Sixteen cookbooks, seventeen food celebrity judges, eight brackets, four rounds of judging, one coveted Piglet prize. Winner takes all. The action is heating up over on Food 52's annual Tournament of Cookbooks. I, for one, am on the edge of my seat.The tournament includes many of our favorite cookbooks from the past year. Heidi Swanson's Supernatural Everyday is matched up against Andrea Reusing's Cooking in the Moment, while Ferran Adria's Family Meal is pitted against Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar, and so on. The beginning pairings seem to share some base similarity, like single-food-focused cookbooks or cookbooks from restaurants, but they also show how incredibly unique each cookbook really is. I don't envy the judges in their decision-making.
And oh, the judges! Nigella Lawson, Dorie Greenspan, and Alice Waters, to name a few. What I love here is that we get not only the judge's final decision, but the play-by-play of how they came to it. The judges actually make a handful of recipes from each book, comment on the success or failure of those recipes, and then thoroughly explain their thoughts on the overall cookbook. It's fascinating.
The first bracket of judging is just wrapping up, with some judging by Hunter Lewis and Ina Garten yet to come. Definitely head over to Food52 and catch up on the action: