First Bookstore Signing for the New Edition

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Photo by Heather Lunan

This is the best part of being an author: when your book comes out and you have a signing at a terrific food-centric bookstore like Omnivore Books in San Francisco.

Photo by Owen Rubin

It also helps to have a great interviewer like food blogger Sean Timberlake of Hedonia, who lives in the neighborhood, to make it fun and dynamic. We talked about food blogging, mostly, but also got in a little bit about restaurant reviewing and freelance writing.

Photo by Kirstin Halgedahl

And it helps to have a good crowd. Among those who came out were food bloggers Anita Chu of Dessert First, Irvin Lin of Eat the Love, Lynda Balslev of TasteFood, Shauna Sever Webb of Piece of Cake, Kristin Halgedahl of Four Eyes Forum, Sam of The Second Lunch and the author of If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake. Ted Weinstein, a literary agent who lives in the neighborhood, also came by (he’s been a guest at my book proposals class for years, listening to student pitches), as did Joanne Rocklin, a talented children’s book author and member of my book group.

Celia Sack, proprietor, even asked a few questions. She’s working on her own book for Chronicle Books, a recipe keeper including images culled from her own antiquarian book collection.

After the crowd left, I had time to browse. Celia showed me some gorgeous books that are hard to find in the US. One standout is Maggie’s Harvest, an enormous 350-recipe cookbook from Maggie Beer, an Australian chef, cookbook author and television personality. It features an embroidered cloth cover that wraps around to the back. The book is full color inside, with gorgeous photography and design. And Beer is well known for recipes that work. Cost: $100.

For more about Omnivore and some of Celia’s favorite books, read this excellent blog post from Tara Weaver of Tea & Cookies.

By then it was close to dinnertime, so my husband Owen and I hopped over to Contigo, a Spanish and Catalan restaurant co-owned by Brett Emerson, who once took a food writing class from me when he was a mere food blogger. Now he’s a chef at one of San Francisco’s hottest  restaurants.

Brett sent over a classic Catalan dish: a plate of bread slices toasted in the oven and topped with olive oil, fresh tomato, and salt. The dish reminded us of breakfast at a small hotel we stayed at in Cadaques, a little fishing village on the Costa Brava, where we watched Spanish guests squeeze fresh tomatoes onto slices of toast. At Contigo, we feasted on bocadillos, anchovies, a fig and arugula salad, patatas with aoli and tomato sauce, and  two desserts: a caramlized peach upside down cake with brown butter ice cream; and a trio of ice creams: hazelnut, melon infused with lemon verbena, and peach. Full and happy, we wandered down the main drag of Noe Valley, looking in shop windows, enjoying the Victorian architecture, and bracing ourselves against the cold San Francisco fog.


  1. says

    Dianne, I had so much fun with you, and the audience was just full of great questions and thoughtful discussion. I hope all your signings go so brilliantly!

  2. says

    Congratulations, Dianne! You look so happy! And what a stunning photo of you! Your book was waiting for me when I returned from vacation and is now on my bedside table, handy for a pre-sleep read. I wish I could attend one of your signings! Glad you are having such a great time!

    • diannejacob says

      Hi Cindy, I look forward to meeting you in person. Thank you so much for this lovely review.

  3. Anna Tvinnereim says

    Will you make it to Toronto?? We have The Cookbook Store here!!!!
    I would definitely be there!

    • diannejacob says

      No plans yet, but someone else said I should come to Toronto and gave me all kinds of leads, so I need to work on it! Thanks Anna.

  4. says

    I just discovered this book the other day, and dove into the blogging chapter :) Thanks for all the fantastic advice.
    I really appreciate your warnings that getting noticed/published is very difficult – thanks for being honest with your audience. I keep this in mind while also thinking of the advice a good friend gave me: first and foremost, I have to be writing and photographing for myself, for the love of the material and the creative process.
    Maybe you talk about this in the book, and I just haven’t gotten to that part yet.
    At any rate, congrats on the second edition!

    • diannejacob says

      Thanks Cara Mae. I agree with your friend’s advice. And then from there, study marketing.

  5. says

    These photos are gorgeous and do an excellent job of capturing the enthusiastic (and laughter-filled) energy of your talk! It was lovely to meet you and I look forward to diving into your book this weekend (so as to give it my full attention).