This arrived yesterday!! It’s one of two early advance copies of The Pho Cookbook that the printer in China sent to Ten Speed Press. Kelly Snowden, my editor, was super kind to FedEx me her copy. I always call the first copy that I receive “Number 1.” This is my fifth book, my fifth "Number 1", and the strange blend of fear and excitement remains. However, this time around, I’m extra proud of the book that we produced.
The Pho Cookbook combines location images shot by food stylist (and my dear friend) Karen Shinto with studio images shot by photojournalist John Lee. The recipe testers were an amazing group of smart, curious home cooks: Diane Carlson, Alex Ciepley, Jay Dietrich, Alyce Gershenson, Doug and Candace Grover, Thien-Kieu Lam, Ari LeVaux, Laura McCarthy, Hugh McElroy, Catherine McGuire, Rosemary Metzger, Alec Mitchell, Josie Nevitt, Jenny Sager, Karen Shinto, Terri Tanaka, Katherine Thome, Maki Tsuzuki, and Dave Weinstein.
Kelly, designer Betsy Stromberg, and I wanted to make the book look distinctive in order to convey a sense of place and to capture the comforting, satisfying, and delicious aspects of pho. We wanted to honor Vietnam's national food.
Also, there were the practical aims of helping cooks successfully figure out how to prepare pho in its various guises. Because I am who I am, there’s a touch of humor too -- pho is a pho-nomenon as well as a phood.
I’ll stop there, for now. Here’s a little peek inside the cookbook’s 160+ pages filled with 50+ versatile recipes.