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, since that’s part of my life and my story. Mark from Flow Films shot the whole thing in HD on his Canon DSLR and we kind of went and just did it. I put a notice on Twitter that anyone who wanted to come taste cookies should show up! Then we also went into some shops, like the chocolate shop of Jacques Genin and a motorcycle shop to get the opinions.”
Apparently publishers are doing more of these promo videos. Says Aaron Wehner, publisher of Ten Speed Press, “We are doing videos for most of our lead cooking titles in Fall. The cost can range from $1,000 to $5,000 for something professionally done, depending on length, number of locations etc. We’ve been doing book trailers for a few years (see Alinea and Peter Reinhardt, among others) but David’s came off particularly well.” I agree. Like David, the video is warm, fun, and funny.
Now, on to the book itself. It’s a big, hardcover, classy looking cookbook, full of dramatic photography and doable recipes. I made the huge Apple-Pear Crisp with Grappa-Soaked Raisins and Polenta Topping. It served 6 at dinner easily and made spectacular leftovers, even when cold. I also made Cranzacs, David’s riff on Anzac cookies, a chewy, coconutty oatmeal cookie that my husband assured me will be gone before I get back from IACP’s annual conference this coming Saturday night. I’m hoping to make more recipes before I have to give this book away, including his famous Fresh Ginger Cake.
And speaking of giveaways, if you’d like this book, please write a comment below on your favorite dessert. I’ll chose a winner by midnight April 26. Contest rules: You must live in the US (Sorry, fellow Canadians). One entry per person. If the winner does not respond within a week, I will choose someone else.
Update: Winner is Elizabeth Greene. Congratulations!