All About Apples

September 13, 2004

   
 


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Monday, September 13, 2004, 12:01 AM

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If you read this site regularly, you know that we love nothing better than enjoying a wonderful meal filled with special dishes, prepared by someone who is focused on doing their best, all the time every time. Certainly that's the right way to describe every meal we've had at Lampreia, in Seattle - one of the best restaurants in the country. That's why we were so happy to show the chef, Scott Carsberg, some of the pictures we'd taken on a previous visit. We loved his food, and we wanted to show him how good the pictures came out. After looking at the photos he suggested we make a cookbook together.

We laughed. But we thought about it. We thought about it for awhile, until we figured out that maybe we really could make a cookbook together. But what would make a cookbook special? There are thousands of cookbooks on the market. How could we stand out? We started thinking about the problems with cookbooks today:

  • Not enough story. I don't just want the recipes. I want the story behind the recipes.

  • Not enough pictures. I don't buy cookbooks without color pictures - lots of them.

  • Not enough detail. Be specific. Don't gloss over key points. Show me every single step.

When we started applying the solutions to these problems - a biography of the chef, tons of beautiful photos, and incredible detail, we realized that we could really get it right if we focused on a small number of recipes at once - one tasting menu to be exact. Why not do a cookbook that was focused on one tasting menu, described and documented in exacting and beautiful detail. One set of dishes, meant to be eaten in sequence. And that's exactly what we did - 100 pages, 291 pictures, 8 recipes, 1 tasting menu, 1 chef. Think of this book as the "small plate" of cookbooks. Do a small number of things, and do them well. This cookbook embodies that philosophy. Make a small number of dishes, and make them well - very well.

Of course, there are other problems that we had to overcome - printing for one. We don't have a warehouse to store cookbooks, a distribution network, fulfillment agency, sales staff, etc. But we wanted to make the cookbook available to as many people as possible. The answer? The internet of course. We can afford to charge only $14.95 for the book as it's an electronic cookbook. Distributed in Adobe's Acrobat (.pdf) format. No warehouse, no inventory, no shipping. An internet connection and a PC is all you need. And there's even a free sample chapter that includes one of the recipes from the cookbook so you can get a taste of the book before you buy.

So after months of work, we're proud to offer our first cookbook. Scott Carsberg was the perfect partner. His apple-themed menu is beautiful to look at, educational to read, and delicious to eat. Trust us. We've eaten quite a bit. Just in time for the Apple Season from Washington State, it's All About Apples from Scott Carsberg of Lampreia and tastingmenu.publishing. Enjoy!


 

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