Diverse Cookbooks Create Inclusive Communities

Founded in 2012, Salem-based Page Street Publishing Company publishes nearly one hundred and fifty original titles a year and is distributed nationally by Macmillan. Publisher William Kiester launched Page Street Publishing after twenty years at Murdoch Books, Quarto Books, Random House, and Fair Winds Press.

Page Street Publishing connects libraries with culinary rising stars

Founded in 2012, Salem-based Page Street Publishing Company publishes nearly one hundred and fifty original titles a year and is distributed nationally by Macmillan. Publisher William Kiester launched Page Street Publishing after twenty years at Murdoch Books, Quarto Books, Random House, and Fair Winds Press. Page Street Publishing specializes in cookbooks and adult crafts books plus young adult and children’s picture books.

“The strength of our authors and their content is the beating heart of the company,” notes Kiester. “We have always been interested in expanding the diversity on staff and in our author base, but we now have an even more determined call to action. Our success in this endeavor will only make Page Street stronger.”

To elevate and celebrate diverse cookbook authors, Page Street Publishing will soon release three new titles.

Born in Chengdu, China, chef and author Vivian Aronson collected the authentic recipes she grew up with for The Asian Market Cookbook, December 2021, ISBN 978-1645674481. Aronson learned to cook from family members who operate several restaurants in China. She breaks down staple ingredients in Asian cuisine while providing recipes that are ideal for home cooks. If cooks want to know the difference between sesame paste and miso paste, or between dried noodles and hand-made noodles, this book is ideal for them.

Featured on Master Chef and The Drew Barrymore Show, Aronson currently has 2.3 million TikTok followers. “We’re awed by the communities that chefs are building through social media,” says Charlotte Lyman, director of marketing and public relations. “While bringing personalities from the screen to the page, we want to stay true to them at all points in the process. People want to know why each recipe is important and personal to Vivian.”

Readers can discover the wholesome beauty of soul food in Fix Me a Plate, by Scotty Scott, January 2022, ISBN 978-1645674504. Originally from Detroit, but with family roots in Savannah, Georgia, Scott is a personal chef and creator of the blog Cook, Drank, Eat. Every recipe in this new book comes with a family anecdote that highlights its significance to Scott’s life. 

Scott introduces home cooks everywhere to breakfast dishes like buttermilk drop biscuits with sausage cream gravy or the uniquely delicious catfish and grits. With dinner options like southern-fried Cornish hens and salmon croquettes, Scott reimagines soul food for contemporary palettes. “Scotty pays homage to his family and roots in the South,” says Lyman. “It’s a new take on classic soul food recipes. I already have a bunch of recipes earmarked—the chicken and garlic butter dumplings look fabulous.”

101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die, by Jet Tila, January 2022, ISBN 978-1645673668, showcases a selection of stunning and delicious dishes from Tila’s Thai heritage. As co-host of Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen, Tila reaches fans with his signature style of achieving impeccable flavor with simple techniques. In this book, Tila teaches readers the ins and outs of recreating the most popular Thai dishes successfully at home.

From delectable sides all the way to desserts―with stops along the way to explore tantalizing noodles, seafood, chicken, and more―Tila’s new book covers the full gamut of Southeast Asian staples. Home cooks can experience the rich culinary landscape of Thai cuisine with dishes like new Thai BBQ chicken, roast duck red curry, glass noodle pork soup, and spicy calamari with roasted chili paste.

"Cooking is about community and togetherness," says Lyman. "We want to help librarians build those communities, and connect with new demographics, by bringing our cookbook authors to their patrons in a new way. We’ve been doing more virtual events with libraries this year. The feedback they’ve been getting from their patrons has been amazing.”

Page Street Publishing has already organized virtual cooking events in partnership with the Avon Free Public Library in Connecticut and Ohio’s Hudson Library and Historical Society. Participants receive a list of ingredients prior to the event. Then, they cook together while interacting with the chef in real time. These live online library events also provide community connection for people who may not be comfortable or able to attend in person.

“Before the pandemic, we weren’t sure how to create cookbook events,” recalls Lyman. “A typical local library would not be able to host a cooking demonstration. Now we can bridge that divide. The new virtual landscape has been a silver lining coming out of a difficult time. I hope librarians will see this and get in touch.”

 

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