1. I'm very excited to announce the re-publication of A Return to Cooking — which I wrote with Eric Ripert, a cookbook-story exploring the art of cooking — in a new, gorgeous, affordable soft-cover format, it's cover brandishing like a flag Anthony Bourdain's endoresment: "One of the most truly remarkable cookbooks of the last two decades." Tony, just curious, why two decades?!
2. To sweeten the pot of my SOS giveaway, I will add to the offer a copy of the above book. So three of the people who donate to this excellent and valuable hunger relief organization will be chosen at random to receive a copy of my new book Ratio, a My Weigh KD-8000 scale, AND a copy of A Return to Cooking. Tomorrow, Thursday, April 30 is the final day for donations! We live in a country with bountiful resources. No one should be hungry. Please donate to Share Our Strength and try to attend the dinners held by chefs throughout the country to raise money to fight hunger.
3. I was given the opportunity to preach about scales in the Los Angeles Times. For all we spend on expensive pans and knives, not to mention mango slicers, cherry pitters, egg separators and pie bakers, it continues to astonish me that we don't relegate some of that kitchen cash to a truly valuable kitchen tool (link above to the scale I use and recommend).
4. Two reviews of Ratio are out today. One in my beloved New York Times by Craig Seligman, the other in The Washington Post by Bonnie Benwick, both respectful but with caveats. The review in The Times says Ratio is "an elegant book on technique, though not one for beginners." Agreed, though I would clarify that to say, it is for any beginners who want to learn to cook better. And I am still taken to task for using French terms to describe universal techniques, as if to say "his ideas are right—if only he'd say them in English." I'm happy to reiterate Mr. Seligman's claim that I am "out of step with the 20-minute meals approach of most new cookbooks." Would that more cookbooks were so out of touch! And one final note to copy desk: excellent headline! "Everyday Cooking As Easy As 3-2-1."
Ms. Benwick's very thoughtful review convey's the same message, which I agree with and note in the book: cooks who want to improve need to be flexible and comfortable with many variables. (And she calls Donna's photos "stunning"! — Thank you, Donna!)
5. And this from the Ultimate Benevolent Critic, my mom, in an email today: "I liked the story, photos of you & your book in The Times and agree, it is not for beginners, but I have mastered the stock ratio which encourages me! Look forward to getting a chart which I will frame." Thanks, Ma! And huge thanks to you bloggers for your own thoughtful reviews of Ratio—I'm grateful to those who have given my book such thoughtful attention, among them Foodie at Fifteen, Macheesmo, Kitchen Parade, Steamy Kitchen, Homesick Texan, and Simply Recipes.
6. The chart of which of which my mom spoke is that of the dough and batter ratios, which are the most elegant group of ratios, in my opinion, expressing a continuum that I'd never realized existed. Please note: we've only got about ten more charts left, and can't accept orders after today. They're 11-by-14 inches on glossy photographic paper. After those are gone that's it. But I will be putting a high rez PDF on this site as soon as I get my act together. For those who've ordered charts, they will all be going out today and tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!