MICHAEL RUHLMAN on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.


Michael Ruhlman joins us in the bookstore on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss his new book Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient.

Eggs Benedict, Egg Flower Soup, Shirred Eggs Florentine and Seafood Roulade are but a few of the recipes in Michael Ruhlman’s new book Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient.Egg In this book, he explains why the egg is essential to the craft of cooking and shares specific techniques that bring out the best in both sweet and savory dishes. Michael Ruhlman’s many books include Ratio, The Elements of Cooking, Ruhlman’s Twenty, The Book of Schmaltz, and many more.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at orders@elliottbaybook.com to request an autographed copy. 

Pack Your Bags: We’re Going to France!

I suffer from chronic wanderlust. Unfortunately my passport sports a sad (small) number of stamps. The best balm for unrequited travel love is reading about your preferred destinations! Our Travel section is highlighting France for the month, and in that spirit, I thought I’d start a new series here spotlighting some great reading lists for different foreign locales! Let’s commence with the Cité d’Amour: Paris!

Metronome: A History of Paris from the Underground Up

by Lorant Deutsch

A look at the history of Paris from pre-Roman times through present day oriented by the stops of the French Metro. Did I mention the author is a well-loved French comedian? Yeah this is the best way to suck up Parisian history.

Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home

by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride

Vacations are half sightseeing and half gorging yourself on er… sampling the local cuisine. I’m still trying to master making these traditional French delicacies at home, and this is the best cookbook I’ve ever found for them!

The French Cat

by Rachael Hale

Even if you’re not a cat person, which I absolutely am, you can’t help but fall in love with the dreamy light, French locales, and hopelessly French swagger of these felines. The story of Hale’s relocation to France is also told alongside these lovely photographs.

Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

by Debra Ollivier

There are countless books focusing on the inherent chicness of French women and the ways we clumsy and brash Americans can emulate their style. I prefer this one because it illuminates the fact that there is not a cookie cutter type of French woman.

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French

by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow

Why do we dream about kissing our true love atop the Eiffel Tower or shopping on the Left Bank after spending a morning exploring the Louvre but continue to malign the snotty, spineless Frenchman in our comedy? Read this insightful cultural study and find out!

Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi

by Olivier Magny

This tongue-in-cheek guide is spot on. Equal parts laugh-out-loud and envy-inducing.

How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance

by Marilyn Yalom

I picked this book up earlier this year and couldn’t put it down. Fascinating study on why we associate the ultimate wooing with the French.

A few other notable titles:

- Brandi

Erica Bauermeister – The Literature of Food

Erica BauermeisterI always make sure I have a tall stack of good reading books prepared for January. While other people shop for Gor-tex and down coats, I wander the aisles of my local bookstores looking for the finds that will get me through the dark months.

My reading tastes vary, but my favorites are books that involve food. For those times when I can’t be inhaling the lush smell of a slow-simmering ragu sauce, I can think of no better alternative than to be curled up in a favorite chair, surrounded by interesting characters who love cooking. Everything just feels warmer.

Here’s a list of my favorites, with the hope that they make your winter feel just a bit shorter, too…

Chocolat – Joanne Harris. If you’ve only seen the movie, you are doing yourself and this book an injustice. The story of Vianne Rocher and her chocolate shop is far more rich and complicated than on the screen. Besides, a book that starts with “We came on the wind of the carnival” is surely setting you up for magic.

Garlic and Sapphires – Ruth Reichl. Anything by Ruth Reichl is worth your time, but this is my favorite, the story of her stint as the NYT’s restaurant critic. Underlying a string of vivid and entertaining restaurant stories is the more personal one of a woman who dresses up in disguises in order to get typical service and dishes, but occasionally loses herself in the process.

The Language of Baklava – Diana Abu-Jaber. Food memoirs abound, but this one does a beautiful job of tying together family, heritage and food as Abu-Jaber traces her own dual American and Jordanian heritage.

The Art of Eating – MFK Fisher. The quintessential food writer. Her essays are like a series of small plates, each one exquisite.

A Natural History of the Senses – Diane Ackerman. Not technically a food book, rather a scientific and poetic exploration of touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. With all your senses awake, you’ll see food and our wintery world in a new light.

The Lost Art of MixingOn January 24th at 7 pm in the cozy lower level of Elliott Bay we’ll be celebrating the publication of my new novel, The Lost Art of Mixing, a sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients. There will be reading, and homemade cookies, and plenty of incredible Seattle7Writers authors mingling about and possibly singing. I hope you’ll come and we can all chase the cold away together.

Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy For Beginners. Her newest novel, The Lost Art of Mixing, is an Indie Next Pick and will be published on January 24th.

Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff – Cooking and Spirits

The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook

The Flavor Thesaurus
By Niki Segnit

This is the perfect book for the cook who is ready to move beyond strict reliance on recipes and experiment more. The book is organized around a flavor wheel. Choose one ingredient and author Segnit offers up descriptions of the taste and sensory experience of various pairings. A sampling from the book: “Anchovy and olive: Like a couple of shady characters knocking around the port in Nice. Loud and salty, they take a sweet, simple pizza margherita and rough it up a bit.” Great, delicious fun! – Laurie


Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan CookbookVeganomicon
By Isa Moskowitz
This is the only cookbook I own that requires no tweaks or changes to the recipes. Want perfection every time? This book is full of recipes that will have you shouting, “Get in my belly!” – Justus
Home Baked: Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and PastryHome Baked: Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and Pastry
by Hanne Risgaard
I have always had a love for bread with substance, hearty and crusty. Danish baker Hanne Risgaard has written a beautiful book for the home baker. The recipes are impossible to resist! Holiday cheers! – Greg

Japanese Farm FoodJapanese Farm Food
by Nancy Hachisu
Nancy Hichisu’s gorgeous new cookbook will help you expand your knowledge & enjoyment of Japanese home cooking. It’s all in the ingredients, after all, & her approach is refreshing: few ingredients, no prefab, add a little chili or ginger, though it’s not traditional. Love her miso eggplant shisho. These are not the same-old recipes. – Karen
Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin AmericaGran Cocina Latina
By Maricel E. Presilla
Here is a cookbook that every cook and/or chef should own. Everything you want and need to learn about Latin American cooking is in these pages. Destined to become a classic! And a great gift! - Carl

By Magnus Nilsson
Magnus Nilsson is regarded as one of the great chefs in the world today. Fäviken is his restaurant. They grow and raise all the food that is served. Most importantly, it is seasonal. You will be blown away by the creativity and more importantly you may be inspired to eat and cook in a different way. Eat, Drink, & Be Merry. – Greg
Jerusalem: A CookbookJerusalem: A Cookbook
By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Ottolenghi and Tamimi have created a cookbook that reflects the wonderful diversity of the Palestinian and Israeli food that they both grew up with, and these dishes are well within the reach of the average home cook. As with Ottolenghi’s previous book, Plenty, the pictures of the food are enticiing, and the photos of the city of Jerusalem are inseparable from the feast. Food: the great unifier. As Ottolenghi and Tamimi say, “…it takes a giant leap of faith, but we are happy to take it…to imagine that hummus will eventually bring Jerusalem together, if nothing else will.” – Greg

Summer Booknotes from Our Staff

Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast by Becky Selengut (Sasquatch)

Fish and shellfish, the author suggests in this beautiful cookbook, are as seasonal as produce, and we need to think about them in the same fashion, bringing ourselves closer to the food source. With that in mind, and a few uncomplicated tips on shopping, home cooks will be delighted to learn how to cook scallops, black cod, sumptuous trout and salmon, and much more—even geoduck. Well laid out so as not to intimidate the novice, including online links to how-to videos on a variety of techniques, and suggested wine pairings, Good Fish is a welcomed addition to every kitchen. -Holly

Beck Selengut read at Elliott Bay Book Company on May 15th, 2011. Signed copies of Good Fish are still available.

Booknotes, the newsletter of The Elliott Bay Book Company, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.

Booknotes from Our Staff

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House)

Foodies, rejoice! Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of the highly acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, has served up one deliciously riveting memoir. Beginning with childhood memories of her set designer father’s elaborate goat roasts, Hamilton takes us on a rollicking ride through the rocky shoals of adolescence, a solo trek through Europe (where her memory of a simple Grecian meal informs her future restaurant’s vision), a stint as a kid’s camp cook, seduction via homemade ravioli by an Italian man who becomes her husband, and summers in Italy with her new Italian family. This is a first rate tale of a food lover’s journey. -Laurie

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)

There is nothing funny about the colonization of a South Pacific archipelago. People died, diseases spread, ancient traditions and artifacts were damaged or lost altogether. Yet Vowell, arguably one of American history’s most popular commentators, still manages to put me in stitches as she captures uptight New England missionary attempts to Christianize the naked Hawaiian nation, right through its eventual installment into American statehood.

Vowell favors humor, both dark and dry, to recount the pitfalls and culture clash of Manifest Destiny. I only regret she didn’t teach every history course I almost dropped. -Dave

BOOKNOTES, the book review of THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published and forthcoming books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.

Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff

Cooking & Food

This Twain-Food mash up is the perfect path backwards into some amazing American food lore. A medley of nostalgia, gratitude and history, Beahrs uses Twain’s culinary laments and loves as a prism to analyze the American table’s past, present and future. Funny, smart, caustic in a way only Twain could be and, ultimately, a hopeful call to the reclamation and preservation of both American landscapes and food-ways. -Shannon


The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand, Jacob Kenedy

I love this book for so many reasons! Visually, the contrast of black-and-white with the variety of shapes scattered over the page is so appealing. Learning the etymology of the pasta is fascinating (maccherone probably stems from the makaria or “food of the blessed”), but at its heart this is a great cookbook. Browsing the pages is inspiring—matching the sumptuous pasta with an equally delectable sauce is sublime, delicious fun! -Holly


Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher

Fisher, always delightful and amusing, takes us from her childhood in California circa 1912 to France then Switzerland and finally to Mexico, recounting her awakening to food and drink. Her culinary experiences are emotional ones: she savors the people, places and milieus as much as what is on the plate. She tells of her first Oyster (a blue tip), her encounters with French cuisine and local wines in Dijon, the tribulations of sea travel, and even the horrors of airplane food on a trip in the early days of commercial air travel. Any one who has not read her yet has a treat in store. -Pamela

Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff

At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka by Madhur Jaffrey

For the cultural cook on your gift list, Madhur Jaffrey has produced a lovely collection of simple recipes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  There are stories to go along with every chapter and recipe, as well as bright colorful photos.  Try the Mushroom Bhaaji or the Lamb Korma in Almond-Saffron Sauce.  Yum!  Indian food is perfect for those cold winter evenings! -Hilary

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson
Chad Robertson’s life distilled: surf in the morning, bake amazing things in the afternoon. Enough said. Read this and live it. -Jamie


Pumpkin soup with green chilies and lime, pineapple empanadas, and many types of mole are just some of the delightful recipes to be found in Diana Kennedy’s Oaxaca al Gusto. Illustrated with maps, photographs of the region and its people, and illustrations of ingredients and finished dishes, this cookbook is a travelogue, a tribute to the area’s many fine cooks, and a sourcebook on the diverse regional cuisines of the state of Oaxaca. Diana Kennedy shares rich contextual information from her research and travels for each carefully chosen recipe, also providing information about cooking techniques and specific local ingredients. -Karen

Staff Recommendations from Elliott Bay

Communion by Kim Fay (Things Asian)

As a young woman Kim Fay moved from Seattle to Vietnam to find adventure and a place to write her novel. What she found was a profoundly richer and deeper experience, much like the nearly indescribable dish banh beo, a medallion of steamed rice batter that is topped with shrimp and pork crackling. Returning to the States, she resettled in L.A. with easy access to Little Saigon, the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam. But after more than a decade “back home,” the author found herself nearly insatiably hungry for the flavors and the foods of Vietnam. So she returned to the country and sought out chefs, cooking classes, starred restaurants, roadside food carts, friends, and family to fill her hunger. What she found upon returning were not only the rich, deep flavors she craved, but also the universal experience of sharing food with those we love. A truly splendid homage to the people, places, and of course food that is Vietnam. -Holly