Allow me to steal the book spotlight from Gustavo (whose book on the history of Mexican food in the United States, Taco USA, comes out in April) for a moment.
For the last few months, I've been copyediting--stop laughing!--Nathan Lyon's first cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh. Lyon is the host of "Growing a Greener World" and "A Lyon in the Kitchen" and was the runner-up to Guy Fieri on "The Next Food Network Star" in 2006.
I met Nathan a year or two ago at a dinner in Hollywood arranged by mutual friend Bobby Bognar (of "Food Tech" and The Piper Downs fame); we got to talking about farmers markets and all of a sudden hours had passed and we were starting to get The Look from the restaurant owners.
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He approached me when it was time to publish his cookbook; he ran the publication all himself, with help from Kickstarter.
I said yes, of course. Nathan's great at simplifying cooking tasks that seem complex, whether it's homemade barbecue sauce or chocolate soufflés, and uses whole ingredients--things that are identifiable in their natural state, meaning no high-fructose corn syrup or chemical mixes in any of the recipes. It's a huge book--350 pages divided into five seasons (yes, Virginia, chocolate is its own season). Nathan's an incurable optimist, and believes that everybody can make great food if they try. I challenge you to prove him right.
Copies are available from chefnathanlyon.com; he'll be at the Hollywood farmers market the next couple of weeks signing copies (Come down here to OC, Nathan! We have farmers markets too!) if you've always wanted a signed copy.