Cookbook Club at Williams-Sonoma and OMG! Yummy’s First Cookbook Giveaway

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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.

A few recent additions to my cookbook collection...

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!

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20 Responses to Cookbook Club at Williams-Sonoma and OMG! Yummy’s First Cookbook Giveaway

  1. Kita January 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Wow, what cookbook do I want to add to my collection? That is a really hard question to answer – its more like which don’t I want. My pile keeps growing, and I really need to sit and get to know some of these books on a one to one basis. I don;t have any of Ina Garten’s books yet and I am hearing great things about her newest one. I am itching for the new(ish) Primal Cuts. And I really think Bobby Flays Throwdown cookbook is a great idea. If its a book from your lovely pile above, Id have to say Dorie Greenspans Around My French Table. :D Good luck with the book club. I think its an awesome idea. Maybe I need something like that to keep me on task.

  2. Annelies January 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Beth,

    This is a fun idea. Like you, I feel my life transformed by online recipes and food blogs. The feel of a cookbook in hand or (more likely propped up on the counter) can’t be beat. The cookbook I would most like to get my hands on right now is one I saw in my MIL’s kitchen called Baked. It has all these great desserts in it and I especially love their “variations” section at the end of each recipe to slightly tweak the recipe and make it “new.” Fabulous. While the big baking season is over, there are always, birthdays, holidays and parties to plan for… :)

  3. Julia (Everyday Mom Ideas) January 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I would love to ad Sandra Lee’s semi homemade cooking volume one to my collection. She is always coming up with family friendly recipes that are so easy to make. Great giveaway Idea! I hope I win!

  4. Mrs.Mayhem January 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Very cool giveaway. I was just browsing around William-Sonoma yesterday. I went just to see what was new and left with a very heavy bag.

    I would love a new vegetarian cookbook. Mine are feeling kind of stale to me. i am always in search of the perfect vegetarian chili recipe!

    Stopping by from SITS.

  5. Diane January 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Another cookbook to sit on my shelf unopened?! Oh dear me!! When we redid our kitchen, I gave away 2 boxes of cookbooks! But I have been enjoying Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave. Very good healthy recipes that my husband even likes. So bottom line, I will yield to the others on this blog who really will use their new cookbook. I will continue to get vicarious pleasures from OMG and the comments! I will be interested to see what the name of the winning cookbook is!!!

  6. Lisa January 14, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    I have always wanted the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook because I love to make sweet things to eat and the recipes in there are just stunning.

  7. Fran Feldman January 14, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    Cool contest and you have Carrie’s book! It just launched this week while we were at Food Blogger Camp so you jumped right on it. I’d like her book. And then I’ll go out and buy Dorrie Greenspan’s newest. Everyone’s raving about it. Of course the Quiches, Kugels and Couscous book would be great to have since I always seem to make the SAME menu during the holidays.

  8. Julie M. January 14, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Well I would also have to say Carrie’s book. I met her at food blog camp and thought she was just the sweetest person! I’m betting her cookbook is a winner! I’d also take anything Nigella or Barefoot contessa. Love them both!

    Great contest and a cool program by WS!

  9. Cheryl Connors January 14, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    What a fun idea Beth! And you know me, I never want to miss out on fun! So here goes… My husband and I travel a lot to Mexico (specifically Cabo San Lucas) and we have decided that eventually we will move to Mexico to retire. One food item that I miss terribly while there is GOOD bread. They do not understand the concept of “Sourdough”. Forget finding good baguettes, a country rye, or even a yummy olive bread. So my task for 2011 is to conquer and master bread baking, to take that skill with me to Mexico. I currently own the book, “Tartine Bread” by Chad Robertson. A book that must be read cover to cover to understand his passion behind making a great bread. So should I win the cookbook, I would like any bread baking book by Peter Reinhart. He has many out and I would leave it up to you to pick it out for me. :) Who knows, maybe when I retire in Mexico I’ll open up a little bread shop! :)

  10. Teslaca January 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    A local cookbook club sounds like a wonderful idea. Everyone invited could bring a different dish to the dinner party. It would be fun discussing which dishes each person was going to make and preparing a menu based on recipes from one book.

    Trying to choose one cookbook from my wishlist is difficult. There are quite a few I’d love to have. Probably at the top of the list right now is Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions by Elizabeth Andoh. I have her other books and love them.

  11. Kaye January 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    So hard to choose, so many on my Wants list! I think Indian: The Cookbook, by Pushpesh Pant, might be my Most Wanted. And from your pile there’s Greenspan’s French Table.

  12. Joan January 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    I have so many cookbooks on my wish list it’s hard to choose one but here goes. I’d love to add Ellie Krieger’s So Easy to my collection. I have her first book and have made so many recipes from it that I’m sure I’d cook many recipes from this one as well. I really need to eat healthier and I think this book would help me kick start that habit once again.

  13. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) January 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Wow.. I love that you’re giving free choice of cookbook! It’s really hard for me to decide, but I’d probably want Heavenly Cakes by Rosy Levy Berenbaum, or Baking and Pastry by the CIA, or Baked Explorations!!

  14. PurpleLarkspur January 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I have been seriously coveting Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. What a beautiful book with mouthwatering recipes!

  15. the MRS. January 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    THIS is glorious! I need to check out my Williams-Sonoma to see if they do it!

  16. Archana January 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Love the idea. I would love to get “Bakewise” by Shirley Corriher if i win. I have borrowed the book from the library before, love the in depth description on how a recipe works, and all the recipes i tried from the book worked well too.

  17. Pauline @LipstickonPaper January 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    I was just thinking of the same idea and googling different ideas on the concept! I was at Williams-Sonoma recently and some of the classes sounded really fun. I’m definitely in a huge cookbook craze (mainly borrowing and re-newing from the library), but I’d love to own a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Around my French Table.” I haven’t actually tried a recipe from it yet, but I enjoy French cooking and have seen great praise for this book! I like to turn to my cookbooks as sources of inspiration to challenge myself in the kitchen.

  18. the urban baker February 5, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Carrie Vitt is a good friend of mine and I love that you have her book amongst the pile!
    Love this giveaway…so sorry I missed it!!!

    • omgyummy February 5, 2011 at 8:26 am #

      I will do it again. It was great to hear all the stories and get a chance to find out about books that I might not have known about otherwise.

      I have Carrie’s book out this morning – pondering her yummy sounding chocolate strawberry cupcakes…

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