What Makes a Classic Cookbook?

Cookbooks & Recipes

For several years IACP has been inducting influential cookbooks into our own Hall of Fame via the Culinary Classics Award. Join members of the Culinary Classics committee along with two veteran cookbook store owners as they break down what makes a book outstanding and helps it stand the test of time. They will also offer insights into how attendees can shape their own work, so that their books might one day also rise to the top of anyone’s hall of fame.

Listen to this recording on IACP’s conference resource site, here.

As Curator of Books at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, Barbara Haber developed a major culinary collection and helped make food history an important topic of academic research. For her contributions to the study of food, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in American Food and Beverages, and received the M.F.K Fisher Award from Les Dames D’Escoffier.

Former Test Kitchen Director and Assistant Food Editor for the Chicago Tribune, Donna Battle Pierce was a Harvard Visiting Nieman Foundation Fellow in 2015. Currently working on a book about Freda DeKnight and other members of the Black middle class during the Migration, her syndicated column and freelance work have appeared in Ebony, NPR, Upscale Magazine, and the Chicago Defender.

Peter Reinhart is the current chair of the IACP Culinary Classics Committee. He is the author of 11 books, a former IACP Book of the Year winner (for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice), and a three times James Beard Book Award winner. He is a teacher at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC, and the Executive Director of the Johnson & Wales International Symposium on Bread.

Bonnie Slotnick began a career in cookbook publishing in 1985 and soon afterward also became a “book scout” for out-of-print cookbooks. She opened her shop, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, in 1997; it is now located in the East Village, where independent business owners continue to defy the online monolith.

Matt Sartwell is Managing Partner of Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore. A former editor for New American Library and Dutton, he has also served as chair of the James Beard Foundation’s book awards committee.


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