New Short Stack Cookbook Series Reaches Kickstarter Goal

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I recently came across a very original and well-designed cookbook series that has been seeking funding through Kickstarter.com. The idea behind the "Short Stack" series is that noted authors and food industry veterans will produce small cookbooks aimed at the home cook with one ingredient as a focus. Think of them as love letters from a chef to his or her favorite item of produce, meat or other foodstuff. The books will be printed on high-quality paper stock and then hand-bound with baker's twine. I mean, dang, these things are gonna be flat-out precious and would make great gifts for your favorite home cook.

The first three announced volumes concentrate on ingredients that are near and dear to the Southern heart, especially around this time of year. Here are some short synopses of the books and information about the authors:

Volume 1 | Eggs, by Ian Knauer

Eggs are the superheroes of our refrigerators, just as essential at breakfast as they are at dessert. The recipes in this collection offer creative takes on iconic egg dishes, as well as less familiar preparations that are poised to become favorites.

Recipes include:
Egg Drop Soup with Edamame, Red Chile and Scallions
Fresh Egg Pasta Carbonara
Shrimp Egg Foo Young
Portuguese Egg Tarts with Burnt Marshmallow Frosting
Chocolate-Earl Grey Pavlova

About the author: Ian was a food editor for Gourmet magazine for nearly a decade, and developed and tested innumerable recipes for the publication. His first cookbook, The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food, was nominated for an IACP cookbook award, and Ian’s new PBS show, “The Farm,” brings education and teaching back to food TV by following locally sourced ingredients all the way to the dinner table. When he is not in a kitchen, Ian is hunting, fishing, and foraging his dinner. To learn about Ian, visit ianknauer.com.


Volume 2 | Tomatoes, by Soa Davies

Few things are better-tasting (and easier to cook with) than a ripe tomato. These recipes get to the heart of this fruit’s popularity and its versatility, utilizing both peak-of-the-season summer fruit and high-quality canned tomatoes.

Recipes include:

Green Tomato Parmesan
Smoked Tomato Jam
Curried Tomato-Lamb Stew
Wasabi Bloody Marys
Tomato Tart Tatin with Caramel


About the author: Soa Davies began her culinary career working under David Walford at Splendido in Beaver Creek, Colorado, then moved to New York to take a position at Le Bernardin. There she became the Director of Operations, Culinary Producer and Head of Research and Development under Eric Ripert. She also managed the development and production of Ripert’s cookbook, On the Line, as well as the critically acclaimed television show, “Avec Eric,” and its companion cookbook. She currently runs Salt Hospitality, a culinary consultancy that counts HBO and The Standard hotel among its clients.

Volume 3 | Strawberries, by Susan Spungen

From its ruby-red color to its sun-ripened sweetness, the strawberry is a dramatic fruit. This edition will put the show-stopping berry through its paces, in both savory and sweet applications.

Recipes include:

Soba Salad with Strawberries, Cucumbers and Miso Dressing
Strawberry Tartines with Ricotta and Basil
Roasted Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Strawberry Hand Pies
Strawberry Sangria


About the author: Susan Spungen is a cookbook author, culinary consultant and food stylist for both print and film, having brought food to life in major feature films such as “Julie & Julia,” “It’s Complicated” and “Eat, Pray, Love.” She was the founding food editor for Martha Stewart Living, where she was responsible for conceiving of, developing and styling recipes for the magazine. She is a frequent contributor to national magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and More, where she is a contributing editor. Susan is the author of RECIPES: A Collection for the Modern Cook, and her latest book, What’s a Hostess to Do?, has just been released. Learn more about Susan at susanspungen.com.

The publishers have already exceeded their $50,000 fundraising goal by over 60% with a few days left in the campaign. I spoke with one of the principals, Kaitlyn Goalen, who was previously the national editor for TastingTable.com. When I asked her what it meant to receive so much support for a whole new platform of publishing cookbooks, and she replied "We're going to have to sew a whole lot more books!" Actually, one of the neat ideas about the Kickstarter campaign is that at $100 funding level, investors will actually be invited to a party where they can learn to hand-stitch books and even participate in production if they are so inclined.

Mainly, the overage in funding means that the series is definitely a go and the publishers can get to work even more quickly expanding the number of volumes and authors involved. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, head over to the Kickstarter page where you can sign up for advance copies of the first three editions for just $45. Or you can wait until after production and buy them at the official website.

Until then, here's a nice little video to describe the series even better.

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