May 022010
 

Cooking with the Seasons.Rancho La PuertaI didn’t intend to make book giveways such a focus of my blog but coincidentally, I have another one.

Somehow the buzz got out with my last giveway for Ready for Dessert and almost 200 people responded. I think it was David Lebovitz’s Facebook announcement. (He has what’s called a “platform,” you know.)

Right now this post is coming to you from sunny Rancho La Puerta in Mexico, one of the best spas in the world. I’m here to teach four 1-hour classes for people who are thinking about writing a book. They’ll have to fit me in between Pilates, massages and hikes.

I first came here last year in exchange for coaching on the ranch’s cookbook proposal, and now I’m lucky enough to come back. The book has done well too: It was nominated for a Beard award last year.

(Speaking of the Beards, follow along with Continue reading »

Apr 202010
 

ReadyForDessertI’m new to this giveaway thing. I think it’s going well, but my style of announcing giveaways has been all over the place.

With my first two giveaways, I reviewed the books. Then I ran into a snag. I knew the author of the third book, so I just interviewed Deborah Madison instead of reviewing her cookbook, because I knew I couldn’t be objective about a friend I met more than 10 years ago.

Now we come to David Lebovitz, another friend I adore, and I have a fourth way to handle this giveaway. I’m going to talk about his video, and a little about the book, and a little about David, one of the nicest, most talented, smartest, funniest and most generous food writers I’ve ever met. (See, I told you I couldn’t be objective.)

One of the dilemmas facing someone with a blog as huge as David’s is that  it’s a challenge for his publisher to reach as many potential buyers for Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes. After all, his blog has more annual readers than at least two of the top national food magazines. So Ten Speed Press agreed to do a video with a James Beard award-winning documentary filmmaker David had met earlier in France.

“I wanted to do something snappy that wasn’t just me talking to the camera, or cooking,” explained David. “I wanted to show Paris, too, Continue reading »

Mar 292010
 

2009-08-27-JustFoodI like a little controversy and contention. It makes the comments on this blog more interesting. James E. McWillams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, has the same idea.

A historian and former fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University, McWilliams argues that the concept of food miles (how far food travels to get to your supermarket shelves)  is flawed and makes little progress toward the ultimate goal of sustainable production. Read his New York Times Op-Ed piece for a sample of his thinking.

Those are fighting words here in the politically-correct San Francisco Bay Area. But in the book, he argues “there’s a complex story to tell about food and the distance it travels,” and he delves into his research with gusto.

McWillliams also explains why organic food is not Continue reading »