Food Network stars may do well publishing $14.95 paperbacks, but these days, there's another breed of cookbook on the market, one that combines food, art and armchair travel. Here are five of this fall's gems, priced to move... eyebrows.
|At the Crillon and at Home: Recipes by Jean-François Piège (Flammarion, Sept.)||A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adrià (Phaidon, Sept.)||Alinea by Grant Achatz (Ten Speed, Oct.)||Under Pressure by Thomas Keller (Artisan, Nov.)||The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal (Bloomsbury, Nov.)|
|Why are you publishing this book?||Kate Mascaro: “Because it is unlike other cookbooks from celebrity chefs in its presentation.”||Richard Schlagman: “Because Ferran Adrià is the best in the world.”||Aaron Wehner: “It was the most visually striking package I've ever received for a cookbook.”||Ann Bramson: “Because we have a long and highly successful publishing relationship with Thomas.”||Sabrina Farber: “Because it's a work of art, a statement.”|
|Who will buy it?||Foodies, yes, but there are “a wide range of recipes for all skill levels.”||Foodies, though “even a competent home cook won't be able to make the dishes.”||Professionals are “a given,” plus people who follow the high-end cooking scene.||Professionals and “food geeks—but it's also going to be the gift book for foodies.”||“It's not for the casual browser, obviously.”|
|First printing?||5,000||“Significantly above 100,000” in English.||50,000, “and we've presold half of it.”||35,000, “and we're thinking that may not be enough.”||“A few thousand” for the U.S. and Canada.|
|How did you determine pricing?||“The costs are simply based on our overheads.”||“It wasn't easy, but we wanted it to be affordable.”||“We were able to price it at $50 because of the nontraditional deal we cut [no advance, high royalty rate].”||The “skyrocketing price of paper and materials” meant adding $25 to the price of The French Laundry Cookbook, Keller's earlier work.||“We had to price it the way we priced it. The books are hand-gilded, the slipcase is full cloth, the paper stock is extraordinarily heavy and all the photographs are varnished.”|
|Any non-bookstore interest?||Kitchenware shops, specialty food stores, high-end department stores; the Hotel Crillon in Paris is also “likely to stock” the book.||Museum shops, specialty food outlets and the restaurant elBulli in Spain.||Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma and the restaurant (Alinea, in Chicago) has already presold 3,000 books.||Professional cooking schools, upmarket gift shops, Keller's restaurants Per Se (in New York) and the French Laundry (in California).||Possibly Saks and other retailers that sell Assouline and Taschen titles. “We also expect this will do really nicely online.”|