Monday, November 15, 2010

Food52's Second Annual Tournament of Cookbooks is here!

This week Food52 kicks off their Second Annual Tournament of Cookbooks. What is the Tournament of Cookbooks? So glad you asked...

Have you ever secretly wanted to participate in your office's NCAA bracket, but shy away because you don't actually know much about sports? (I swear I'm not speaking from any experience here. Nope, not at all.) Well, in the Piglet Tournament, sixteen of the year's best cookbooks face off bracket style with the winner taking home the Piglet trophy.

Sharpen your pencils and start your brackets! Here are the competitors:

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and Jonathan Lovekin
Harvest to Heat by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer
The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson
The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway
A Cook's Journey to Japan by Sarah Marx Feldner
Thai Street Food by David Thompson
Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen
The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo and Peter Meehan
Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington
Cook Italy by Katie Caldesi
Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis
The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark
Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses
My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson
Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood

Wow. Impressive slate. It's going to be a tough fight to the end. The cookbooks will be judged by an all star roster of judges:

Christine Muhlke, food editor of the New York Times Magazine
Ezra Klein, staff writer at The Washington Post
Chris Cosentino, chef at Incanto
Francis Lam, writer at
Lockhart Steele, president of Curbed Network
Corby Kummer, editor of The Atlantic Food Channel
Aleksandra Crapanzano, screenwriter and food writer
Ree Drummond, creator of The Pioneer Woman
Peter Kaminsky, co-author of Seven Fires
Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Foodspotting
Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe Torrefaction
Deb Perelman, creator of Smitten Kitchen
Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of Prune
Meg Hourihan, co-founder of Blogger
Susan Orlean, staff writer for The New Yorker
Michael Ruhlman, author of Ratio
Mario Batali, chef, cookbook author and founder of Eataly

The rounds will play out over the next three weeks and winners will be announced each weekday (beginning today!) with the final winner revealed at The Piglet Party at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca on Tuesday, November 30th at 7:00pm.

You can join in the celebration, by purchasing tickets to The Piglet here. In addition to the big announcement, there will be a panel discussion on Food Porn with Frank Bruni, Chris Cosentino, Ben Leventhal and Frank Falcinelli. And for drinks and snacks? You can expect tasty tidbits from Van Leeuwen, Rick's Picks, Liddabit Sweets, Mexicue, Nuts + Nuts and Theo Peck along with wine from Hanna Winery and beer from Kelso of Brooklyn. Not enough for you? How about a pop-up cookie stand from Dorie Greenspan? Oh, yeahhhhh.

Tickets are $38 ($5 goes to Wellness in the Schools, a non-profit focused on improving environment, nutrition, and fitness in NYC public schools).

Good luck to all the competitors and a special hooray to our pal, Cathy Erway! While you're waiting for the action to unfold, you can catch up on last year's contest here.

Photo courtesy of Food52.

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