Seeing "100 Perfect Pairings" for the first time in a bookstore

100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love – now at a store near you!

Well, it finally happened.

The book that I spent much of 2008 writing and creating recipes for, that I spent much of 2009 shepherding through the edit process – not “100 Perfect Pairings: Entrees” mind you, which I wrote last year, but the first “100 Perfect Pairings” book that I initially proposed to a publisher back in 2007 – is a real, live, out-in-the-world cookbook!

It’s very strange to have this thing that’s been a mostly private phenomenon become a public one. Well, phenomenon, I don’t know. But it’s out there in public! And so far, to good reviews.

Here’s a piece in Santa Rosa Press-Democrat (pictured, below). Here’s one on Amy Sherman’s wonderful blog, Cooking with Amy. And here’s one by Kathleen Lisson a complete stranger, one that she also posted on the book’s page, bless her heart! (You, too, can post a review – scroll to the bottom of the page where the other reviews are – the more, the merrier!)

It’s been a busy month since my last post. I attended the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, where I was treated to an amazing berry breakfast by the good people of Driscoll’s. Here’s the most amazing thing I learned: at this minute, there are 26,000 different types of strawberries being tested in Driscoll’s fields. These 26,000 will be whittled down, evaluated for all kinds of different factors, eliminated over time, and, after several years, one or two, if they pass umpteen tests, might make it into a supermarket near you. The strawberries that Driscoll’s is selling right now are the product of that very same, years-long testing – so when you buy a berry, it is indeed something unique, special, and amazingly paid-attention-to. Isn’t that a wild?

Two days later, I was in Sacramento, making an appearance on a morning TV show called Sacramento & Company, to talk about spring entertaining – and to plug the book, of course. It was thrilling – and exhausting. Here’s a link to the segment.

I taught a food and wine pairing class at Ramekins in Sonoma, my first book-signing opportunity, and they sold out! I had to run to my car for extra copies.

"100 Perfect Pairings" arrives!

“100 Perfect Pairings” arrives and we break out the bubbly!

And I went to Portland, Oregon, for the annual conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The best parts of the conference? Having a new book in my bag, of course. But also a session where Michael Ruhlman accused Karen Page of bullshit (his word), lying to herself and others when she says she’s too busy too cook. I knew right then it was a “bullshit” that would launch a thousand blog posts – and I was right. Here are just a few – google “ruhlman” and “bullshit” and you’ll find a bunch more – Ruhlman himself, writing for the Huffington Post; IACP Food Writers, Editors  & Publishers section goddess Kat Flinn; and Rachel Ray even got into the action!

The other best part of the conference was having a glass of wine with Victoria von Biel and Sarah Tenaglia, Editor-in-Chief and Senior Food Editor, respectively, of Bon Appetit. It was awesome to finally meet them, and I was honored that they took the time to spend with me. Feeling chummy and confident, I pitched them a story idea – and two days ago, Victoria assigned it to me. Note to self: always pitch over a glass of wine.

Meanwhile, I’ve also written a new cookbook proposal – it’s too early to say what it’s about, but not too early to cross your fingers that a publisher buys it – and I’ve also been working on a web site redesign. My fabulous and talented husband is making me something so beautiful I could cry, and my friend and former Copia co-worker Kevin McGrath is doing the programming/functionality. Can’t wait to show it to you – should be towards the end of the month.

Can you say “I need a vacation”? Happily, that’s just how I polished off April, with a glorious, long weekend spa vacation with my two best friends from college. I highly recommend a hot stone massage if you’ve never had one before. Highly recommend.

Next post – sooner and more appetizing. I promise.

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