Big announcement time for the thoughtful drivel blog…

The book project I’ve been working on for the past year is now published!

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It’s called Itamae: My Life in Front of the Cutting Board and it’s a unique blend of personal diary, cookbook, and photo essay. The author is a chef friend of mine named Avi Sternberg, and last January he asked me if I could help tell his story through photos. As the back cover tells it:

“After a life-altering motorcycle accident in Walla Walla Washington, a chance encounter with a dancing Japanese chef draws Avi Sternberg to the ultra-traditional training of a Japanese Kaiseki chef in Northern Japan. Swimming through the knife racks of Japan’s most prestigious cooking school and toughest restaurant kitchens for eight years, Avi faces cultural barriers, demanding mentors, and inner demons. Now living on the coast of Northern British Columbia, Avi holds true to the soul of his training while inventing new ways to serve up Japan’s traditional dishes to a North American clientele.” 

Itamae is a unique creature: 1 part travel writing, 2 parts personal diary, 1 part cookbook. When Avi approached me with the idea for Itamae, I was dumbstruck by my good luck. I would travel to Japan, guided by someone with an intimate knowledge of its culinary culture. We’d retrace a path of eight years’ worth of learning, insights, and achievements. I would illustrate this story through my eyes and camera lens.

If you’ve been following this blog then you have seen the teasers.  If not, check out a few samplers, like here, or here and here.  Now, after months of editing, design and planning, the book is finally published!  It looks great and Avi and I are very proud of it.  A few shots from last night’s book launch, where the book was given a warm welcome by a Lion Dance troupe:

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Photo by Arianne Loranger-Saindon

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I’d love for you all to check it out online and help promote it… you know, the usual stuff:

  • Contact me to find out more about the project
  • Buy yourself a copy ($20 + tax & shipping) – just e-mail me and I’ll arrange it!
  • Like it on Facebook and recommend it to friends.
  • Know of any great foodie / culture blogs that we can connect with?  Pass ’em on!

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