musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Books, Books, and More…

I now have a new cookbook—surprise!  It’s called Seafood Simple by Eric Ripert. Eric is a French chef and co-owner of New York City’s Le Bernardin, a three star Michelin restaurant and James Beard award-winner, as well as being the author of six other cookbooks and star of his own TV series, Avec Eric.

We heard him interviewed “live” the other night at Madison’s Central Library.  The event was one of the introductory presentations of the Wisconsin Book Festival which begins in earnest next week.

It was standing room only, with about 500 people in attendance.  Because of a generous library donor, the first 220 attendees received an autographed copy of Seafood Simple.  I was one of the lucky ones! (The library staff did announce, however, that anyone who did not get a copy and wanted one, would receive one at a later date. Wow!)

Eric was delightful to listen to.  He said his intention in writing the book was “to demystify how to cook fish successfully and not be intimidated by the process.”  He talked about the importance of—and how to tell—the freshness of fish, the importance of sharp knives in the preparation, some of the nine techniques for preparing fish (such as poaching, baking grilling, preserving), and some of the 85 recipes included in the book.  

He urged anyone who was a little fish shy to “just try” and to keep any preparations and cooking simple so that the cook, when entertaining, could still have fun with the guests.

When asked if he was going to try a Madison “Fish Fry,” he said yes, but, of course.  

I like the book’s straightforward, “simple” style of recipes and photographs and I look forward to “just try” some of the recipes.


Other Book+ Discoveries:

There’s a bookstore called Leopold’s in Madison that has some unique qualities.  It’s a bookstore,  bar, and  caffe.  It holds all kinds of musical jam sessions and performances, along with the traditional book signings.  But the most unique aspect of the bookstore is that books are arranged geographically.  And each geographic collection is accompanied by bottles of wine and bags of coffee beans from the region. The photo below shows the section on Central and South America, for example. Clever!


Madison in the Fall…










6 thoughts on “Books, Books, and More…”

  • I can’t help but think you could make Madison your home. So many things going on here, and you fit right in! No pressure, just thinking and wishing. 😍 Please note I did not say “should,” although tempted; no one likes to live with “shoulds.”

    • I’m just so glad we can experience this vibrant town when we can. We feel pretty lucky to have had the experience of living here for that year, thanks to you, and we hope for many more stays here, short and/or long❣️

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