Publishing a book—whether a compendium of recipes, a memoir, or some combination of the two—has become a rite of passage for chefs, and this fall publishers are offering a slew of thoughts from beneath the toque.
In October, Grand Central will publish a 50,000-copy first printing of Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud (and Sylvie Bigar) of the New York City temple to haute cuisine, Restaurant Daniel. The West Coast is represented by Manresa: An Edible Reflection by Bay Area star David Kinch and Christine Muhlke (Ten Speed Press, Oct.); Eric Ripert contributes a foreword.
From more casual quarters comes Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Chris Parachini, and Brandon Hoy with writer Katherine Wheelock, about the seminal restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Bushwick neighborhood. Clarkson Potter publishes that volume in October. And from still more casual quarters, Junior’s Home Cooking: Over 100 Recipes for Classic Comfort Food by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen (Taunton Press, Oct.) includes recipes for dishes served at the chain.
Even crafters of candy and sweets are getting into the act: October will see a 60,000-copy first printing of Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook by Rick Mast and Michael Mast (with a foreword by famed chef Thomas Keller) from Little, Brown, as well as Robicelli’s: A Love Story, with Cupcakes by Allison Robicelli and Matt Robicelli (Viking Studio), who own a wholesale bakery in Brooklyn. St. Martin’s Press will publish Small, Sweet, and Italian: Tiny, Tasty Treats from Sweet Maria’s Bakery by Maria Bruscino Sanchez in September.
In December, the Taylor Trade imprint of Rowman & Littlefield will publish No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken, a memoir by the chef/owner of the famed Florida restaurant Norman’s and the only Floridian on the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage” list. The memoir includes 18 recipes.
Pamela Cannon, executive editor, Ballantine Books, says, “Many people, including professional cooks and chefs, look to challenge themselves with advanced collections that feature an acclaimed chef’s or restaurant’s full body of work, such as Michael White’s upcoming Classico e Moderno: Essential Italian Cooking.” The November title, written with Andrew Friedman, juxtaposes recipes for classics, such as ricotta tortelli with butter and sage, with those for newer concepts developed in White’s restaurants, which include Marea, Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori, and Nicoletta in New York City, as well as outposts in London and Hong Kong.
Not all chef-authors hail from the U.S. Michelin three-star chef Pierre Koffmann of La Tante Claire in London will offer Memories of Gascony (Octopus, Oct.). Phaidon will publish three chef cookbooks this fall: D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients by Alex Atala (Sept.), whose D.O.M. restaurant in Sao Paulo was rated the fourth best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2012; A Work in Progress: Notes on Food, Cooking, and Creativity by René Redzepi (Nov.), a set that consists of a cookbook, a journal, and a flipbook about the author’s restaurant, Michelin two-starred Noma, in Copenhagen; and COI: Stories and Recipes by Daniel Patterson (Oct.), whose restaurant, Coi, in San Francisco has also earned two Michelin stars.
Scott Conant has five Scarpetta restaurants around the country, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt executive editor Justin Schwartz notes, “Conant is a frequent judge on Food Network’s wildly popular program Chopped, and his The Scarpetta Cookbook, due out this fall, is looking to be a major release for us based on that visibility, far greater than what he would enjoy solely from his acclaimed restaurants.”
In October, Andrews McMeel will publish John Besh’s third cookbook, Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way. Besh has been recognized as one of Food & Wine magazine’s 10 best new chefs and won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southeast in 2006. He also placed second on the first season of the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef. He owns nine restaurants.
Globe Pequot is continuing to expand its regional Chef’s Table series. Amy Lyons, editorial director of travel and regional cooking for the press, explains, “We gather 50 to 60 of an area’s most celebrated eateries, farmers, or purveyors, profile the establishments, and feature 80-plus recipes from the eateries themselves—all adapted for the home cook.”
Then there are the brand-name authors who are not restaurant chefs. Martha Stewart’s Cakes: Our First-Ever Book of Bundts, Loaves, Layers, Coffee Cakes, and More (Clarkson Potter, Sept.) is from the author of more than 75 books—but Stewart also has 2.6 million Twitter followers, 475,000 Facebook fans, and an audience estimated at 11 million people.
“The huge authors and brands, like Ina Garten and Weight Watchers, continued to do very well last year,” says Karen Murgolo, v-p, editorial director of Grand Central life and style.
A word of caution, though: no famous name can make up for a lack of quality content. Ann Bramson, publisher of Artisan Books, says, “We look for authors with an originality of voice and something significant to contribute. Any whiff of sameness or the generic puts us right to sleep.”
There does seem to be hope for the less well-known out there, according to Dan Rosenberg, executive editor, cookbooks, at Harvard Common Press, who notes, “Ten years ago the malaise in the cookbook business was not that sales were declining—in fact, they were going up—or that the Web was taking over. It was simply that if you weren’t publishing one of the top five Food Network stars or didn’t own a major brand license like Betty Crocker, you couldn’t sell a cookbook. It was all about Platform with a capital P. Since then we’ve seen a remarkable democratization of the very idea of the platform. Anyone who can cook well and write well can build a platform, and easily and cheaply—no hair and makeup consultants, no nerve-wracking auditions, no need to move to New York or L.A. The ironic upshot is that while we’ve lost plenty of readers to online content, we’ve gained a whole lot of new readers from the grassroots Web. The Web takes—and gives.”
Vegetarian, Vegan, And All Things Health
Marisa Vigilante, editor at Avery and Viking Studio, says, “Vegan diets continue to be a hot trend, and we have a range of books on the subject coming out later this year, including The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon [Dec.], based on her popular blog of the same name; The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life by Robin Quivers [Oct.], which brings celebrity cachet to the vegan market; and 365 Vegan Smoothies: Boost Your Health with a Rainbow of Fruits and Veggies by Kathy Patalsky [July], which combines vegan recipes with another still-hot trend: juicing and smoothies.”
Rux Martin, editorial director of the Rux Martin Books imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, says, “Without question, the hugest trend in the past 20 years is vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. One food journalist calls them ‘the new cupcakes.’ Not surprisingly, then, we’re getting a great reception to Mollie Katzen’s The Heart of the Plate [Sept.], which shows how far vegetarian cooking has come since the hippie Moosewood days.”
Michael Sand, executive editor at Little, Brown says, “There are subcategories that continue to see strong sales, and vegan is one of them. We are bringing out Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s next book, Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week, in October, with a Web-based cooking series in development at Zero Point Zero. Isa has become one of the biggest-selling vegan authors in the country, largely thanks to her online presence, in the form of a Web site [theppk.com] and her Twitter and Facebook followings.”
Abrams is focusing on eating locally with Bountiful: Vegetable and Fruit Recipes Inspired by Our Garden by photographers and WhiteonRiceCouple.com bloggers Todd Porter and Diane Cu (Oct.); Frances Largeman-Roth’s Eating in Color (Jan.); and the terrace-to-table title 66 Square Feet: A Delicious Life by Marie Viljoen (Sept.), who gardens on a small terrace in Brooklyn and records her efforts at 66squarefeet.blogspot.com.
Lorena Jones, Chronicle Books’ publishing director, food and drink and lifestyle, says, “Vegetable-driven and vegetarian books continue to draw interest as produce moves to the center of the plate while meat shines in a supporting role, if at all, and home cooks seek new ways to jazz up old favorites, and guidance for the ever-growing seasonal crops available at markets across the country.” Upcoming Chronicle titles include The Glorious Vegetables of Italy by Domenica Marchetti (Aug.), the vegetarian Feast by Sarah Copeland (Nov.), and A Cook’s Initiation into the Gorgeous World of Mushrooms by Philippe Emanuelli (Aug.).
In May, Thomas Nelson published The Southern Vegetarian: 100 Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Table by Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence. Interlink recently published Pure and Simple: Gourmet Indian Vegetarian Cuisine by Vidhu Mittal in paperback. The Roost imprint, launched by Shambhala Publications in 2011, published The Vibrant Table: Recipes from My Always Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, and Sometimes Raw Kitchen by Anya Kassoff in June, and in November it will offer At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well by Amy Chaplin.
Books for those on gluten-free and paleo diets have gone from niche items to a full-fledged subcategory, as Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes (Ten Speed, June) by Elana Amsterdam, and Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen (Victory Belt, 2011) by Julie and Charles Mayfield have both spent time on the PW bestseller list of late. William Davis’s Wheat Belly Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Help You Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (Rodale, 2012) is a follow-up to his Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, which Rodale published in 2011.
Brenda Knight, publisher and acquiring editor at Viva Editions, reports, “The most popular trend we have noticed for some time are gluten-free cookbooks. We are also in a vegan phase.” The house has been happy with the performance of the 2009 title The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook by Lara Starr, which Knight says has spurred it to seek other books on sustainability.
All kinds of allergens are absent from The Ultimate Allergy-Free Snack Cookbook by twin sisters Judi and Shari Zucker (2011), which publisher Square One reports has been featured on national media platforms, including the Today show.
Da Capo has a number of vegan books in the offing, including Vegan for Her: The Woman’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet by Virginia Messina with J.L. Fields (July) and John Schlimm’s The Cheesy Vegan: 125 Plant-Based Recipes for Indulging in the World’s Ultimate Comfort Food (Oct.). The house also has a duo of gluten-free titles: You Still Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free! 200 More Delicious, Foolproof Recipes You and Your Whole Family Will Love by Roben Ryberg (July) and Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More by Nicole Hunn (Nov.).
“We’ve been successful with cookbooks that are part of a healthy lifestyle for book buyers,” says Skyhorse associate publisher Bill Wolfsthal. “Healthy Juicer’s Bible by Farnoosh Brock [Mar.], one of six juicing books on our list, is selling well. Live Raw Around the World by Mimi Kirk [July] is one of 10 raw-food books that we’ve published. The Gluten-Free Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook [Aug.] combines two subjects that have sold well—quinoa books and books with gluten-free recipes. All of these offer books to a community of foodies who are looking to change the way they eat and live, not just new recipes.” In a similar vein, Barron’s added the Quick Check Guide to Gluten-Free Foods by Linda McDonald to its list in February.
The American Diabetes Association has an inherent health hook in all its publications, but Abe Ogden, director of book publishing for the association, reports that baby boomers make up an increasingly large portion of the target audience for the association’s cookbooks. “Now we have an audience that’s a little more open to trying new things and having an open culinary mind,” he says. “So while shifting to meet the needs of this new audience is a challenge, it also gives us a lot of freedom to try things we haven’t tried before.” This fall the association will publish Gluten-Free Recipes for People with Diabetes by Nancy S. Hughes (Oct.), as well as The American Diabetes Association Vegetarian Cookbook by Steven Petusevsky (Nov.), formerly a recipe developer for the Whole Foods chain and the author of The Whole Foods Market Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2002).
A Feast for the Eyes—And the Heart
Martin, of the Rux Martin Books imprint, was one of many editors to point to increasing demand among consumers for attractive or physically unusual cookbooks, which most interpreted as a signal that design and the appeal of books as objects are pushing sales of nondigital cookbooks in an era when so many recipes are available for free online, and e-books can be purchased at discounted prices. “More than ever before,” says Martin, “cookbooks have to be visually dazzling, with more pictures than ever, often layered with illustrative flourishes—hand lettering, innovative type, etc. That’s undoubtedly in reaction to the e-book movement. Today’s cookbooks have got to be keepsakes. Notwithstanding all that, they also have to be priced cheaper than ever before.”
Martin’s imprint has a “surprise hit” in a 22-page board book by Richard Betts publishing in October that cannot be replicated digitally: The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert. In response to interest from media and buyers, the first printing has grown to 100,000 copies.
Ulysses Press has a unique title in Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat., which uses a cunning design to provide recipes for 50 classics. DK Publishing has long been known for strong visuals, and the house’s editorial director, Nancy Ellwood, says, “In the wake of the success of Caroline Bretherton’s Pies: Sweet and Savory, DK will introduce Family Cookbook this fall, which shares the same author, beautiful visuals, and ease of instruction.”
Amy Gingerich, MennoMedia editorial director, says, “Even five or six years ago we were interested in good recipes and stories surrounding the recipes. But the rise of television food stars and their cookbooks has really reshaped the way we publish cookbooks. Visuals are increasingly important because there are so many recipes available online for free.” However, she cautions, “Recipes and food photography alone are not enough, no matter how tantalizing. People want to see themselves engaged in community around food, building relationships.” This spring, the house published Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations, one in a series of Mennonite cookbooks.
That same focus on relationships motivates titles such as Jamie Deen’s Good Food (Kyle Books, Sept.) and Georgina Fuggle’s Take One Pot (Kyle Books, Sept.). Gooseberry Patch reports that its perpetually bestselling titles are the seasonal Hometown Harvest and Hometown Christmas. In October, Thomas Nelson will publish Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson’s Y’all Come Over: A Celebration of Southern Hospitality, Food, and Memories.
With the aim of drawing people into the kitchen at an early age, Simon & Schuster will publish in August Sally Sampson’s ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family. The book is associated with ChopChop, a three-and-a-half-year-old cooking magazine aimed at kids ages 5–12 that was the 2013 James Beard Award winner for publication of the year and has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The cookbook both reprints material that has appeared in the magazine and offers new recipes. “We’re raising a generation of noncooks, and that’s what’s responsible for obesity,” says the author.
Celebrities, but Not Celebrity Chefs
As discussed above, many famous chefs write cookbooks, but they’re not the only celebrities who want to share their recipes and musings on food. Most notably, actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great, written with Julia Turshen and published by Grand Central in April, has been on the PW bestseller list for 13 weeks as of this writing. Murgolo, of Grand Central Life and Style, says, “We are thrilled that Gwyneth Paltrow, who has the second bestselling cookbook in 2013 according to Bookscan, has become a serious name in cookbooks.”
In February, Da Capo will publish another cookbook by an author better known for her thespian skills: Emmy-nominated Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik, with Jay Gordon, has Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours, launching on NBC’s Today.
HCI will publish in September Love Is in the Mix by Kate Gosselin, the mother of a set of twins and a set of sextuplets whose family was featured in the reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 (and half of a couple that went through a highly public divorce). Executive editor Allison Janse says, “Kate proves that no matter how busy you are, you can make nourishing meals that pass the taste test for eight, which is no small feat.” And from Harlequin comes a cookbook by a New York Times bestselling romance writer Susan Mallery, Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold Cookbook: A Love Story Told Through 150 Recipes (Aug. 27), in which she shares seasonal recipes from her fictional town.
Good Books Launches Cooking with Phyllis on the Web
On July 17, Good Books launched a new Web cooking series called “Cooking with Phyllis” starring Phyllis Good, author of the Fix-It and Forget-It slow cooker books for the house and a senior editor. There are nine books in the Fix-It and Forget-It series, and 11 million copies of them have sold. A new episode of “Cooking with Phyllis” will be posted every Wednesday afternoon on YouTube and on the series blog, fixitandforgetit.com, and at the same time a written recipe and grocery list will go up on the blog. The Fix-It and Forget-It series has 600,000 Facebook fans, who will be notified. An e-mail blast will also go out to several thousand subscribers.
Good says, “I have found as I’ve talked to people at signings and presentations that a lot of people are very scared to tackle a recipe, yet there’s high interest and a deep longing for cooking at home. I wanted to make it personal and show how easy it is.”
Episodes are short and sweet—three to five minutes long—and each briefly covers the creation of a single dish, such as beef burgundy or strawberry salsa. While the books contain slow cooker recipes, about one-third of the recipes in the show will not use the appliance. The Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook: 250 Slow Cooker Recipes, the first full-color entry in the series, will be published in October.
Bestselling Cookbooks of 2013 through July 7, 2013
|1||Barefoot Contessa Foolproof||Ina Garten||Clarkson Potter||Hardcover||114,951|
|2||From Mama's Table To Mine||Bobby Deen||Ballantine||Trade Paperback||86,779|
|3||Wheat Belly Cookbook||William Davis||Rodale||Hardcover||85,228|
|4||Cooked||Michael Pollan||Penguin Press||Hardcover||75,904|
|5||The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food...||Ree Drummond||Morrow||Hardcover||67,446|
|6||Forks Over Knives The Cookbook||Del Sroufe||Experiment||Trade Paperback||67,144|
|7||The Healthy Green Drink Diet||Jason Manheim||Skyhorse||Hardcover||55,007|
|8||Weight Watchers New Complete...||Weight Watchers||Wiley||Hardcover||52,579|
|9||The Juicing Bible||Pat Crocker||Robert Rose||Trade Paperback||52,530|
|10||Hungry Girl To The Max!||Lisa Lillien||St. Martin's Griffin||Trade Paperback||44,534|
|11||Weber's New Real Grilling||Jamie Purviance||Oxmoor House||Trade Paperback||40,310|
|12||The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes...||Ree Drummond||Morrow||Hardcover||39,670|
|13||The Chew: Food. Life. Fun.||Peter Kaminsky||Hyperion||Trade Paperback||36,599|
|14||Meatless||Editors of Whole Living Magazine||Clarkson Potter||Trade Paperback||36,573|
|15||The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook||Mark Hyman||Little, Brown||Hardcover||36,544|
|16||The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook||Deb Perelman||Knopf||Hardcover||35,958|
|17||Jerusalem: A Cookbook||Yotam Ottolenghi||Ten Speed||Hardcover||32,696|
|18||The Science Of Good Cooking||America's Test Kitchen||America's Test Kitchen||Hardcover||32,600|
|19||VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00||Mark Bittman||Clarkson Potter||Hardcover||31,367|
|20||The Drunken Botanist||Amy Stewart||Algonquin||Hardcover||30,365|
*The chart above has been modified, due to an error in how the titles were originally sorted.