The Piglet

The 2013 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks!

By • January 11, 2013 • 68 Comments

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The Piglet is fast approaching...

Starting on Wednesday, February 6th, join us every weekday morning for a new matchup, judged by some of the biggest names in the food world and beyond!

Not familiar with the Piglet? It's our NCAA-style competition in which we seed the 16 best cookbooks from the past year into brackets and face them off. We pass each pair of books to our expert judges, they cook from the books and write up their decisions, and you get to weigh in with your yea or nay on each day's outcome until only one remains -- the 2013 Piglet winner. As a bonus this year, we'll be releasing one Piglet Community Pick each day -- judged by none other than our wonderful community -- until all ten are revealed.

And of course, you're invited to our much-anticipated Piglet party! We'll update you with details very soon.

Here's our fantastic panel of judges, who hail from all corners of food and media:

Adam Sachs, writer and contributing editor at Travel + Leisure and Bon Appetit
Nathan Williams, editor-and-chief of Kinfolk, and Julie Pointer, features editor at Kinfolk 
Chris Ying, editor-in-chief of Lucky Peach 
Meredith Erickson, cookbook author, and David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, cookbook authors, chefs, and owners of Joe Beef
Elizabeth Spiridakis, art director at Bon Appetit
Shauna and Danny Ahern, cookbook authors and bloggers at Gluten Free GIrl and the Chef 
Melissa Clark, cookbook author and writer for The New York Times 
Marco Canora, chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author
Kurt Andersen, novelist, host, and co-creator of Studio 360
James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur 
Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of wd~50 
Bryant Gumbel, television journalist and sportscaster
Danny Meyer, book author and restaurateur
Stanley Tucci, actor, writer, film producer, and film director
Fergus Henderson, London-based chef and restaurateur

Now what you've all been waiting for, the official list of contenders for the 2013 Piglet. Our official brackets are here -- you can download and print them out, fill in your predictions, and follow along with the competition!


Dirt Candy: A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant
Amanda Cohen


Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal
Chris Cosentino


Burma: Rivers of Flavor
Naomi Duguid


Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book
Jake Godby, Sean Vahey, and Paolo Lucchesi


Small Plates & Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking
Aran Goyoaga


Japanese Farm Food
Nancy Singleton Hachisu


Salt, Sugar, Smoke: How to Preserve Fruit, Vegetables, Meat, and Fish     
Diana Henry


Canal House Cooks Every Day
Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton


Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel


Little Flower: Recipes from the Café
Christine Moore


Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes
Diane Morgan


Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home
Andrea Ngyuen


Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi


The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Deb Perelman


Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks
Adam Roberts

Jump to Comments (68)

Tags: piglet, 2013, tournament of cookbooks, start date, yay!

Comments (68)

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Stringio

over 1 year ago Morgan Riggs

Asian Tofu without a doubt. Its a great cookbook, a wonderful learning tool, and a good read as well.

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over 1 year ago Carolyn Z

I vote for Japanese Farm Food and Bouchon Bakery!

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over 1 year ago Barbara Sheridan

We're cheering on LITTLE FLOWER! A marvelous book, and Bakery/Cafe in Pasadena, CA

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over 1 year ago Dina Moore-Tzouris

ottolenghi! ottolenghi!(I'm cheering). every recipe is devine. his meringues are the best in the world.

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over 1 year ago Dina Moore-Tzouris

sorry for the typo...not so divine.

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over 1 year ago raspberryeggplant

Definitely Dirt Candy. It's the only cookbook in my collection that I've read cover to cover, much less in one sitting. It's hilarious, honest, and most of all, enlightening and instructional.

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over 1 year ago Amberkaribe

I would choose Canal House Cooks. At the same time many excellent cookbooks.

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over 1 year ago bexcellent

Dirt Candy was my favorite cookbook that I haven't cooked from in a long time. I actually stayed up late reading it and laughing. I hope the judge appreciates the differentness as much as I did.

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over 1 year ago Jmolaei

It will be difficult job for the judges - so many great books to choose between. I'm glad you're featuring Diana Henry's latest. It's a great book!

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over 1 year ago Julie Martenson

I really think it is offensive for the chef to have a dead pig slung over her shoulder, and it certainly allienates a number of potential followers.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Mary F. Lee

I have to go with Jerusalem! It was a difficult decision, that's for sure!

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over 1 year ago Christy Schuchter Sharafinski

Roots by Diane Morgan. Awesome book! (Though in my heart, I'd say the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook should win because dessert ALWAYS wins! :)

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over 1 year ago Samantha Angela

I definitely think Jerusalem is going to win. It's all anyone talks about these days!

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over 1 year ago Kim O

I'm rooting for Jerusalem!

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over 1 year ago Brick Oven Chef

This is tough, going with The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

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over 1 year ago butterygoodness

Jerusalem FTW!

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over 1 year ago Drea29

Little Flower is a wonderful cookbook!! She serves up really delicious savories and sweets at her cafe. Easy to follow scrumptious recipes and beautiful photos. Great story too.

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over 1 year ago umhamzah

jerusalem all the way! great cookbook!

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over 1 year ago Cathalina

Agree. I'm really disturbed by the "Girl and Her Pig" photo. Really, did she have to sling the poor thing over her shoulders?!

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over 1 year ago dymnyno

Actually, I had to pick up a pig for a roast . It was surprisingly bloodless and no worse that a slab of bacon. I didn't look it in the eye, though.

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over 1 year ago paseo

It's deceased and I doubt that it cares

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over 1 year ago AngelaM-E

I agree, Cathalina. To pose for a picture like that seems disrespectful to the pig, but then again I'm a vegetarian and not her target audience anyway.

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over 1 year ago GenaCooks

I think it actually shows respect for the pig. For those of us who eat meat, it is important to be mindful of where the meat comes from and how animals are raised. It is disrespectful to purchase poorly raised meat and act like we believe it came from a styrofoam carton rather than an animal. Yet I also have to chime in with another hooray for Dirt Candy. It's awesome!

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over 1 year ago Matrish

Wow! I'm glad I'm not a real judge! All of these cookbooks are amazing. Can't wait until it starts!

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over 1 year ago Suzi jacuzzi

Have been on an absolute smitten kitchen cookbook tear for weeks now. Have not stopped making her recipes and so far have had all winners. Someone just must make the chocolate silk pie and tell me if that is not a winner- put a wee bit more salt in the crust than recipe calls for and watch people's eyes light up!,,

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over 1 year ago ddecrette

Is Melissa's book NOT included because she is on the panel? Hands down. She wins.

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over 1 year ago LindsayC77

Agreed. I have never made a bad Melissa Clark recipe -- all winners.

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over 1 year ago chardrucks

Melissa didn't have a new cookbook published in 2012. We love her books too.

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over 1 year ago happycao

oh wow, that is HARD! Good luck judges!
This is going to be a fun Piglet!

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over 1 year ago ChristineQ

Can't wait- Love the piglet!

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over 1 year ago Omeletta

Ruthy is a Recipe Tester for Food52

What a great selection of cookbooks! I'm super excited to read the verdicts.

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over 1 year ago dymnyno

The chosen cookbooks represent a real cross section of the new cookbooks. I wish that Linda Lau Anusasananan's The Hakka Cookbook was on the list...it is truly an amazing work! I have been using The Bouchon Bakery, Jerusalem and Canal House Cooks regularly. I am picking up Salt, Sugar, Smoke at the CIA tomorrow.

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over 1 year ago The Spiced Life

Anyone else noticing the lack of baking books? I am sad to not see Simply Sensational Cookies.

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over 1 year ago dymnyno

I am so glad the The Bouchon Bakery cookbook is included. I loved reading it and I'm lucky enough to live near the bakery.

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over 1 year ago walkie74

To tell you the truth, the "Girl and Her Pig" photo made me hungry. I like the idea of knowing where my food comes from, even if it's being reminded that it comes from a dead animal. At the very least, I should respect the source.

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over 1 year ago LizyG

The "Girl and her pig" photo creeps me out. I love pig, just don't like it dead and posing around someone's shoulder. It's an a dead animal, we should respect him. PS it looks just like my pittbull....sorry, had to comment.

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over 1 year ago AngelaM-E

I'm SO EXCITED!!!! Yea, Smitten Kitchen!!!!

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over 1 year ago Gourmet Metrics

Impressive list of cookbooks. And an equally impressive list of judges.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Cynthia Grandjean

Can't wait to see how Jerusalem and Smitten Kitchen fare!

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over 1 year ago jacksonholefoodie

This year's Piglet will be even more challenging than predicting the Oscar for best actor. I am so glad Smitten Kitchen made the list.

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over 1 year ago Tallgrass Kitchen

I adore Stanley Tucci.

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over 1 year ago Scoff

hooray! and Smitten Kitchen and Diana Henry are FANTASTIC. can't wait for another round of Piglet fun.

Mcs

over 1 year ago mcs3000

LOVE the Piglet. Awesome lineup of judges + books.

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over 1 year ago Diane Morgan

Oh my gosh, I am so honored and humbled to have my cookbook Roots on this list. What a list of authors to be included in--so humbled. Thank you

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over 1 year ago Omeletta

Ruthy is a Recipe Tester for Food52

I'm very happy to see Roots on here- definitely one of my favorite cookbooks lately! You did an outstanding job, it's a phenomenal book and I know I'll be using it for years to come.

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over 1 year ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

2012 was a super year for cookbooks. A couple of my very favorite newcomers are on this list, and there are more on the ones that we 52ers get to review. One I wish had made the lists is Charles Phan's Vietnamese at Home. But there are a bunch I don't know, and it's always exciting to see how my library expands in February. Even more fun is the reminder that it all is indeed in fun! A celebration more than a contest. Let's get to it!

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over 1 year ago Pamela Trefler

I, too, wish Charles Phan's, "Vietnamese at Home" made the list. It's a book that was long awaited. Everything I have made out of it has been very good.

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over 1 year ago The Spiced Life

Agree, I too wish it had made the list.

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over 1 year ago susan g






to me












When the previous Piglets came up, I told myself I wouldn't spend time reading the reports. Yet each time I found myself drawn in, reading every word written, taking sides. Time to admit I'll do it again, and start right from the beginning! Amazing book choices this year...

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over 1 year ago susan g

Well, that's a strange glitch. I wasn't signed in when I wrote that...?

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over 1 year ago Nancy Singleton Hachisu

I am so honored to see Japanese Farm Food on this incredible list. I'm looking forward (I think!) to the competition. This will be the first year for me to see it all unroll as I just heard about the Piglets earlier this year from my pal Elise Bauer. Sometimes living in the Japanese countryside is like living in a bubble. (And sometimes not: have computer can connect, have airplane ticket can fly.) Thanks!

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over 1 year ago JadeTree

Yay! I look forward to this all year and this looks like a greatline-up of cooks and judges! And am very interested in the new Community Pick category. Lots of fun for the food geeks!

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over 1 year ago sel et poivre

Yayyyy I can't wait!! eeeee

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over 1 year ago Savour

Yay! Little Flower is my neighborhood cafe and I adore it (though the best thing they serve are the lavender scones which are, sadly, not in the cookbook)

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over 1 year ago creamtea

Yay! Really looking forward!

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over 1 year ago ChefCitron

Hooray- fantastic lineup, Food52! Looking forward to a spirited competition!

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over 1 year ago Barbara Sheridan

This is thrilling! I'm very excited! My husband and I were just at Little Flower Cafe/Bakery in Pasadena. Not only is the food delicious, but the art on the walls and the music accompanying the meal, all added to an amazing lunch. And the owner's sea salt caramels, Oh My!!

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over 1 year ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Yay!!!! I love the Piglet

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over 1 year ago eatboutique

Excited! I love the Piglet.

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over 1 year ago WinnieAb

Fun! I love The Piglet!!!!

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over 1 year ago dymnyno

Very impressive lineup of judges! This will be fun!

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over 1 year ago witloof

Uh, oh... too many sentimental favorites from NYC for me to be able to root for just one! Great lineup. Go, Adam and Deb!

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over 1 year ago cookinginvictoria

What a great list of cookbooks and judges. Wow -- can't wait for the fun to begin!

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over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Great nominees! I'm rooting for Dirt Candy! It's like, two, two, two books in one!

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over 1 year ago Shalini

Omygod! Love the list of cookbooks! And judges! And the whole thing!

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

Love the Piglet - it's a highlight of the year!

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

I'm SO looking forward to this!

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over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Eek! Can't wait!