Peel Parties in L.A.

New Classic Family Dinners author Mark Peel enjoyed his own creations at a launch party for his book on October 5. The event, at Campanile, an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, included a three-course, $39 dinner. On the menu: leeks vinaigrette, cornmeal-crusted pan-fried trout, and roasted figs with vanilla ice cream. Wiley published Peel’s book October 19.

Couscous. Nori. Radicchio. Whatever.
Clueless star Alicia Silverstone signed copies of her new cookbook, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet (Rodale), at the New York City Wine & Food Festival on October 10. In the days following the festival, Silverstone toured to bookstores elsewhere in New York, and in Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and Oregon. She will be at Warwick’s at Isabele’s Cantina in Pacific Beach, Calif., on Thursday, October 29. (Photo: Alex Oliveira/

Harper Picks UpRecipe Club
Things are moving quickly for Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel. They talked to Cooking the Books about their novel/cookbook, The Recipe Club, back in July, self-published the hardcover—since they couldn’t find a traditional publisher—on October 15, and last week inked a deal with Harper for North American rights. Based on “strong pre-pub orders from accounts across the country,” Harper will release a hardcover edition on November 24. Israel and Garfinkel will appear on Good Morning America on Wednesday, October 28.

Good Reads with Alton Brown
Good Eats star Alton Brown answered fans’ questions and signed copies of Good Eats: The Early Years (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) at the Barnes & Noble in New York City’s Union Square on October 9. Brown continued on to Brookline Booksmith in Boston; Sur la Table in Arlington, Va.; the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.; a Borders store in Chicago; Third Place Books in Seattle; and Costco in San Diego.

Besh Lets Les Bons Temps Roulez
New Orleans chef John Besh celebrated the launch of his first cookbook, My New Orleans: The Cookbook (Andrews McMeel), on October 6 at his flagship restaurant, August, in New Orleans. Besh is pictured here with Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu and his mother, Imelda Besh. A few days after the party, Besh hit the road for a two-week, nine-city tour to promote his book, in which he pays homage to the food he loved as a boy growing up on the bayous.

Kimball’s Experiment with Kindle
Last week’s issue of PW profiled America’s Test Kitchen founder Christopher Kimball. The bow tied businessman explains how much research goes into every ATK book, and also talks about the company’s first foray into e-books, with a Kindle edition of The Cook’s Illustrated How-to Cook Library, which was initially offered for free and has now been downloaded by close to 40,000 people.

Sweet Celebration

Sarah Levy, author of Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion (Agate Surrey), celebrated at her book launch party, hosted by Agate Publishing and The French Pastry School in Chicago. Levy is pictured here with Jonathan Baskin, founder of Chicago literary journal The Point.

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