Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

blue_dolphin

2019 Piglet - Food52 cookbook tournament

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Whether I agree with the decisions or not, I do enjoy reading the judgements in this cookbook "tournament" and this year's version is currently underway over at Food52: 2019 Piglet  

As usual, there have been a number of apples vs oranges match-ups bu,t so far, I'm impressed with the effort the judges have put into reading and testing recipes from the books this year. 

I believe the last of the first round decisions appeared today.  

 

I'm cheering for my favorite book of last year, Shaya

 

Anyone else reading along?

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not been there for a while as the last couple of books that I did follow struck me as just too incongruous to be paired. I cannot remember which they were. But perhaps I should go back and afford the premise a second chance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I have not been there for a while as the last couple of books that I did follow struck me as just too incongruous to be paired. I cannot remember which they were. But perhaps I should go back and afford the premise a second chance. 

 

I certainly agree about the nature of some pairings but I figure it's all in fun.  If you decide to take a look,  check out Emeril's judgement of Bottom of the Pot and Flavor Matrix. He actually called in his team to help cook and taste the dishes. 

I also very much enjoyed reading James Pomerantz's judgement of his match-up between Coconuts and Collards and Rose's Baking Basics which takes the reader (or at least me 🙃) on a bit of a roller-coaster ride. 

Vivian Howard had to judge between Christina Tosi's All About Cake and Anita Lo's Solo and had an entirely different take on Solo than my own opinion from borrowing it from the library but I enjoyed her write-up.

 

Those pairings are apples to oranges, as is today's judgement by Andrew Knowlton, Editor-at-Large of Bon Appétit, between Shaya and the Noma Guide to Fermentation, but I enjoyed reading about their judging experiences and decision processes.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished reading the first round judgements.

Interesting to see what people value in a cookbook.

The more background provided about a recipe the more inviting I find it and that seems to be what most of these judges were looking for also.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished reading the Quarterfinal judgment on All About Cake vs. Bottom of the Pot. I am within a hair's breadth of buying Bottom of the Pot after reading that review! I don't need another cookbook (she tells herself sternly >:( ). I have a backlog of cookbooks, both in hard copy and Kindle, already. But this reviewer did some fine writing, and the book sounds appealing. 

 

The other thing I'm noticing about the Piglet reviews is that it exposes me to writers I haven't necessarily encountered before. It's great fun. Thanks for pointing it out!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a peek at Bottom of the Pot at the library and will have to go back and borrow it one of these days.  

Today's quarterfinal review made me want to purchase both Todd Richard's Soul and Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad's I Am a Filipino, which was already on my list.  

I like books organized by ingredient as Soul is and while I initially thought it might repeat too much of what I have in other cookbooks, a look at the contents over on EYB makes me think there is still much of interest. 

Since it's close to $30, I think I will request that the library purchase I Am a Filipino so I can get a look at it but those little buns that Kyle MacLachlan pretty much sold me!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Smithy said:

The other thing I'm noticing about the Piglet reviews is that it exposes me to writers I haven't necessarily encountered before. It's great fun. Thanks for pointing it out!

 

The writing in the reviews has been the big draw of the Piglet for me.  I probably have a selective memory for some gems but I haven't seen quite the same sparkle this year.  

Like Susan Orlean's 2011 review of The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual vs Ottolenghi's Plenty, in which she says this about Plenty

Quote

First up, Chickpea, tomato and bread soup. Oh, yes, indeed! And then Egg, spinach and pecorino pizza! Carmelized endive with Gruyere! I am smitten. I’m also in love with the name of the writer -- Yotam Ottolenghi -- a mellifluous vowel parade which I am sure is an anagram for something.  I am scaring Husband with my sudden zeal for eggplants -- excuse me, aubergines -- and lentils. But really, I haven’t been this excited by a cookbook in quite a while. 

 

The phrase, "Yotam Ottolenghi -- a mellifluous vowel parade which I'm sure is an anagram for something," delights me!
 

And Gabrielle Hamilton's earlier round review in the same year where she frames the match up of Plenty vs Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table as a horse race and takes particular exception with the photography in Greenspan's book:

Quote

There's a shot of a cracker that's supposed to look like someone's just taken a bite out of it. No one has been near that cracker. In another, there are crumbs carefully arranged to look not carefully arranged....

There is almost no sense in my trying to persuade you to my opinion about the photography and styling. This is distinctly an "a chacque un son gout" story. Dorie LOVES these photos, this styling, this strangely retro era of heavily-propped and aggressively-lit cookbook design. She effuses about it in her acknowledgements and said she burst into tears of joy when she learned she could work with this team on this book. Me, they killed the food. By the time they got it in the right tableau, the right crock, the just-so schmear and crumb and the light meter checked and the silver umbrella tilted another hair to the left, the food had long ago died. I wanted to cook exactly nothing from the book based on the photography.

 


Edited by blue_dolphin to correct book name as noted below (log)
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the above.  I went and had a look.  I have made Frankie’s sauce and, yes, meh.  You probably mean Plenty rather than Simple though...no worries.

 

One can go to Season blog to have a look at what he is about.

 

I am tempted by Bottom of the Pot but I already have a number of really good books from that area so I will pass for now.

 

It is so tempting to buy these great cookbooks BUT I have so many books with great recipes that I want to try...I don’t need any more pressure to get those made 😫

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Okanagancook said:

You probably mean Plenty rather than Simple though...no worries.

Thanks for noticing that, I corrected my mistake!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×