The 2017 Piglet

The Highlights (and Controversies) of The Piglet's Round 2

March 10, 2017

Allison Robicelli runs through the highlights of Round 2—click on the judgment photos to read the reviews for yourselves.

My Two Souths vs. Simple

You guys picked Diana Henry’s Simple as the favorite to win the entire Piglet, and you were wrong. Writer and editor Silvia Killingsworth decided otherwise. Let’s just point out the word "killing" is in her name, and she’s here to murder your dreams.

First we’re led to believe that My Two Souths will lose in spite of its gorgeous recipes: Indian food has a lot of components, Killingsworth has a tiny apartment with no appliances—she needs to go buy a mortar and pestle—and there are a lot of hard-to-find ingredients. But wait! It turns out that it’s easy for her to find items like asafoetida and curry leaves because she lives in NYC, and we’re in for a shocking twist. This year’s Piglet really does have everything, doesn't it?

Shop the Story

Turns out, Diana Henry’s Simple is (GASP!) not simple! According to Killingsworth, the very first recipe is fussy, and as the book progresses it is revealed we are dealing with nothing more than a house of lies that are covered with cream sauce and expensive eggs! Who needs to be buying eggs from chickens that you’re on a first name basis with when you could be buying more mortars and pestles for your collection?

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“This Piglet is just one big emotional roller coaster. (You guessed it. I love a good emotional roller coaster.) Roll on!”
— Ronni L.

But the drama doesn’t end there, as evidenced by the—at the time that I wrote this—118 COMMENTS left by irate Piglet fans, including everyone's favorite commenter Diana Henry herself. I warned you people in last week's recap that we authors are all lurking around watching you, absorbing your insults and crying into our coffee.

You hate the judgment. You hate Asha Gomez for pulling an upset. You hate Diana Henry for being an upper-middle class snit. Then the woman herself shows up and you love Diana Henry! Then you hate the people who love Diana Henry. But what we all have to remember is that we’re a family here, and though we have our differences we all have one big same, and that is the fact that we all hate Silvia Killingsworth for momentarily killing the worth of our darling Diana Henry.

Victuals vs. Dorie’s Cookies

Now we come to my pick to take it all, Ronni Lundy’s Victuals. If I had been a Piglet judge you would be treated to 1,500 words on how perfect it is, but I’m not, and because I’m not it lost. That diabolical Dorie Greenspan manages to win yet again, and even worse, she read my recap last week where I called her out. Not only does she fully admit to being a Bond villain, but now she’s sent her henchmen to take out Ronni Lundy because she knows I had money on this. Now Ina Garten is parked outside my house in a minivan, waiting to cut off my thumbs.

Samarkand vs. Taste of Persia

This review comes from the CEO of one of my favorite sites, Atlas Obscura. There’s some stuff about books, then we get to the good part where some ancient dude cements his enemies into a wall while they’re still alive, then builds towers out of the skulls of 100,000 people he’s brutally murdered. At the end he imposes very heavy taxes on goods sold in Tehran, and then something else about a cookbook.

I’ve been telling the Food52 editors that we needed to incorporate more murder for years. Glad to see they’re finally taking my suggestions. Samarkand wins. Let’s see who’s up next. Why, it’s none other than Freddie Prinze Jr.!

Taste & Technique vs. Fat Rice

You may remember Freddie Prinze Jr. as the guy from “She’s All That” who thought a girl was a heinous beast because she wore glasses. When he’s not on set, he’s cooking dinner for his two children and beautiful wife, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Prinze approaches this review as if it were a boxing match—a step down from skull pyramids, which disappoints me.

I wade into the comments praying for gore, but it’s nothing but a lot of “this is great!” and “Oh wow, Diana Henry is commenting again isn’t she just the greatest?”

Next up: My Two Souths takes on Dorie’s Cookies, Taste & Technique takes on Samarkand, and Diana Henry takes on everyone in the comments like John McClane. Let’s hear your predictions for next week down below!


The Piglet—inspired by The Morning News' Tournament of Books—is where the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year face off in a NCAA-style bracketed tournament. Watch the action and weigh in on the results!


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mary Catherine Tee
    Mary Catherine Tee
  • petalpusher
  • Ronni Lundy
    Ronni Lundy
  • Allison Robicelli
    Allison Robicelli
  • Cel Wise
    Cel Wise
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated food writer, a Publisher's Weekly-starred author, and lots of other fun things. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she currently lives with her two sons and four cats in Baltimore, Maryland.


Mary C. March 13, 2017
I had my cash-money on Victuals, too! I don't know anything anymore. Except that 1) Allison, you are hilarious and I wish you commentated everything, and 2) Ronnie, you are an incredible food anthropologist and writer. Victuals has quickly become one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. Thank you both!
Ronni L. March 15, 2017
Thank you! This is the one contest in which losing is totally rewarding. I just want to come hang out with all of you.
petalpusher March 12, 2017
I'm with Ina.
Ronni L. March 11, 2017
This recap almost makes me not sorry that I lost, except I let down my biggest fan, Allison, when I did, so now I'm sorry twice. This Piglet is just one big emotional roller coaster. (You guessed it. I love a good emotional roller coaster.) Roll on!
Ronni L. March 11, 2017
P.S. You don't need 1,500 words. You said, "Perfect." That's just... perfect.
Allison R. March 11, 2017
If it makes you feel better, my book was also kicked out of the Piglet in the quarterfinals back in 2014. What will not make you feel better: THE REJECTION NEVER STOPS HURTING.
Ronni L. March 12, 2017
But, you get a sort of merciful therapy in recapping three years later. Will the Piglet Peeps let me do that in 2020? If they would, I might not have to ever write another book to be rejected!
Susan S. March 14, 2017
I just read Victuals and loved it! Everyone should take a look. Can't wait to cook something. Thanks so much for writing it.
Ronni L. March 15, 2017
And thank you!
Allison R. March 11, 2017
I want it on record that in the original copy, I did NOT refer to Sarah Michelle Gellar as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I referred to her as "Sydney from Swan's Crossing". For some reason she keeps omitting that from her bio, and I was SMG to know that there are some of us out there who haven't forgotten, and still want to know what happened to Garrett and Mila!
Cel W. March 11, 2017
These recaps crack me up every weekend!! I love them... Allison is awesome.
Pam H. March 11, 2017
Allison, can I follow you around for a day? Your two recaps have been delightful, and I promise to laugh at everything you utter!
Allison R. March 11, 2017
I fart A LOT. Just a heads up.
Ronni L. March 15, 2017
All the best people do.