The Piglet

UPDATE: The Second Annual Tournament of Cookbooks!

September 30, 2010 • 163 Comments

The Piglet

Piglet

Starting November 9th, we'll be hosting the second annual Tournament of Cookbooks on food52: 16 of the best cookbooks of 2010 will face off in an NCAA-style bracketed tournament to determine who will win the coveted Piglet trophy (pictured here). 17 talented and opinionated judges will decide which book moves on after each round, and the final decision will be announced at the Piglet Party on Tuesday, November 30th at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca in New York City. (More info to come on the party and how to get tickets!)
The complete list of contenders is below; in order to have your voice heard, just leave a comment in this post as to which of these you'd choose as the best cookbook of 2010. We'll tally the votes and return the two books with the most support to a Wildcard Round for a second chance.

Voting is now closed! Stay tuned to find out which books make it into the wildcard round...

  • Plenty
    Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and Jonathan Lovekin
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  • Harvest to Heat
    Harvest to Heat by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer
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  • The Vegetarian Option
    The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson
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  • The Art of Eating In
    The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway
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  • A Cook's Journey to Japan by Sarah Marx Feldner
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  • Thai Street Food
    Thai Street Food by David Thompson
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  • Around My French Table
    Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
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  • Forgotten Skills of Cooking
    Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen
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  • The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion
    The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo and Peter Meehan
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  • Urban Pantry
    Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington
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  • Cook Italy
    Cook Italy by Katie Caldesi
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  • Heart of the Artichoke
    Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis
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  • The Perfect Finish
    The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark
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  • Cakewalk: A Memoir
    Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses
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  • My Sweet Mexico
    My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson
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  • Good to the Grain
    Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood
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    Jump to Comments (163)

    Comments (163)

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    almost 4 years ago foodiefantasy

    My Sweet Mexico!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago scottw

    it's got to be................urban pantry. i've even started washing my baggies!

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    almost 4 years ago Buggy Garden

    Frankie's!!

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    almost 4 years ago Food52.1

    Urban Panty, wins by a carrot!

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    almost 4 years ago SueG

    This method of voting has clearly become contaminated by a campaign to vote for at least one certain book. I will be completely unenthusiastic about the whole Piglet contest if that stands.

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    almost 4 years ago Food52

    This is from your friendly editors at Food52.

    For this wildcard vote, anyone can vote and anyone was welcome to campaign for support -- this is a democracy, after all! But not to worry, the rest of the judging in the Tournament of Cookbooks is done by judges who we've selected in advance.

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    almost 4 years ago Gale

    While I have to somewhat agree with you regarding the voting for two certain books, one of them is really excellent with many usable recipes and the other was a surprise since I found it relatively uninspired and basic. My real vote would have been for Simon Hopkinson if I had had myself in gear. Do love the Piglet., though - and hope Nora is judge again.

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    almost 4 years ago janerac

    The Frankies Sputino Kitchen Companion! One of the Franks signed mine at the Brooklyn Book festival a couple weeks ago. I love the illustrations and the writing.

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    almost 4 years ago Buzzz

    Cook Italy

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    almost 4 years ago chefschenk

    Frankie's Spuntino Kitchen Companion is a great cookbook, the illustrations in the book are outstanding! The food at Frankie's is a testament to the quailty and dedication to create really good Italian food.Frankie's and the Frank's have my vote......

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    almost 4 years ago mnyzio

    Frankies! Great food!

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    almost 4 years ago sdelucia

    FRANKIES!

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    almost 4 years ago WilliamC

    Frankies Spuntino and Cathy Erway!

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    almost 4 years ago Ronnybell

    Urban Pantry Rocks. I use the shrimp marinade all the time and it's awesome.

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    almost 4 years ago Comics is People

    Frankies Spuntino, hands down. Love the illustrations and it teaches you how to grow an avocado tree.

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    almost 4 years ago Sazonov

    Frankies

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    almost 4 years ago petrini.elisa

    The fabulous FRANKIES!

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    almost 4 years ago kaymo

    Frankies Spuntino fer sure!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago lait_et_miel

    I've been loving baking from Good to the Grain...

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    almost 4 years ago mxfactor

    Urban Pantry!!!

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    almost 4 years ago erinprz

    Frankie's Cookbook, for sure!! yummmmmmmm.

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    almost 4 years ago Bebe101

    Frankie's is the best! I love giving this cookbook as gifts.

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    almost 4 years ago AngelaCamera

    Urban Pantry for the win!

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    almost 4 years ago staboeke

    FRANKIES!

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    almost 4 years ago WendyM

    Frankies is the best - I have never read a cookbook like I do a novel laying in bed but that's what I do with this one! So interesting and the best recipes!

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    almost 4 years ago Ekegg

    Frankie's!!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago rothmann09

    Frankies 457!

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    almost 4 years ago Anica

    Frankies Spuntino!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago zachrodgers

    Many of these I don't own, but I do own The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual and love it. Have been sampling recipes from it for two months with excellent results.

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    almost 4 years ago MerMade

    Frankies for sure! I initially bought it as a gift for a friend and couldn't part with it so went out and bought another...

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    almost 4 years ago raspberryeggplant

    The Perfect Finish - Bill Yosses is wonderful.

    And Frankies for finally letting the cat out of the bag as to how much olive oil they use in their amazing tomato sauce.

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    almost 4 years ago WhiskyBusiness

    FRANKIES

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    almost 4 years ago Melina

    Being in the restaurant industry for many years I have read more than my share of cookbooks - My vote goes to The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual. Best teaching guide at all levels. Amazing recipes!

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    almost 4 years ago Cosmo & Addie

    Frankies Spuntino without question!

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    almost 4 years ago DannyC

    Frankies Spuntino - HANDS DOWN!

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    almost 4 years ago Pam24

    Frankies is by far the best! Excellent recipes - really well written!

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    almost 4 years ago emmee

    Frankies!

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    almost 4 years ago mrdhlevin

    Frankies

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    almost 4 years ago Vaughn Wibbles

    Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Avocado Tycoon Starter Kit.

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    almost 4 years ago jfriesen

    Plenty, without question. One of the most inspiring books in years.

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    almost 4 years ago Panama

    FRANKIES, of course!

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    almost 4 years ago Mich

    Frankies companion and cooking manual!

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    almost 4 years ago Giulia Melucci

    Frankie's! Because I like their food and they asked.

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    almost 4 years ago aerozap

    Frankies is an amazing book, everything i've tried has been incredible.

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    almost 4 years ago sera

    Frankies!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago robert11

    Frankies Spuntino. Most definitely.

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    almost 4 years ago bokelley

    Frankies!

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    almost 4 years ago rhea

    FRANKIES. Thank you.

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    almost 4 years ago Rebecca White

    FRANKIES! Amazing!

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    almost 4 years ago bkyonsei

    Must choose The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual!

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    almost 4 years ago tana

    Frankies Spuntino!

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    almost 4 years ago Terry Corrao

    The Franks have the magic touch -- everything is amazing, from the stupendous meatballs to the heavenly sweet potato ravioli, to the outrageous stewed plums with marscarpone. The food at the restaurant is always terrific and now it can be recreated at home. Thanks, guys! Also, thanks for bringing that beautiful olive oil stateside. It spares us trips up and down Sicilian mountainsides to enjoy it!

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    almost 4 years ago Fredhnyc

    Frankies Spuntino!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago Born.n.Brooklyn.

    Frankies. Frankies. Frankies.

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    almost 4 years ago max_silvestri

    The Frankies cookbook. Absolutely.

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    almost 4 years ago carolinekim

    FRANKIES!!!

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    almost 4 years ago SophieM

    Thai Street Food may be the most beautiful cookbook I have ever come across.

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    almost 4 years ago BTP

    Split decision: FRANKIES/URBAN PANTRY.

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    almost 4 years ago midasw

    Frankies Spuntino Cookbook all the way!

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    almost 4 years ago mariaraynal

    I'm going with Around My French Table. Great selection and am excited to get to know the books I'm not familiar with yet.

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    almost 4 years ago ScottMcG

    URBAN PANTRY! So well done. Quality and fun to use and read. Puts a unique and refreshing spin on cooking/preserving. Love it! fyi don't tell but everyone is getting this for X-mas.

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    almost 4 years ago ritzy

    Urban Pantry, rah, rah, rah! The recipes in this book are creative and delicious, plus I heard the author is a total BABE! It's Urban Pantry all the way for me.

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    almost 4 years ago franticfoodie

    Urban Pantry!

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    almost 4 years ago ntcopeland

    Urban Pantry is the standout book. Creative and practical solutions to the age old question, "What am I going to do with all of these !**@ from the garden? From the Pantry?" Simple directions and humorous antecdotes from this charming author.

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    almost 4 years ago Milk & Honey

    I think Urban Pantry is really great. I'm getting 30# of tomatoes in the morning and read up in her book how to do it. Super cool.

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    almost 4 years ago michelle ackerman

    Urban Pantry!!! Love the Spiced Yogurt Chicken!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago Deenie

    Urban Pantry!!!

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    almost 4 years ago Carolinelong

    Urban Pantry all the way!!

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    almost 4 years ago robinT

    definitely Urban Pantry !

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    almost 4 years ago Jedidion

    Been burning through Urban Pantry and loving it. The trophy should go to Amy!

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    almost 4 years ago marcus_c_white

    Urban Pantry!

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    almost 4 years ago tnole

    As a New York and a Seattlite I have to say HANDS DOWN Amy Pennington's Urban Pantry is the VERY BEST on this list!

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    almost 4 years ago Aimala

    Definitely...URBAN PANTRY!

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    almost 4 years ago a_thrun

    A Cook's Journey to Japan!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven't checked it out yet, do so. :)

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    almost 4 years ago shannon_salentine

    A Cook's Journey to Japan!

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    almost 4 years ago The Dog's Breakfast

    Forgotten Skills of Cooking, hands down.

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    almost 4 years ago SueG

    I vote for The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson.

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    almost 4 years ago CharlesGT

    Good to the Grain

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    almost 4 years ago casey_ellis

    A strong, strong vote for Around My French Table.

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    almost 4 years ago Rgbotta

    A Cook's Journey to Japan !! Best ever. Delicious easy to make, authentic recipes. And a great read. Love it. Got me cooking again. My friends are so happy.

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    almost 4 years ago mmmtcheng

    A Cook's Journey to Japan

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    almost 4 years ago lauren

    thai street food!

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    almost 4 years ago juliapi

    Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan is my favorite.

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    almost 4 years ago mrsBeccaJo

    The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson

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    almost 4 years ago sarah_buckley

    A cooks Journey to Japan!

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    almost 4 years ago sarah_buckley

    A cooks Journey to Japan has taught me so much I choose that one!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago Bexley103

    "A Cook's Journey to Japan" is my vote for the best.

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    almost 4 years ago adina_ch

    My Sweet Mexico!!!!! It goes beyond a spectacular cookbook (ease and deliciousness of recipies, photos...) to become a treasured testament of a different culture. It´s amazing what you can learn about another country through its desserts

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    almost 4 years ago Leslie Kelly

    Got to meet the Frankies and very much enjoy the book, but Amy Pennington's Urban Pantry is my favorite this year. It's such a fun read with great recipes.

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    almost 4 years ago theladyofthelake

    Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen would get my vote.

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    almost 4 years ago Angela Sarris

    Around the French Table !!

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    almost 4 years ago kim_burlingham

    My sweet Mexico! I grew up in Mexico, my sweet tooth was spawned there. This book brings me home. Go zapote!

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    almost 4 years ago talia_strauss-diner

    MY SWEET MEXICO all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The book is gorgeous, the recipes are excellent, the variety astounding. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!

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    almost 4 years ago junhong

    Urban Pantry

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    almost 4 years ago dymnyno

    Does the Wildcard have to be from this list? I just perused "The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook" by Rachel Saunders....gorgeous, creative , great recipes to use by the season. A stunning cookbook!

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    almost 4 years ago alaparc

    Frankies Spuntino's. Straightforward - recipes do not break the bank - delicious and representative of the Italian home cooks of my childhood - funny as hell!

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    almost 4 years ago choicemorsel

    Urban Pantry. Wandering through the life and times of Amy Pennington is a trip! Delicious too...

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    almost 4 years ago dillonk

    URBAN PANTRY!

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    almost 4 years ago talia_strauss-diner

    My Sweet Mexico, Fany all the way!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago ErinH

    Aaagh! I have to change my vote--just got my copy of Dorie Greenspan's book and I want to make and eat EVERYTHING. It's just a beautiful book.

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    almost 4 years ago GGBlue

    URBAN PANTRY!

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    almost 4 years ago rharrison

    The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual -- for wit, charm, good sense, and perfectly unfussy results.

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    almost 4 years ago fyp

    Definitely My Sweet Mexico! It's more than just a cookbook...it's a collection of personal and Mexican history. It's essential for experienced and amateur cooks.

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    almost 4 years ago fyp

    My Sweet Mexico for sure! The personal anecdotes and unique recipes make this not only a cookbook but a true vessel for Mexico's cultural heritage. It should be lauded as one of this year's greatest books.

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    almost 4 years ago Helena Bravo

    No question about it, My sweet Mexico, the best also with the best chef Fany!!

    Just buy it!!!

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    almost 4 years ago klomri

    My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson is my choice! it brings me back great memories from my time in Mexico!

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    almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

    "Urban Pantry" and "Around My French Table" - cannot choose between them...

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    almost 4 years ago fiveandspice

    Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

    My goodness. Apparently I need to pick up copies of Urban Pantry and My Sweet Mexico, but since I haven't seen them, my vote goes to "Plenty"!

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    almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

    I have always appreciated Darina Allen, but Thai Street Food also interests me.

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    almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

    Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

    I really must vote for Urban Pantry. It's such a smart book. But it was a tough decision - as I adore so many of these and, thanks to A&M, have put some others on my Must Buy list.

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    almost 4 years ago ElizabethN

    Good to the Grain

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    almost 4 years ago proncis

    Urban Pantry!

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    almost 4 years ago yovasquez

    My Sweet Mexico!

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    almost 4 years ago Capicuaman

    Seriously? My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson, no doubt.

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    almost 4 years ago clauschidlow

    My Sweet Mexico! this one seems to be the most original, and making any of these recipes you're sure to wow anyone!

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    almost 4 years ago foodiefantasy

    Three words: MY SWEET MEXICO. This book is beautiful in every way, and the recipes don't only look amazing but they ARE amazing. Easy to follow and work every time!!! Seems like a tough competition but there really is one winner for me!!!

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    almost 4 years ago rob_fitzhenry

    MY SWEET MEXICO! - amazing recipes, a peek inside a country that has rich yet obscure traditions unless you have travelled there - sometimes you know less of what is closest to you and Fany has presented us with an opportunity to share in her culture and its amazing desserts!

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    almost 4 years ago daltschuler

    Fanny's My Sweet Mexico is not only a wonderful book for foodies, but also an amazing timeline if Mexico's vast and rich culinary history. A visionary ahead of her time, Fanny is the first to document the broad variety of Sweets that mexicans have enjoyed for generations.

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    almost 4 years ago rreed

    My Sweet Mexico ALL THE WAY! That Tres Leches cake? Eat that and just TRY to vote for anyone else!!

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    almost 4 years ago mmnn

    My Sweet Mexico definitely hits my sweet tooth!

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    almost 4 years ago Mart57

    Harvest to Heat - perfect time of year!

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    almost 4 years ago antblume

    My vote goes to Urban Pantry! Fabulous book.

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    almost 4 years ago LaurieWard

    It's Urban Pantry for me...a wonderful little book!

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    almost 4 years ago DGinSD

    Urban Pantry has my vote!

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    almost 4 years ago KatieO

    Two words: URBAN. PANTRY. My manfriend and I spent a Sunday reading through the book together. We were utterly inspired by Pennington's recipes and general chutzpah for smart and innovative ways to both stock your own larder with basics and then transforming those staples into creative and sumptuous meals. Really inspiring was her mantra to utilize your ingredients to the fullest, and not wasting anything. I heart this book. I heart this book hard.

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    almost 4 years ago dymnyno

    I love both "Around my French table" and "Ottolenghi".

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    almost 4 years ago HelenCherullo

    "Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen" is gorgeous, inspiring, and creative as well as practical and accessible.

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    almost 4 years ago jillhaw

    Urban Pantry is my go to book!

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    almost 4 years ago MargaretS

    Urban Pantry is fabulous. I love the way Amy gives simple tips and inspirational techniques to make food easy and creative. Best cookbook of the year by far. Try the ice cream infusions and the bread pudding variations.

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    almost 4 years ago Myra Clark

    Like so many, my life is chock full with work and family. It has been hard to get enthusiastic about cooking for the past few year, but I am re-inspired with Urban Pantry. The recipes are delicious, easy to prepare and a delight for family and guests.

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    almost 4 years ago julie_gordon

    urban pantry, by amy pennington!

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    almost 4 years ago Heena

    What a unique trophy! :) My vote's for Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

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    almost 4 years ago paigeclark

    Urban Pantry is the best by far!! Fabulous book for the urban food lover.

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    almost 4 years ago fritanga

    Plenty by Ottolenghi. This guy is a genius with vegetarian food. I've been following him for months on guardian.co.uk. He's amazing.

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    almost 4 years ago ErinH

    Good to the Grain.

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    almost 4 years ago Juliebr

    Urban Pantry is terrific!

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    almost 4 years ago scott_bailey

    Urban Pantry!

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    almost 4 years ago meg_clark

    Urban Pantry for sure!

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    almost 4 years ago mary_metz

    Urban Pantry though there are so many books I can see I'm going to have to check out here. My birthday cake this year was Amy's chocolate buttermilk cake recipe and it not only tasted fabulous but made the rental house smell richly of chocolate--quite lovely after a bracing walk along the Oregon coast. It was a hit with everyone from age 13 to 50.

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    almost 4 years ago HollyMcLean

    Urban Pantry! We love Amy!

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    almost 4 years ago eelcc

    Urban Pantry: so inspiring in so many ways!

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    almost 4 years ago jeszebel

    Urban pantry for me!

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    almost 4 years ago Waverly

    This is a great list of choices, and I've had fun browsing through them. My vote is for Dorie Greenspan's book, Around My French Table which I JUST ordered 3 days ago. On her blog, Dorie has formed a cooking club called "French Fridays with Dorie". The group will cook a recipe from her book every Friday. I joined up there too....cannot wait!!
    PS. The book is fabulous - filled with lovely and delicious recipes for regular people.
    The Piglet is so fun. Thanks for having it again. I look forward to reading more.

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    almost 4 years ago MyLeftoverLife

    All sound good, but Urban Pantry is the bomb!!!!

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    almost 4 years ago FreshPickedSeattle

    Urban Pantry!

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    almost 4 years ago mcs3000

    Outstanding list, but my vote goes to: Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce. Every recipe I've made from her book has been a knock out. Take the sacred chocolate chip cookie: Kim has made it better than any other I've ever eaten - but they're made with whole wheat. She has inspired me to think differently in the kitchen.

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    almost 4 years ago rstaffel

    Fabulous choices all around! I find that I'm going back again and again to Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington and Forgotten Skills by Darina Allen. They both embody that "it's just food" ethos that makes you feel comfortable and easy in the kitchen.

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    almost 4 years ago mklug

    I flipping LOVE The Urban Pantry! The tone is so wonderful, and it really was just the book I was looking for--so many great ideas for becoming that ideal woman that I am in my mind. I'm sure that for you more advanced people it's not that earth-shaking, but for those of us who just want to be more like you advanced people it's the best, best, best!

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    almost 4 years ago aargersi

    Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

    How long do we have to vote? I haven't seen any of these but am willing to spend a few bucks and give a couple of them a spin!!

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    almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

    Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

    Until next Wednesday!

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    almost 4 years ago phyllis

    So happy this is back. I haven't seen/read all of the new cookbooks on the list, but my two favorites, so far, are Dorie Greenspan's and Frankies Spuntino Kitchen. If I MUST select one, then it's Dorie's.

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    almost 4 years ago TasteFood

    I rarely seek out vegetarian books, and with Ottolenghi I often forget it is a veg book. The recipes are gorgeous and the photography is art. Looking forward to the next Tournament!

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    almost 4 years ago luvcookbooks

    Meg is a trusted home cook.

    Have only looked at Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen but looked substantive and interesting.
    Liked Erway's book. More about an approach to cooking and living than a recipe book per se, so an interesting addition to the list.
    Otherwise not familiar but looking forward to learning more about the books on the list! Just in time to generate a Christmas list!!

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    almost 4 years ago eznelak

    Cakewalk: A Memoir- a great read with delicious recipes all in one!

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    almost 4 years ago Bevi

    I love the way Yotam mixes up classics, and creates new combinations of ingredients. I have to go with Plenty, but Frankie's runs a very close second.

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    almost 4 years ago allie

    Good to the grain - it's wonderful.

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    almost 4 years ago healthierkitchen

    I was hoping there'd be another piglet contest! I haven't yet seen many of these, but love Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain.

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    almost 4 years ago jlaw44

    Pretty excited about Frankies Spuntino book (JUST picked it up this weekend!), but thought My Sweet Mexico was GORGEOUS too. Also have a soft spot for Plenty and Cook's Journey to Japan. It's going to be a hard decision!! :)

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    almost 4 years ago Susan B.

    My favorite would have to be Dorie Greenspan's new book. What fun!

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    almost 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

    Woo-hoo! LOVE the Piglet.. I'd have to go with Dorie's cookbook and The Perfect Finish for Wildcards. Can't wait to see more!

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    almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

    Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

    Oh fun! I'm so glad to see this Tournament back. Last time, I filled so much of my bookshelf, I had to build a new one. Fortunately, the new one has plenty of space to accommodate some new additions. Thanks for curating!

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    almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

    Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

    So many great books to choose from! But my favorite of the bunch is The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual. I love it. It looks cool, the illustrations are awesome, the recipes rock, not to mention they've got a picture of my future first tattoo on page v.