Currently on my desk: A folder of receipts that need to be scanned from my trip to Paris and Italy for two separate books (more on those later), a new book contract I need to file, a pile of tested recipes that I need to review and enter edits into a manuscript, and a hand-written list of people I should call to ask about the potential to do book signings. All in, it’s 4 books at different stages of completion. I’m so lucky, and all of this is darn exciting, even if I do feel overwhelmed at times. To help me set my head straight, I thought it was a good time for an update:
LAVASH: THE BREAD THAT LAUNCHED 1000 MEALS AND SOUPS, STEWS, AND OTHER RECIPES FROM ARMENIA
I am so excited about this book about Armenia’s favorite flatbread. It’s been more than a year since my last trip to Armenia, and in that time, my co-authors and I (pictured above from left— John Lee, Ara Zada, and me), turned in our first draft of Lavash, edited it, polished it some more, etc. etc, until finally it was out of our hands and in those of the printers. In a few weeks or months, we’ll each have an advanced copy to hold before the book is officially published: October 29. We’re really excited.
For more about the team and how we initially came together to write a book inspired by Armenia’s famous flatbread, read this. I will say that it was great to be part of such a positive group of authors, which was crucial because we ran into plenty of obstacles—like when we ran into road closures during a country-wide protest. That was a long day of driving, to be sure. But the real story here is how fortunate we were to visit a country on the brink of positive change, with so many people who were generous with us with their time.
We’re in the editing stages for a book I’m writing with Camille Fourmont about her charming cave à manger on the east side of Paris (in the 11th arrondissement), and the people and places that make the wine shop come to life. Camille has an amazing eye for detail, and working with her has pushed me to think of better, simpler ways to tell stories that still get the impact across. I’ve also learned so much about the east side of Paris, which is one of the most fun parts of the city to eat and drink. I can’t wait to see the first round of layouts for this book. For more about what I learned about visiting Paris, read a post I write for my friends at The Taste SF. (It will explain what a cave à manger is.) The La Buvette book will be out summer, 2020.
THE NEW ITALIAN WINE
A couple of weeks ago, I got home from an epic Italian road trip with Shelley Lindgren, the champion of Southern Italian wines in the U.S, and her two sons. Shelley and I worked together on two other books (A16 Food + Wine and SPQR), and this one will focus on wines from across the country while also trying to make Italian wine not so complicated for people to understand. On our trip, I fell in love with Lago Iseo, near Como, and I look forward to returning to Napoli (Naples) to eat more San Marzano tomatoes. (On a visit to La Sibilla, the winery from the di Meo family of Bacoli, a suburb of Napoli, we trimmed the tomatoes off of vines growing in sandy volcanic soil, and it was amazing. That book is only at the starting phases, in that I’m reworking the table of contents, but it’s going to be an intense project, with a deadline in early April 2020. The book will be out in Spring 2021. Like a fine wine, it needs time to come together…. right?
I’m also just at the early, early stages of creating an easy guide to wine / food pairings. Any favorite pairings, send them my way!