Bourdain on Books

Anthony Bourdain talks books and his new publishing imprint for Ecco, part of Harper Collins.


Book Briefs: Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal

Odd-bits As a follow-up to her books Bones and Fat, chef and writer Jennifer Mclaghan is now getting into meatier territory, albeit from the perspective of preparing the "odd bits" (think snouts, feet, and organs). Her new book, Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal is aimed at the offal-curious home cook who may want to get into nose-to-tail cooking, but who may have some trepidation about getting their hands messy (or bloody) with organ meats. In addition to recipes, each chapter contains extensive notes aimed at demistifying everything from cockscomb to pig's ears. A recipe for barbecued corned beef is an intriguing and non-threatening entry point (who ever thought of grilling corned beef?), but before long you might find yourself whipping up some chocolate blood ice cream.

$21.28 at


Amazon Buys Rights to "The 4-Hour Chef"

Amazon has bought the rights to publish "The 4-Hour Chef," the next book from Timothy Ferriss, author of the New York Times bestsellers The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Workweek. It's due out next April.


Food and Music: The Recipe Project

Therecipeproject Is food the new rock? Maybe so, according to The Recipe Project, which sets recipes from celebrity chefs to music.

The new book and CD (due out October 15) by the band One Ring Zero features "song-recipes" from chefs Mario Batali, John Besh, David Chang, Tom Colicchio, and Michael Symon, among others. Each song is tailored to the musical sensibility of the chef and the dish: Chris Cosentino's recipe for 'Brains and Eggs" gets a Beastie Boys style treatment while Michael Symon's "Octopus Salad with Black-Eyed Peas" veers into heavy metal.

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Coming Soon: "The Popeye Cookbook"

Due out in October, The Popeye Cookbook will feature plenty of spinach in recipes "meant to build you up, give you hair on your chest and immediate strength."


The Rise of the Jacketless Cookbook

Essentialnyt Have you noticed that more and more cookbooks are being published without dust jackets these days?

From skinny volumes like the new Paletas to beefier tomes like Noma and The Silver Spoon, cookbooks seem to increasingly be going naked, shorn of their usual dust covers.

Aaron Wehner, publisher at Ten Speed Press, which recently released Paletas and quite a few other jacketless cookbooks, says, "It's mostly a subjective feel thing—a jacket can sometimes seem a little formal and traditional for a particular book. Whereas POB [paper over board] can feel more contemporary, and a little less fussy."

Food writer and author Amanda Hesser is not a fan of dust jackets: "For a cookbook, a dust jacket really doesn’t make that much sense because it can easily get soaked with whatever you're cooking with and get beat up," she told me.

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Blogs to Books

Publishers are increasingly tapping bloggers for cookbooks and other print food books.


Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch

Tender I just received a review copy of Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch, Nigel Slater's new book about growing and cooking vegetables in his London garden (the book was published in the UK last year and arrives at U.S. bookstores in May). Slater is one of the best narrative food writers. He can write evocatively about an ingredient -- and a memory of eating said ingredient -- without veering into cloying territory, the bane of so much food writing.

The 600+ page book is divided into chapters devoted to 29 individual vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. Each chapter includes an essay on growing the plant in focus and one on using it in the kitchen, plus recipes. You could read the book right through just for the essays, or focus on a chapter here and there when looking for cooking ideas. As spring ever so slowly comes into its own this year, I've just begun to think about what to grow in my own square foot patch. I'm looking forward to diving into Tender for some much-needed inspiration.

Available for pre-order for $22.74 at


Mission Street Food: A Cookbook from McSweeney's


Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant, by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, will be the first book published in a series of cookbooks and other food books expected under a new food imprint from McSweeney's.

According to McSweeney's:

Mission Street Food is a restaurant. But it’s also a charitable organization, a taco truck, a burger stand, and a clubhouse for inventive cooks tucked inside an unassuming Chinese take-out place. In all its various incarnations, it upends traditional restaurant conventions, in search of moral and culinary satisfaction.

Like Mission Street Food itself, this book is more than one thing: it’s a cookbook featuring step-by-step photography and sly commentary, but it’s also the memoir of a madcap project that redefined the authors’ marriage and a city’s food scene. Along with stories and recipes, you’ll find an idealistic business plan, a cheeky manifesto, and thoughtful essays on issues ranging from food pantries to fried chicken. Plus, a comic.

Mission Street Food is now available for preorder (shipping in late July) for $30 at McSweeney's.


Food Comic "Chew" Coming to Showtime

Chew Food graphic novels are big. There's the hit Japanese wine manga Kami no Shizuku ("The Drops of God"), the upcoming comic cookbook from Dirt Candy chef/owner Amanda Cohen, and the much-anticpated Anthony Bourdain collaboration Get Jiro! Now comes news, according to Deadline Hollywood, that Showtime has bought a script for Chew, a "quirky half-hour cop show" based on John Layman and Rob Guillory’s comic series of the same name.

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