The Piglet

The #1 Thing Emeril Lagasse Looks for in a Cookbook

The Piglet kicks off with the chef's sage advice.

March  5, 2019

Bam! The Piglet is back! And who better to kick off our 10-year anniversary tournament than the chef who brought us into his (studio) kitchen, week after week; who taught us to season with gusto; who showed us how to have a lot of fun while we cook: the one and only Emeril Lagasse.

Emeril makes his way through Bottom of the Pot and The Flavor Matrix, books that are as alike as, in his words, "chardonnay and pinot noir." He learns a lot from each, and in turn dispenses his own wisdom for newbie cooks.

Red/white wine preferences aside, which book will Emeril advance?

Read the full judgment here.

Got questions? We have answers.
What is the Piglet?
Which books are in the running?
How do I catch up on judgments?
Is there a handy bracket for me to follow along with?


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.

  • Amelia
  • Brinda Ayer
    Brinda Ayer
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Amelia March 5, 2019
So guys this is my first year joining the piglet how does it work do we review the cookbooks ourselves and submit our comments ?
Brinda A. March 6, 2019
Hi Amelia—welcome to this year's Piglet! Each day for the rest of March, we'll post a review of two cookbooks, written by an illustrious judge (for example, yesterday's was written by Emeril, and today's is written by Umber Ahmad—lots more to come). To follow along, you can read the reviews and comment on them; cook through the books; and keep track of the winning books using our handy dandy bracket ( Hope you enjoy!!