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A Note From Jamie: Celebrating Cookbooks

kosher cookbook collage

Here's a sneak peek at my letter from this month's issue of JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller.


I started writing my first cookbook QUICK & KOSHER Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing (Feldheim 2007), 10 years ago when the world of writing recipes and books in general, was a different place.

My goal was to do something totally different and never before seen in the kosher marketplace.  A cookbook/diary chronicling my life, including kitchen mishaps and successes infused with personal stories, personality and palate pleasing food with one single criteria for inclusion – that the recipes be fast!  It took me just under 3 years to see it in print.  It hit the stores on the exact same day I gave birth to my son and everyone joked that I had twins.  In truth, there is no better way to describe the experience of writing a book than the oft used phrase of “birthing a book”.  It’s one of the single most difficult professional endeavors I have taken upon myself.  The only thing more difficult was the next book and then the book after that.

steak guide

DON'T MISS: Our super-duper steak guide p.59 for succulent summer steaks and watch my Amazing Steaks video with my friend Naf Hanau from Grow and Behold.

It just doesn’t get easier.

The landscape is more crowded (some may say oversaturated) and consumers now demand not only a picture for each and every recipe (so extremely costly to produce unless you are your own photographer) but expect multiple step-by-step picts.  Personality and personal stories are now par for the course – which if done well, is really like writing a book within a book and trending recipes and ingredients fall in and out of favor (thanks to the plethora of recipe websites) before you can even print and distribute.  It’s hard to have a unique culinary point of view that people will pay for with the millions upon millions upon millions of blogs and digital databases dedicated to food.  Not to mention the future of the printed word medium in the form of books, newspapers and magazines and the places that sell them like Borders (no longer) and Barnes and Noble (last big chain standing).

The stakes are greater than ever and the proof is in the pudding.  The books that are now published have a lot to lose and less to gain and if they have made it to market past agents and publishers and press editors and TV bookers and the consumer sniff test (all of who now want fresher, healthier, simpler, seasonal, classical, reinvented, revised, rethought and really, genius recipes!) and into the pages of this here magazine then I promise you they are worthwhile reads.

Compiling a worthy list of new, up and coming kosher and kosher friendly books was an incredibly delectable experience as the talent pool is higher than ever, the pages laden with lip smacking goodness, and the recipes revolutionary and/or retooled favorites.

cookbook guide

DON'T MISS: "The Cookbook Issue" featuring a sneak peek of over 25 of the latest cookbooks plus featured recipes on page 19. 

We hope you enJOY our listing which begins on p19.  Compiling the best and brightest, freshest and newest cookbooks was hard, hard, hard work – although much easier than writing another book – but somebody had to eat their way through the pack for you.  (Chef hats off to Shifra for the heavy lifting, exceptional palate, and culinary prowess in selecting the list.)

Burger and Sausage Bar Spread

DON'T MISS: "The Grilling Issue" featuring a Burger and Sausage Bar, Top Chef favorite steak recipes & techniques & so much more!!

So happy summer, happy reading and most of all happy cooking!