A Rabelais update
New things are flying at us fast and furious since we've opened. The shop is humming along now with new things arriving all the time. Initial frustrations with new book distributors have given way to regular reorders and new shipments. The press has generated solid interest in those outside the initial circle of highly motivated food professionals, and we're already getting to know our "regulars". We've been buying quite a bit: some older cookbooks here and there, a good number of boxes of quality recent items from someone in the middle of a move, and a solid mid-range library of wine books from New York.
On the trip to pick up the New York books, I visited my friend Dan and bought some terrific early titles, including a first edition of the seminal bread book, Le Parfait Boulanger, by Parmentier (1778). Parmentier's book is the first to reference the use of salt in the baking of bread, and also makes early notice of brewer's yeast.
We've added a few inscribed books recently as well, including books or pamphlets inscribed by Alexis Lichine, James Beard, Julia Child and Andre Simon.
Our bestseller continues to be Herve This' Molecular Gastronomy, a serious book which has given us a real sense of how serious our customers are. Another hot item has been Martin Picard's Au Pied du Cochon, perhaps the most aggressive assertion in cookbook form since Ferran Adria's El Bulli volumes.
Our first in-store event is coming up this weekend, an appearance by Nancy English, author of Chow Maine on the publication of the new, revised edition of this classic guide to food in Maine. Be there and meet her and get your new copy on Saturday, June 2nd, 1-3 pm.