Monday, May 9, 2011

Kitchen Arts and Letters Book Sale!

The day before the Duckathlon I spend my early afternoon loitering around in Kitchen Arts & Letters, New York’s resident cookbook store. I told you about this place last May after my first visit, but I thought it deserved a post all to itself. Just a few days after reading about a serious weekend-long book sale at Rabelais Books in Portland, ME I got a newsletter in my inbox saying KA&L would be having their own! Rejoice!
The sale was confined to a table in the back of the (not large) store. Because the space given for the sale was small, books were being brought out from storage in shifts, hence the loitering. Every cover had a colored sticker in the upper left hand corner and signs with prices were hanging above the table. Prices ranged from $1 to $10.
I got there an hour after the sale began and saw some good ones had already been scooped up by shoppers; most notably A Return to Cooking by Eric Ripert and Michael Ruhlman. The narrow space took a bit of maneuvering to make sure you could look through what was already out but most importantly see what was coming out new. I admit I was watching the store employees like a hawk waiting to see when they went in the back and positioning myself as close as possible to where the newbies were being placed.
The system worked well and
people were very respectful of each other, the books, and the store. Only one patron obnoxiously shouted “Oo-oo-oo gimmie gimmie” with a grabbing hand reaching across other shoppers when I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita came out (at $5). I sort of doubt she has ever even had a macaron and of course I would have rather had a shot at it to give to you in a giveaway, but alas it was not meant to be.

The sale was definitely worth the time, I hesitated to even leave when I did, but I couldn’t stay there all day, right? I’m grateful to KA&L for clearing their stock and I am beyond glad I signed up for their newsletter and Facebook page. Had this event come and gone without my having knowledge of it I may have weeped for a loss of inexpensive culinary literature!

So now the good stuff: The Loot!

Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing
Cuisinier Gascon (in English) by Pascal Aussignac
Les 100 Recettes des Bistrots Parisiens
The Seven Deadly Sins of Chocolate
French Family Cooking (which had Celia Sack’s approval!)
Les Incontournables (unmissables) des Grands Chefs
The Encyclopedia of Food by Jean Conil

While I was waiting around for new books to come out, I also checked out some of the Modernist Cuisine set. I took a picture with a Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer to show the scale-- its huge! The pictures of it that I've seen haven't made its behemoth size apparent. I was shocked to see just how big each volume is and can only imagine what it would be like trying to lift them all together. 

Kitchen Arts & Letters
1435 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10128
(212) 876-5550

From their site: 
"You can call, fax, or email us and we'll process your order swiftly.  If your books are in stock, they'll usually leave the same day. We'll use the least expensive trackable shipping method for your location, usually UPS or the US Postal Service."


Hali Bey said...

i want that book if only for the photos...

The Culinary Librarian said...

That would be one expensive photo album. :) Maybe you can put it on your birthday/Christmas wish list!