It’s been a long haul since I announced I was finally writing my (first?) cookbook. I married off a child, started a new job, married off a second child, and along with the usual drama of family life, managed to collect, collate, transcribe, lay out, edit, author, and proofread more than 200 recipes and articles.
Did I mention I married off two children?
For those of you who are just tuning in, over the last 30 or so years I have wanted to write a cookbook. With a break in my work schedule, I finally had the opportunity to get it done.
It always retained my original vision of a kitchen book rather than a coffee table book, so there are no fancy, unrealistic pictures of dishes no one can duplicate. There are places on every recipe page where you can jot down variations, notes, and service dates, something that I have always felt was lacking in cookbooks.
In numerous places in the book I bridged the digital divide by including QR codes that refer back to this website. Additionally, everyone who sponsored the cookbook received a dedication of a recipe in appreciation of their belief in my vision.
My cookbook changed organically as I worked on it, taking on a tone of education and encouragement, which I naturally embraced. It is now not merely a collection of recipes, I’ve also included remarks that will hopefully inspire you to try something new in the kitchen, whether it’s something small and simple or a grand gourmet feast.
Two editorial red lines (pun intended) were the abolishing of “preheat” and the use of numerals.
The first addresses a pet peeve of long standing. IF SOMETHING IS PRE-HEAT IT IS COLD. One does not preheat an oven. It makes no sense whatsoever. It’s not even an oxymoron. It’s just a stupid malapropism. You heat an oven. Period. When it’s hot, you use it. Whew. That felt good.
Standard grammar dictates that numbers in text from one to one hundred are written out. I eschewed that in favor of numerals for times and amounts within the procedure text, since they’re easier to spot while scanning text. So apologies to my English teachers for this minor deviation from proper style, but I did so with the expectation that you’ll burn fewer dishes in the long run (See rule #6. What’s rule #6? Buy the book.)
I’m down to the technical bits now: margins, the ingredient and recipe indices, typos thanks to a wonky ‘s’ key, and the title.
For the longest time I was content with the title Volume One. Short, to the point, and forward-thinking.
Then Anthony Bourdain died.
I wanted a title that reflected my appreciation of his inspiration and “just do it” attitude that shaped much of my attitude both in and out of the kitchen in later years.
And so, after numerous Amazon searches and innumerable internal deliberations, I have chosen to title my cookbook:
Cooking Without Reservation
For fans of the chef, they will immediately understand both double entendres. For those who aren’t, Kitchen Confidential was his exposé on the foodservice industry that gained him prominence. No Reservations was both the name of his series on the Travel Channel as well as a short-lived TV series based loosely on Kitchen Confidential.
In the coming days I will set up an order page on the site, as well as an errata and addendum page. For those who have backed the book, I hope to ship in the next week or so.
This post was meant to go out September 16, 2018 but in light of the tragic news of Ari Fuld’s HY”D murder, I postponed publishing.