'Weekend Book Giveaway' on Serious Eats

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Cake Wrecks'

[Image: Amazon] Is it possible for cakes to be so bad they're good? Yes, yes it is. And thanks to Jen Yates, we don't have to wait for a baby shower or bat mitzvah invitation to see them. Back in May of 2008, Yates started the blog Cake Wrecks, an online museum of badly-rendered Disney princesses, gratuitous quotation marks, carrot-riding babies, and other wrecky cake artwork by professional bakers. This week, the book version of the frosting debauchery, Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, went on sale and it's full of 75-percent never-before-seen material. Thanks to the good folks at Andrews McMeel Publishing, we have five (5) copies of to give away. All you have to do... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'American Cheeses'

The two subtitles to American Cheeses tell us a lot: "The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses," and "Who Makes Them and Where to Find Them." Food consultant Clark Wolf has written an interesting book for anyone remotely interested in the birth and development of the American artisanal cheese movement. And thanks to the good folks at Simon & Schuster, we have four copies of this tangy read to give away. To win a copy, just tell us what your favorite kind of American artisanal cheese is here in the comments. —Ed Levine Contest will end and comments will close at 3 p.m. ET, Monday, January 12, 2009. One entry per community member. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'The Devil's Food Dictionary'

For this weekend's book giveaway we've got one of my favorite food-related books released this year, The Devil's Food Dictionary by Barry Foy. Described by Foy as "a pioneering culinary reference work consisting entirely of lies," it's a wry take on food that is equal parts pure nonsense, good clean fun, and sharp send-up of foodie pretension. I've blogged about the pizza and burger items in this gem but have enjoyed many more entries since. Example: farmers market: An open-air, producer-run food outlet whose minimal infrastructure, absence of middlemen, and other cost-cutting measures make it possible for vendors to charge higher prices than in supermarkets. Or: cake: A leavened, baked confection whose discovery made icing possible. Early cakes had a... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'The Wine Snob's Dictionary'

Words by Ed Levine | Looking for a good post-Turkey Day laugh? Want to impress your wine geek friends at the same time? Well, do we have a book giveaway for you this holiday weekend. David Kamp (The United States of Arugula) and David Lynch (the sommelier, wine writer, and co-author of Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy) have joined forces to write The Wine Snob's Dictionary. The blurb on the cover tells all: "A nicely structured, lightly acidic (guide) to the baffling world of winespeak, from A to Z." We're giving away five (5) copies of this extremely amusing book. You won't want to be without it this holiday season. To win, tell us your favorite ridiculous winespeak... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Asian Dining Rules'

I don't know about you, but I'm not afraid to admit that I am befuddled by menus at certain Asian restaurants. To the rescue comes EGullet co-founder Steven A. Shaw's new book, Asian Dining Rules. I really like this book, as you can easily tell from my blurb (hey, it's my blurb, so it's not plagiarism to reprint it in its entirety): Whether you're a General Tso's chicken freak who has a hard time using chopsticks or an ultra-refined sushi aficionado looking for your next fugu fix, you're sure to find something informative, entertaining, and/or diverting in Shaw's book. Asian Dining Rules is refreshingly and suprisingly unsnobby, and a discerning must-read for any serious Asian food eater. Notice how I... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Marcella Remembers'

The first lady of Italian cooking is undoubtedly Marcella Hazan. Is there any serious eater who has not made something delicious from one of her books? I doubt it. I for one am partial to the pork-cooked-in-milk recipe (sooo good). Hazan has written what is apparently quite a controversial memoir, Amarcord: Marcella Remembers. According to the New York Times, Hazan doesn't shrink from calling out certain members of the food establishment. Thanks to the good folks at Gotham Books, we've got five (5) copies of this snappish, non-warm-and-fuzzy memoir to give away. Just tell us here in the comments of this post what your favorite Marcella Hazan recipe is. Contest will end and comments will close at noon ET, Monday,... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: '101 Wines' by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk describes himself as "the wine guy for the average Joe," and if you've ever logged on to his Wine Library TV site to watch his hugely popular wine video series, you couldn't disagree with that. His enthusiasm, energy, and unique way of describing vino are infectious—180 degrees away from what you normally think of when you think "serious wine discussion." His book, 101 Wines, which came earlier this year, is true to the personality that has turned his fans into "Vaniacs." In describing Lachini Vineyards' Estate Pinot Noir 2005 (Willamette Valley, Oregon), for instance, he references "poop" when talking about its nose. I do mean it in the best possible way. The nose of this wine is somewhat... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Hungry for Paris'

Back in the prehistoric age, when I was an aspiring food writer, I had an idea for a book about New York food that was inspired by the great Patricia Wells' brilliant Food Lover's Guide to Paris. Though Wells has updated that book a few times, she has not done so for quite some time. That's why I've enjoyed reading Alexander Lobrano's Hungry for Paris. Lobrano, who is the European correspondent for Gourmet magazine, has written an intensely personal yet extremely informative guide to his 102 favorite restaurants in Paris. We're giving away three (3) copies of Hungry for Paris. All you have to do is tell us your favorite restaurant or cafe in Paris. Contest will end and comments... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Around the World in 80 Dinners'

In 2001 my friends, the award-winning cookbook writers Cheryl and Bill Jamison, realized that they had racked up enough frequent-flyer miles (440,000) to take a truly special, once-in-a-lifetime trip, literally around the world in 80 dinners. Four years later, they had a three-month travel itinerary in place that would take them on the ultimate culinary odyssey—more than 50,000 miles, to ten countries, to sample more than 800 dishes. Bill and Cheryl's entertaining, thoroughly enjoyable new book, Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure, (with a few location-based recipes thrown in for good measure) is the story of that trip. I've traveled and eaten with Cheryl and Bill, and I can tell you that they have a contagious,... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Secret Ingredients, the New Yorker Book of Food and Drink'

The Serious Eats Weekend Book Giveaway is back with a vengeance this holiday weekend with a really cool book, Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink, edited by New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick. The book features food and drink-related stories and cartoons that have appeared in the New Yorker by such heavyweights as Calvin Trillin, Anthony Bourdain, A. J. Liebling, Jim Harrison, John McPhee, and Roz Chast. It's the perfect bedside table companion for serious eaters. Thanks to the generous folks at Random House, we've got seven copies of this book to give away. Just answer the following question in the comments: Who is your favorite food writer? Winners will be chosen at random from among the... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: The Oxford Companion to Italian Food

We're starting our weekend book giveaway early this weekend? Why? It's Thanksgiving weekend, so for all intents and purposes the weekend has started for most of you. Plus, we're really excited about the book we're giving away, The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, by Gillian Riley. Riley has really done her homework, so you'll find entries for everything from passatelli, special fat little noodles of bread, eggs, and cheese, a specialty of Romagna, to calamint, or nepitella, a pungent herb similar to pennyroyal (what's pennyroyal?) that has an affinity with artichokes. Thanks to the generous folks at Oxford University Press, we're giving away eight copies of this weighty (more than 600 pages) tome. To enter just leave a comment on... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'The Elements of Cooking'

You've probably seen Michael Ruhlman on The Next Iron Chef, serving as a judge, with his uniquely passionate and analytical perspective. You probably have a copy of The French Laundry Cookbook, the book he co-wrote with Thomas Keller that may be the ultimate in food-porn cookbooks. Or maybe you're a regular reader of his entertaining, opinionated blog. So it shouldn't surprise you that Ruhlman has now written The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. Modeled on Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, this book attempts to do nothing less than pare the essentials of good cooking down to fewer than 250 concise pages. What's really in this book? Here's what Anthony Bourdain says in his... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: Judith Jones's 'The Tenth Muse'

Here's a partial list of the writers our Weekend Book Giveaway author Judith Jones has edited: Julia ChildEdna LewisJohn UpdikeMarcella HazanJames BeardJoan NathanMarion CunninghamClaudia RodenAnne Tyler So it is an obvious cause for celebration when someone as distinguished as Jones writes her culinary memoir, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food. She's 83 years old and doesn't appear to be slowing down, according to a recent profile in the New York Times: Ms. Jones says she makes dinner for herself almost every night (with candles and wine, yet), sharpens her own knives, tests recipes from current authors like Lidia Bastianich (adapting them, even casseroles, to serve one), and lobs frequent complaints to her local purveyors. Formidable and feisty, don't you... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: Real Barbecue

Until almost twenty years ago, I still thought barbecue was the steak my dad grilled for us every Sunday in the summer (the side dish for that meal was pizza, but that's another story). Then I read Vince Staten and Greg Johnson's thoughtful, comprehensive, and passionate national guide to barbecue, Real Barbecue, and that got me hooked on 'cue. I knew then that the pursuit of serious barbecue would be a lifelong one for me. Sadly, their book went out of print, and my only copy is now so dog-eared and barbecue sauce-stained it's falling apart. Last week a friend told me that Staten and Johnson had put out a revised edition this summer. Sure enough, when I logged on... More

Weekend Book Giveaway: Service Included

Besides picking up the last of the season's tomatoes and some fresh-picked apples at your local farmers' market, you have something else to do this weekend: Try to win one of ten copies of Phoebe Damrosch's entertaining, wryly revealing memoir, Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter. It's a breezy read anchored by Damrosch's acute observations, semiserious tips on how to get the most out of a four-star restaurant experience (she was a waiter at Thomas Kelle's Per Se in New York), and her self-deprecating wit. What's the book about? I'll let Damrosch tell you. This is from the introduction: After I left Per Se, a former colleague passed along a story that the chef told the staff. If... More

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