A series shining the spotlight on cookbook reviews from some of our favorite blogs
Hiroko’s American Kitchen: Cooking with Japanese Flavors by Hiroko Shimbo (Andrews McMeel Publishing, October 2012)
Linda Avery, a James Beard award-winning former food editor, writes cookbook reviews for Pen & Fork.
Named the Best Food Blog in Phoenix in 2011 by the Phoenix New Times, Pen & Fork is a food blog about cooking and eating — at home and in restaurants and everywhere in between. Find recipes, cooking tips, cookbook reviews, and practical how-to cooking techniques plus articles on the latest food trends and other culinary finds. Gwen Ashley Walters, Editor & Publisher, is a professionally trained chef. An honors graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, she honed her cooking skills in commercial kitchens such as the renowned Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona, before trading her chef’s knife for a pen. The author of three award-winning cookbooks featuring renowned U.S. resorts, she has taught cooking classes across the country, and her recipes have been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines. She writes monthly restaurant critiques and other food and travel stories for PHOENIX Magazine and is a features writer for the quarterly publication Edible Phoenix. When Gwen isn’t writing about food, she is thinking about food, or eating food, or planning her next meal.
A good number of years ago, I was lucky enough to be accepted as a recipe tester for one of the pioneer food websites. The Executive Food Editor and co-winner of a James Beard Award for the site was Linda Avery — who also helped to organize the recipe testers. Her food and cookbook knowledge and her warmth and willingness to help were immensely appreciated by this food-site newbie. So I was later thrilled to hear, in 2010, that she was joining Pen & Fork as the blog’s cookbook reviewer. Because coincidentally, also a good number of years ago, I had met Pen & Fork‘s founder, Gwen Walters. At that time (in her pre-blog days) Gwen was speaking, as the author of several cookbooks, to a group to which I belonged. I waited afterward to buy an autographed copy of one of her cookbooks, and when I had the chance to talk with her, she was personable, encouraging, and inspiring. I remember thinking: she found a way to shape her life around what she wants to do — how cool is that?
Very. Pen & Fork is the evidence of Gwen’s focus on and dedication to cooking and eating.
Go — & read — & cook.