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For 10 years, Book Larder flourished, mixing Seattle’s two great loves: book և food

Neighborhood readings

For a short period of time, from 2005 to 2010, recipe blogs and cooking sites seemed to make a modest cookbook obsolete. Futurists have been wondering why on earth you need a rotten old, unchanging book when you can just type in the contents of your fridge into Google և get an endless list of possible recipes in less than a second.

This mass destruction of cookbooks did not happen as predicted. Lara Hamilton, founder of the Book Larder Fremont cookbook, has always believed in the joy that a good cookbook can offer. “I used to love cooking for life,” Hamilton explains over the phone. “I became more involved with cookbooks when I started traveling more.” No culinary blog could be as deeply immersed in another nation’s cuisine as a comprehensive cookbook written by an expert chef.

Hamilton explains that in order to compete with the growth of recipe blogs, publishers have become smarter and got rid of irritating dust jackets. They made beautiful T-shirts and included many photos. They encouraged authors to build more stories in the book, allowing individuals to shine. ” Nowadays, a wonderful cookbook is at once a beautiful subject գործ a work of literary merit.

A decade ago, Hamilton quit his job at Microsoft to pursue his passion for cooking in some way, and he kept coming back to the idea of ​​cookbooks. “The idea of ​​a cookbook was always on my mind,” she says. Hamilton had only heard of cookbooks in other cities. “I always thought Seattle would be a great place for someone, because it’s a really good food city, a really good independent bookstore.”

His instincts were right. Book Larder will celebrate its 10th anniversary this fall. It is an area dedicated to the art of kitchen books եստ craft, where there is a lot of space to display the latest titles և a large kitchen area for a series of author presentations և a series of culinary courses. The seven-member staff of chefs in the store offers knowledgeable and enthusiastic suggestions that suit almost every kitchen ոճ cooking style.

According to Hamilton, Book Larder has approximately 1000 different types of culinary titles in stock at any given time. In the fall, the store usually has 15 to 20 readings per month. Some of the most successful events, from essayist Ruth Reichl և to the Mediterranean culinary sensations of Jotham Ottoleng, could not fit into space, and took place in large spaces, such as the SIFF cinema in Egypt և the First Baptist Church.

At Book Larder, a bookstore centered on Fremont Culinary, there is a corner for Northwestern chefs. Rene Erickson’s latest book, Escape. Food and drink to transport you “will soon be on sale in the store. The book will be published on April 27, 2021. (Greg Gilbert / The Breaking National)

Book Larder events are not your typical literary reading. “We always make some food from the book for people to try,” says Hamilton. “Because the environment is intimate, we have so much support from journalists, bloggers, as well as different people in the local food community who are ready.” Come on in, take a look and enjoy yourself! We’ve had some really great conversations. “

During the epidemic, the pace of readings slowed slightly, although Hamilton acknowledged that financially, “the cooking lessons we take are a bigger deal for us than the author events.” Book Larder hosted eight events at Zoom this month, including ublic ulya Turshen’s new book, “Just ia ulia. 110 Healthy Recipes for Healthy Comfortable Food “pre-release evening, which attracted over 1000 viewers from all over the world.

Hamilton is not worried about the future of cookbooks. He says. “Searching online for a recipe is a trick.” “I have a lot of young clients who are in their first apartment, they’re just cooking,” they always turn to Book Larder, trying not to reach recipe websites. The Internet “does not work as a way to really build your own repertoire, to make you comfortable in the kitchen” because online searches “do not have the unified view that a really good book can give you”.

So what books would Hamilton recommend for someone who wants to be comfortable in his kitchen for the first time? “It depends on their personality, their style, the type of preparation they want to make,” says Hamilton. Book Larder employees spend time with customers adjusting their offers accordingly. (Since the outbreak, Book Larder has been offering customers virtual, one-on-one, only personal shopping attempts on Sundays. Stakeholders can register on the Book Larder website.)

But Hamilton has several titles for chefs to remember, starting with Turshen’s “Little Victories,” which accompanies home cooks for the first time in the process of creating dishes based on readily available ingredients.

“Besides, the Kenji Lopez-Alt Food Lab is really great,” says Hamilton. “Many people who like to understand the science behind their preparation strive for that one.”

“My gateway cookbook was Deborah Madison’s ‘Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone,'” Hamilton recalls, explaining that “it’s fantastic for anyone who wants to approach cooking with more vegetables.”

If you ask Hamilton the same question 10 years after the Book Larder 20th anniversary celebration, he will probably have three completely different suggestions for you. This is because cookbooks are constantly evolving to fit our changing diets and lifestyles. At this time last year, for example, when Seattle was sitting on the block, Book Larder could not keep books on the shelves.

There are year-round consolation cycles. Sales of pickles and fermentation books increase every summer as the backyard gardens are filled with zucchini and cucumbers. Every Christmas, the frying pan swells. Seasonal flavors come and go, gastropods flare up and retreat, but there will always be cookbooks to help us put the dishes on the table.

Check out Larder’s guide to reviving local cookbooks

Hamilton commends Seattle-based publishers Sasquatch Books և Mountaineers Books for their decades of work caring for local cookbook authors. Due to their contributions to the community, he says, “local authors are published nationally; they are seen as well-known figures in national cookbooks.” Hamilton Celebrates the Holy Trinity of Seattle Restaurant Debut Classic Titles – Jerry Trunfeld’s “The Herbfarm Cookbook”; “Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen”; և Rene Erickson’s “Boat, Whale, Pirate” as examples of horses.

Northwest-based cookbooks were created last fall, including Lauren Ko’s stunning Instagram-inspired cookbook Pioemetry and Seattle food blogger Rosie Macy’s I Heart Soul Food. 100 Southern Comfort Food Favorites “declaration.

This year, Book Larder staff is excited about Ericsson’s forthcoming second book, “Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food” by Hsiao-Ching Chu, a hot stove society teacher, and is inspired by Erickson’s second book, Escape, which is inspired by the flavors he has encountered on his world travels. Seattle cookbooks are not just constrained by salmon և organic potatoes. The Northwestern chef has whetted his appetite by adding spices from around the world.


4252 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle; 206-397-4271; booklarder.com:


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