A Cook N Scribble Evening with Molly O?Neill in Los Angeles
In a different life, years ago, I was a bookseller. From mall bookstores to independent shops I was a dedicated bookseller for years before I started doing graphic design, which later morphed into photography and writing. There?s a lot of romanticism in selling books, but don?t believe the hype. It?s mostly retail, shelving books and trying to keep up with whatever book was recently featured on whatever popular TV talk show is out there (during my bookselling days it was Oprah, now it?s probably Ellen). It was back in St. Louis, at the independent bookstore Left Bank Books where I discovered storyteller Molly O?Neill and her cookbook the New York Cookbook. It was a revelation to me, as one of the first cookbooks that I bought where I learned the stories and backgrounds of where the recipes came from. Previous to that discovery, cookbooks just seemed like a random collection of recipes, that came seemingly from nowhere, with no reference point to ground them. But the New York Cookbook, with the sidebars and interviews from chefs and home cooks, as well as history each recipe, gave weight to the making of food and to each person contributed a recipe. Suddenly, to me, food has history and that history was found in the kitchen.