**UPDATE: THE GIVEAWAY IS OVER! PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL TO SEE IF YOU WON!**
“Happy birthday, mommy! What are you turning today?” Lil-O asked me when I got home this morning.
“I’m turning old,” I told him.
As a gift to myself, I’m not posting a typical Forky Friday. Instead, I’m treating myself to a solid chunk of sleep before heading to my graveyard shift at the hospital tonight. For half a second, I’d considered taking the day off from my regular zombie drug-dealing schedule, but as my sister once reminded me, I’m not turning 5 years old. I can work on my birthday. Don’t get me wrong: I’d much rather be dining at RN74 with the awesome Paleo Chef a.k.a. Mary Shenouda, but duty calls.
Enough about my real job—I’d rather celebrate the last year of my 30s with a present to YOU! And guess what? This giveaway isn’t limited to just U.S. residents—it’s open to everyone in the whole wide world!
It’s no secret that I love cookbooks. I never went to culinary school or trained with a professional chef; instead, I learned to cook by watching my mom and sister in the kitchen and obsessively poring over cookbooks. These days, I rarely cook from books (I read ‘em for pleasure), but I firmly believe that you’ve got to master the basics in order to excel in the kitchen.
The best cookbooks aren’t just for newbies—they’re perfect for all levels of expertise: from rookies learning to boil water to pros who are looking to up their game. The four books I’m giving away go well beyond the basics; they’re essential tomes for every kitchen.
The first up is one of the most invaluable cookbooks in my ever-growing collection: Ruhlman’s Twenty.
Award-winning author Michael Ruhlman has penned all sorts of mind-blowing food books like Charcuterie, The Making of a Chef, Ratio, and The Book of Schmaltz—and you may also know him as the writer for celebrated chefs like Thomas Keller (The French Laundry Cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, etc.), Eric Ripert (A Return to Cooking), and Michael Symon (Live to Cook).
Last year, Ruhlman’s Twenty won both a James Beard Foundation Book Award and an IACP Cookbook Award, and for good reason. This amazing book distills all of cooking into 20 essential techniques—and offers 200 recipes to boot. Once you master these culinary skills, you’ll be a kitchen ninja.
Looking for even more kitchen knowledge? The Science of Good Cooking, written by the exacting eggheads at Cook’s Illustrated, describes 50 illuminating concepts that’ll help explain what’s happening as you transform simple ingredients into dinner table masterpieces. This is great, geeky fun—and I’m not just saying that because I have a degree in Nutrition and Food Science. The information in The Science of Good Cooking is presented in an engaging and layperson-friendly style—and best of all, this is a science book that has practical implications for what you’re doing every day (hopefully!) in your kitchen. With this book, you’ll level up your cooking skills in no time.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t include books that cover all things meat (Bruce Aidells’s The Great Meat Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today’s Meat)…
…and tell you everything you wanted to know about root veggies (Diane Morgan’s IACP Award-winning Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes).
You probably recognize Bruce Aidells’ name: he’s the master meatologist who just about single-handedly transformed the way we view sausages. Until the late 1970s, Americans ate (horrible-tasting, processed) breakfast sausages out of a box. But when Aidells Sausages hit it big, artisanal sausage-craft exploded. His Great Meat Cookbook doesn’t just cover sausage-making, though—it’s packed with recipes and techniques for sustainable meat sourcing and preparation.
And Diane Morgan is, of course, simply amazing. She’s an award-winning author of 17 cookbooks as well as a freelance food writer and restaurant consultant. Roots is a book I simply can’t put down; the luscious photography and flavorful recipes will make you look at roots and tubers in a whole new light.
All four of these books are well-loved and oft-used in my kitchen—so I won’t be giving you my own copies. Instead, for this giveaway, I’ll be purchasing a new copy of each book and shipping all four to one lucky winner. (Total retail value of this prize package: $160.00 USD)
(Note: Although both Michael Ruhlman and Bruce Aidells were kind enough to review and write lovely endorsements of my upcoming cookbook, none of the authors or publishers of these four books asked me to promote them, and none of ’em are sponsors—or even aware—of this giveaway. I’m just offering them up because I love these cookbooks to death. Also, it’s my birthday, and I can do what I want.)
So what are you waiting for? There are a bunch of different ways to enter for a chance to win—and (finally!) even international folks are eligible to win—so click on the box below to get in on the action!
But do it soon, ’cause the deadline is 8 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, September 25, 2013!
Good luck, everyone!