced at a celebration on November 9 at New York City’s Astor Center. Pictured here are Kaminsky and Gail Simmons, who moderated a panel discussion at the party.

Lulu Powers Parties in Manhattan
Last week, William Morrow Cookbooks, food editors and friends celebrated Lulu Powers Food to Flowers, which Morrow will publish in April. Los Angeles caterer Powers put together an impressive array of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Pictured, left to right, are Morrow v-p and publisher Mary Ellen O’Neill, Morrow executive editor Cassie Jones, HarperCollins senior director of special sales David Sweeney, Powers, and editor Lauren Salkeld.

Cookie Book Cancelled
One sad after-effect of Conde Nast’s shuttering of Gourmet and Cookie was Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s cancellation of Cookie Family Dinner Cookbook, which was slated for May.

Lidia at Running Press
Lidia Bastianich recently stopped by Running Press’s offices to meet with editor Kelli Chipponeri to discuss her debut picture book, Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen, which Running Press Kids will publish in October 2010. Pictured with Bastianich (left) is Running Press Kids associate editorial director Kelli Chipponeri.

This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.