The other day I was lucky enough to have an hour free with no pre-scheduled purpose so of course I found myself in a food-related activity – browsing the culinary offerings at Williams-Sonoma in Los Gatos, CA.
The demo area in the front of the store smelled of tasty samples so with an empty stomach and inquisitive mind, I moseyed over to survey the offerings. While munching on a miniature bite of slow-cooked brisket simmered in their new brisket braising sauce, I noticed a sign for Cookbook Club. I was immediately intrigued and struck up a conversation with the salesperson.
Williams-Sonoma is offering a series of 3 classes at selected stores (can attend all 3 or individually) to introduce interested cooks or wannabe cooks to a new cookbook. The class will include tips and techniques and a demonstration of 3 recipes from the cookbook prepared while you watch and then a tasting to follow. The cost of the class is $75 and includes a copy of the featured cookbook and 10% off any items you purchase that evening in the store.
At the Los Gatos store, the first class is January 19 and will feature the cookbook: Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys by Lucinda Scala Quinn – the Executive Director of Food and Entertaining for Martha Stewart as well as host of her own TV show on Hallmark Channel.
Why do I love this concept so much? Despite the number of hours I spend communicating digitally and researching online, I still love the look and feel of sitting down with an interesting and beautiful cookbook. And it turns out so do many of the food bloggers and great home cooks I have met. Food on the internet has changed my life in the kitchen but it doesn’t replace the beauty of learning about food on a printed page.
Despite the allure of a scintillating cookbook, I often don’t find the time to open them and discover what’s inside. But if I make an appointment to do so and have a chance to taste samples of the food and meet other like-minded people, well maybe, just maybe I will make the time. I can already imagine so many more fun extensions of the Cookbook Club idea – starting my own cookbook book club in my neighborhood. Or a cookbook gourmet club where the theme each time is another cookbook or perhaps Williams-Sonoma will up the ante on their idea and bring in the cookbook authors themselves for the next series.
OMG! Yummy’s Cookbook of your Choice Giveaway!
In fact, I was so intrigued by the concept that I’ve decided to do my first-ever giveaway with a little twist: I don’t know what cookbook I’m giving away. You get to decide. Just leave a comment on my blog telling me what cookbook you want to add to your collection and why. I will choose a winner and then send that person a brand new copy of the book they mentioned in their comment.
Full Disclosure: As I chatted with the asst. manager at Williams-Sonoma, I mentioned in the context of the conversation that I wrote a food blog, at which point she offered me the opportunity to attend the classes for free if I wrote about the event on my blog. But that’s not why I’m writing this post. Nor am I having Williams-Sonoma review it before I post it. In fact, they don’t even know I’m writing this yet. Just want to assure you that I am NOT writing to get a freebie, I am writing because the idea inspired me.
As for the giveaway, I am funding this giveaway myself. No freebies from any publisher or author. I just want to know what cookbook is on your wish list and hope to encourage everyone to try something new in your cooking repertoire this year.
The give-away is open to enter until Friday Jan 21. So leave a comment below and tell me what book you want and why. Good luck!