The first three books from Anthony Bourdain's new Ecco line have been announced, and as promised, they're not all about food. Just mostly about food: First, a book from Los Angeles' food truck king Roy Choi called Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef, a "memoir-cum-cookbook [that] explores the street food of the city of Los Angeles." It will be Choi's first book.
Next up, Prophets of Smoked Meat by Texas barbecue blogger Daniel Vaughn, "a passionate full-color tour through and definitive guide to the best of classic Texas barbeque, featuring recipes for all the smokehouse classics and sides." The last one, just to shake things up a bit, is kickboxing champion Mark Miller's memoir, Fight Shark.
An impressive list, or, as some might tweet, "Kogi BBQ, smoked meat, and a kickboxing memoir? Thus continues the dudeification of cooking. #bloodknivesfireanddicks" All three come out in 2013; here's a press release:
ECCO’S ANTHONY BOURDAIN LINE OF BOOKS ANNOUNCES FIRST THREE TITLES
New York, NY (February 22, 2012) – Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has acquired the first three titles to be published under the recently announced Anthony Bourdain line of books. All three are scheduled for publication in 2013. Bourdain says, "This will be a line of books for people with strong voices who are GOOD at something – who speak with authority. Discern nothing from this initial list – other than a general affection for people who cook food and like food. The ability to kick people in the head is just as compelling to us – as long as that's coupled with an ability to vividly describe the experience. We are just as intent on crossing genres as we are enthusiastic about our first three authors. It only gets weirder from here."
The first is Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun with an L.A. Chef by Roy Choi, the co-founder of the Kogi BBQ food trucks in Los Angeles and the chef at Chego!, A-Frame, and Sunny Spot. This memoir-cum-cookbook explores the street food of the city of Los Angeles, where Choi discovered the flavors of the true godfathers and godmothers of the food truck movement, and illustrates why only Los Angeles could have raised a boy like Roy, and why only a boy like Roy can show you what Southern California regional cooking looks, smells and tastes like. Choi says, “Three years ago I found myself on a street corner exchanging my life for a new one. Now I find myself writing a story about the city that exchanged my chips and took me in. This book shows you how I see things. This is a book that searches the appetite of a city that grew right before my eyes and shows you how I cook. And how a city constantly pushed me against the current to find my flavor.” And according to Bourdain, “From the beginning, Roy Choi was exactly who we wanted. A really interesting guy doing interesting things who has interesting things to say in a unique and compelling voice. He's an innovator, a pioneer, and he offers a unique perspective on food and the world that you won't find anywhere else."
The second is Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meat, a passionate full-color tour through and definitive guide to the best of classic Texas barbeque, featuring recipes for all the smokehouse classics and sides, as well as remarkable insight into the people and techniques behind this truly American food. Vaughn, who runs the acclaimed website “Full Custom Gospel BBQ” and who has eaten at over 450 of the most notable BBQ joints in Texas, says, "Tony Bourdain and I are long lost brothers in meat. To have his support in writing a book about Texas Barbecue really just feels like an overdue family reunion.” Bourdain hails Daniel Vaughn as “the Yoda of Barbecue, a man of impeccable smoked meat credentials, known most notoriously as the guy upon whose tireless quest for slow-cooked meat-related wisdom mainstream media shamelessly piggybacks. With this book, we hope, he shall finally get his due as the undisputed, argument ending source of all knowledge."
Kickboxing champion Mark Miller’s memoir, Fight Shark, is the third title. Miller’s inspirational story will recount his battles – personal and professional, from family tragedy to struggles with addiction – as the only fighter to ever return to competition after undergoing open heart surgery. Miller says, “As a fighter, there have always been people on the other side of the fire to help me through. Now Anthony Bourdain, Daniel Halpern, and Ecco are helping me give a voice to my story.” And Bourdain adds, "For a guy whose profession is hurting people, Mark 'FightShark' Miller is an anomaly: superb at both the Brutal yet beautiful martial art of Muay Thai, and the more peaceful craft of writing. He has a voice, a unique point of view and an incredible and inspiring story to tell."
Ecco publishes a wide range of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and cookbooks. Its authors include Russell Banks, Mario Batali, Charles Bukowski, Leonard Cohen, Richard Ford, Robert Hass, Werner Herzog, Czeslaw Milosz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ron Rash, Tom Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Simon Schama, Patti Smith, Scott Spencer, Amy Tan, James Tate, Steven Tyler, Gloria Vanderbilt, and David Wroblewski. Ecco authors have been the recipient of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among others. Founded in 1971, Ecco marked its 40th anniversary this past Fall.