Friday, June 25, 2010


In THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: Classic Recipes for the New Century (WW Norton; October 25, 2010), Amanda Hesser, food columnist at The New York Times, author (Cooking for Mr. Latte), and co-founder of, has combed through the vast New York Times food archive and present more than 1,000 recipes for contemporary cooks.

An e-mail from Norton's publicity department describes this new project as a compilation of the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism. "Amanda Hesser, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times subscribers will find the many treasured recipes they have cooked for years-Plum Torte, David Eyre's Pancake, Pamela Sherrid's Summer Pasta-as well as favorites from the early Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook and a host of other classics-from 1940s Caesar salad and 1960s flourless chocolate cake to today's fava bean salad and no-knead bread.

Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special. The Essential New York Times Cookbook is for people who grew up in the kitchen with Claiborne, for curious cooks who want to serve a nineteenth-century raspberry granita to their friends, and for the new cook who needs a book that explains everything from how to roll out dough to how to slow-roast fish-a volume that will serve as a lifelong companion."

Miss Hesser was one of the first to write about Julie Powell and her blog in which she wrote about her experiences cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Miss Powell would go on to write Julie and Julia which became the basis of the popular film starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. She is also the author of The Cook and the Gardener, and edited the essay collection Eat, Memory. A cookbook will be published based on the recipes featured on her website, Aiming at the all-important Christmas selling season, as well as the lucrative wedding registry business THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK is sure to be one of the season's most visible cookbooks.


  1. Gregory -- thank you so much for your post, I appreciate you taking time to consider my book and for your kind words about it. I do want to clarify a couple of details. I am still a food columnist for the New York Times Magazine. My editor at Norton is Jill Bialosky. And this book is not an update of the Claiborne "New York Times Cookbook." Claiborne's book is a treasure -- a collection of recipes from the 1950s -- and I didn't think there was any need to update it. The book I wrote is a new look at the entire NYT food archive, from the 1850s through today.

  2. I apologize to Ms. Hesser. Is it possible to get more things wrong in a story an this? I'm astonished that I got this so wrong. I've fixed the insane inaccuracies, and hope that she understands I meant no harm.