A Tribute to Peter Workman

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Regina Schrambling has penned a lovely, loving tribute to Peter Workman who died this weekend at the age of 74. I was really surprised and saddened to hear of his death, especially since my most recent cookbook was very much the result of his extraordinary input. My original idea was for a book called “The Best Recipes of Your Life” where, based on my broccoli post, I would seek out the best mashed potatoes, the best milkshake, etc. When the proposal arrived at Artisan, my agent told me that Peter Workman enjoyed the proposal but wasn’t crazy about the concept. He came up with a different idea: what if I traveled around the country and cooked with great chefs and home cooks, transcribing everything that I learned into a cookbook? Secrets of the Best Chefs was born and throughout the process I would occasionally get input from Peter by way of my editor. All of it was so spot on, I still pinch myself when I think about how lucky I am that I got to do a cookbook under his tutelage. His loss is a great loss to cookbook lovers everywhere.


Well, folks, today was the big day. At 9:30 AM I met with Lizzie, my constant companion and photographer over the past year, so she could hand over the discs with all of her pictures and the match prints (hard copies) for me to deliver, along with my manuscript, to my publisher, Artisan Books. And so it was that after we sipped cappuccino (Lizzie) and iced coffee (me) and Brendan the barrista kindly snapped that photo you see above, I journeyed south on 6th Avenue down to Houston, over to Varick and up the elevator to my publisher to hand things over.

Big News: The Next Book!

A few weeks ago, something extraordinary happened.

To understand the extraordinariness of this extraordinary thing, we have to rewind a month or two. I’d been working with an excellent agent, Alison Fargis of The Stonesong Press (who I was introduced to by Matt & Renato of Baked) on a new book proposal. This was a different direction for me; my first book was a book of essays, this proposal was for a cookbook. After eight months of revisions and back-and-forth, the proposal was ready to go out. And a few weeks after it went out, Alison called me and asked if I was sitting down.

“Artisan wants to meet with you,” she said, the excitement obvious in her voice. “This is a really big deal!”

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