If you live in the United States, here’s your chance to win a copy of Carolyn Jung’s new cookbook, San Francisco Chef’s Table. You got a taste of what’s inside via the ribs recipe from State Bird Provisions. What's inside the book?
My friend Cuong Pham, the founder and owner of Red Boat fish sauce, came to dinner with his family a few weeks ago. One of the first things he mentioned was that they’d celebrated their daughter’s birthday the night before at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. “You got in?” I asked, telling him that one time we arrived around 6pm and the line was 3 hours long for a table for two. We went for pizza up the street instead.
Named 2012 Restaurant of the year by Bon Appetit magazine and with only 50 something seats, State Bird Provisions is in high-demand. Nabbing a table is hard, unless you’re patient or I suppose have an in. I was jealous of Cuong. Seeing as how I live a good hour and a half away from San Fran, I wasn’t about to be dinning there soon. Currently, there are no reservations available for 60 days.
Rather than stew in envy, I decided to make something from the restaurant. I’d seen a couple of its recipes in San Francisco’s Chef’s Table by Carolyn Jung, an award-winning food journalist formerly of the San Jose Mercury News.
Hurray! The Banh Mi Handbook went to print late last week. It was a push at the end to polish all the elements before the files were sent to China. As I mentioned earlier, the book won’t be out until July 8 but it has to get into the production queue. With people taking a huge chunk of time off for Lunar New Year, things would be delayed if we dilly dallied. We hustled to cross the finish line.
After I returned from Asia, I reviewed second proofs – which were basically the first proofs with the edits having been inputted and some minor layout redesign. At that stage, I huddled with my editor, Melissa Moore, who in turn huddled with designer Betsy Stromberg.
What those two women came up with was reviewed by a handful of other people at Ten Speed Press, including the publisher, creative director, and folks in sales and marketing. Things got tweaked, re-reviewed, and vetted at Ten Speed before I got my looksee. Above is the final cover and spine, which will be printed directly on the board that serves as the cover of the book; "POB" books do not sport jackets that slip off.
During the first proofs stage in December, we sent the book to people who may potentially provide an endorsement on the book jacket. The industry term for such remarks is “blurb” — which sounds awkward since it’s suppose to be a positive thing, a giant thumbs up.
probably doesn’t surprise you to know that Vietnamese cookbooks make up a fair
share of my cookbook collection. I've been collecting them for decades,
gleaning them not just for recipes and techniques, but also social history.
That’s how I justify owning books written in English, Vietnamese, French,
Chinese, and Japanese. (I can barely read Chinese characters and forget about Japanese!)
of the original VWK website constructed in 2002 was a page with short recaps of English-language
Vietnamese cookbooks that I owned. I pulled down the page when I switched to a
blog format in 2007 because I didn’t think people were all that interested. No
one seemed to notice until this year. Rick from the UK and another gal emailed
about the list. “Where did it go? Would you publish it again?” they asked.
put their request on my to-do list and finally had time to work on it over the
weekend. Here it is, with Vietnamese cookbooks that date back to 1968! I’ll try
to keep this list updated as I review more Viet cookbooks so bookmark this
page. Or, return to VWK and search for “Vietnamese cookbooks.” Hang on to your hat, this is a long list.
Thanks to everyone who entered in the Pretty Good Number One ebook giveaway. As usual, I enjoyed reading your comments as they help me figure out what we can cook and discuss here at VWK.
The people who won were: Jorgebob28, Jill, and BK. Congratulations!
If you're curious about Japanese food and appreciate an honest, funny approach to travel writing, get a copy of Matthew Amster-Burton's book. As an ebook priced at $4.99, it's an extra good deal. The digital format means that you can easily take it anywhere with you, maybe even Tokyo!