Housing Works Bookstore Hosts Inaugural Chef Tasting Event

Housing Works Bookstore Café is hosting its first chef tasting event on May 13, featuring cooks from Gramercy Tavern, Hill Country and other NYC hotspots. Tickets to the event, A Taste of Home, are $60 and include two hours of unlimited wine, beer, and espresso, along with a dinner—the theme is “comfort food”—prepared by Brad Farmerie of PUBLIC, The Monday Room, Double Crown, and Madam Geneva; Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern; Elizabeth Karmel of Hill Country Barbecue; and Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter Restaurant. Gail Simmons will host—and VIPs who pay $100 get an extra hour of private mingling with Simmons and the chefs, along with a wine and cheese. All proceeds go toward fighting AIDS and homelessness. More info here.

Hungry Girl Is Still Hungry

Lisa Lillien, of the enormously successful Hungry Girl franchise, has signed an eight-figure, multi-book deal with Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s Press. Lillien’s third book, Hungry Girl 1-2-3, is currently on PW’s bestseller list; her email newsletter goes out to a million subscribers daily; and she’s currently in negotiations for a TV program, said her agent, Neeti Madan of Sterling Lord Literistic.

Homesick Texan Gets Book Deal

In other blog-to-book news, Homesick Texan blogger Lisa Fain has landed a deal with Hyperion. Editor-in-chief Elisabeth Dyssegaard acquired North American rights to The Homesick Texan Cookbook, in a preempt from Brettne Bloom at Kneerim & Williams. Fain’s blog, about a Texan living in New York, has more than 175,000 unique visitors a month and recently won Saveur’s 2010 award for Best Regional Food Blog. Hyperion will publish the book in hardcover in September 2011, with Leslie Wells editing.

The Book from Omnivore Books

Celia Sack, who owns San Francisco culinary bookstore Omnivore Books, has sold a book to Ten Speed Press. The Omnivore's Recipe Keeper will be “a soup-to-nuts food repository, with bonus charts, recipes, and the opinions of a consummate collector.” The spiral-bound book will also feature pockets for storage, space for writing, and vintage food illustrations from Sack’s own collection. Look for it in October 2011.

Former Top Chef Contestants Hit the Book Fest Circuit

A group of former Top Chef contestants attended the Los Angeles Times Book Festival last month. Here, Chris Jacobsen (aka C.J.) explains his Top Chef Quickfire dish, while Betty Fraser, Antonia Lofaso, Stefan Richter, and Ruth Reichl look on.

New Ruhlman iPhone App

Ratio author Michael Ruhlman now has an iPhone app where readers can access the food writer’s blog and YouTube channel, which features interviews and cooking demons. Ruhlman partnered with multi-media publishing company Sideways, which is located in his own city—Cleveland—to create the app. "I was thrilled to partner with Sideways on this application," he said. "The digital world is offering more and more ways to connect with readers. Sideways is helping me do that in ways I'd never have imagined."