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Sunday, November 01, 2009 

Chaucer's Books is celebrating 35 years

of serving the Santa Barbara community. They are sharing their celebration with a 20% off this weekend. (Ends today, however...) If you miss the sale, keep in mind it is Book Fair Season and a portion of sales goes to various schools in the community.

So...time to get some cookbooks for the chef or foodie in your life? Might I offer some suggestions that I found while strolling the aisles at Chaucers.

My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family and Big Sur.
My Nepenthe weaves together stories and tales about the famous California restaurant perched on the majestic cliffs of Big Sur. It celebrates the magic and history of place through food and the Fassett family who started Nepenthe.

(Mark your calendars for a book signing with the Author, Romney Steele - December 7, 2009 @ 7:00)

Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook
This follow-up to the "New York Times"-bestselling "Top Chef: The Cookbook" draws from all five seasons of the hit reality show and features 75 of the best recipes culled from the Top Chef Quickfire Challenges. Illustrated.
My New Orleans: The Cookbook
"My New Orleans" will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and the way you see World-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture, history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his New Orleans by the season and by the dish. Archival, four-color, location photography along with ingredient information make the Big Easy easy to tackle in home kitchens. Cooks will salivate over the 200 recipes that honor and celebrate everything New Orleans.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Cafe Reconcile, a New Orleans-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing at-risk youth an opportunity to learn life and interpersonal skills, and operational training for successful entry into the hospitality and restaurant industries.
Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant

Here from the celebrated California restaurant Big Sur Bakery is a stunningly photographed cookbook showcasing seasonal ingredients, local vintners, fishermen, and farmers--and the food that makes the Big Sur Bakery unique.

Tucked behind a gas station off California's legendary Highway 1, the Big Sur Bakery is easy to miss. But don't be fooled by its unassuming location--stumbling across the Bakery, as countless visitors have done on their way up and down the Pacific Coast, will make you feel as if you've discovered a secret: a gem of a restaurant where the food, people, and atmosphere meld together in a perfect embodiment of the spirit of Big Sur.

The Complete Tassajara Cookbook: Recipes, Techniques, and Reflections from the Famed Zen Kitchen

In this comprehensive book, one of Tassajara's most well-known and beloved cooks, Edward Espe Brown, presents hundreds of recipes using fresh, whole foods; detailed notes on preparing seasonal ingredients; and, perhaps most important, inspiration for cooking with joyful intention and attention. Presented with humor and warmth, this book is full of wonderful insights into living a life that celebrates simple food.

Tacos (from Mark Miller of Coyote Cafe fame)

Featuring 75 contemporary and classic taco recipes, this book also highlights the history, culture, ingredients, and techniques that have made this one of America's favorite foods.

Crescent City Farmers' Market Cookbook

Poppy Tooker tells the story of the Crescent City Farmers Market through her distinctly New Orleans voice as one of a local food preservationist, Slow Food New Orleans founder, and longtime market collaborator. With a market tradition dating back to the late 1600s, the story of the rise and decline of New Orleansa city markets prior to the creation of the Crescent City Farmers Market is both educational and entertaining. Tooker recalls whimsical and wacky market events with both prose and archival photography.

Ad Hoc at Home

In the book every home cook has been waiting for, the revered Thomas Keller turns his imagination to the American comfort foods closest to his heart—flaky biscuits, chicken pot pies, New England clam bakes, and cherry pies so delicious and redolent of childhood that they give Proust's madeleines a run for their money. Keller, whose restaurants The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York have revolutionized American haute cuisine, is equally adept at turning out simpler fare.
All Cakes Considered.
Melissa Gray is National Public Radio's Cake Lady. Every Monday she brings a cake to the office for her colleagues at NPR to enjoy. Hundreds of Mondays (and cakes) later, Melissa has lots of cake-making tips to share. With more than 50 recipes for the cakes that have been dreamed of and drooled over for a lifetime. (Listen to the NPR story about the book...here.)
Remember to try to keep it local this holiday buying season, especially books. I, for one, don't want my beloved Chaucer's to be a casualty of the "Book Pricing War' now being waged at an ever "decreasing" pace.
You might be happy when you walk into a store and see a potential Christmas gift at a deep discount. But the American Booksellers Association is not, accusing three giant retailers of "predatory pricing." They've asked the Justice Department to investigate.

The group fears these "book wars" could close the book on many small, independent stores, - CBS News

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