The year is finally at an end, and I can definitively state we had a great holiday season, and a strong best-seller. The mad rush for copies of  Samin Nosrat's  Salt Fat Acid Heat  was beyond what any publisher or bookseller could have imagined, and indeed, both Simon & Schuster and Amazon ran out of copies by mid-December. I was getting online orders from around the world every few minutes, until I, too, ran out around December 20th.  Samin graciously came in and signed every copy we received , and as customers spotted her, lines would spontaneously form for personalized copies - it's quite a thing to watch a friend become famous before your eyes. If you haven't seen her  Netflix show  of the same title, be sure to watch it so you can become a fan, too.

Many other favorite cookbooks found a place under Christmas trees and holiday tables this December, including a number of "Best of 2018" picks I spoke about on  KCRW's Good Food with Evan Kleiman . I get surprisingly nervous to be interviewed by Evan, as if I'm suddenly back in high school during an oral exam. But then I remember I actually know what I'm talking about (as opposed to when I was in high school and full of b.s.), and end up with almost too much to say. It was satisfying to tout some books that came out earlier in the year and didn't get the focused attention that fall cookbooks always receive:  Bill Kim's  Korean BBQ , Jessica Battilana's  Repertoire  and Maggie Hoffman's  The One Bottle Cocktail   are three I loved from this spring.

One of my favorite parts of December was cataloging some beautiful  vintage Chez Panisse menus that I purchased from longtime Chez Panisse friend  Fritz Streiff . There are still dozens to comb through, but I've begun posting them  on my website , and have priced them in a way that pretty much anyone can afford, because I want everyone to have one (a very Chez Panisse philosophy). They stretch back to the  1970's , and go through the 2000's, including the eras of design and printing by  Wesley B. Tanner  as well as  Patricia Curtan , many using letterpress on fine paper to achieve works of art.

After a small break ( we will be closed Jan. 6-10 ), we will slowly climb back into  our events , and have a half dozen to present you in January. Our first one will be with  Carla Hall on Jan. 12 ; if you've never seen her in person, don't miss this, because she is wonderful to be around, and her energy is infectious. As always, all our events are free; the price on the website just reflects the price of the book should you want to purchase a signed copy to be shipped to you,

Celia Sack
Omnivore Books on Food
Samin Nosrat signing books
One of an archive of Chez Panisse menus
Customers deserve personal attention
Upcoming Events at Omnivore Books
Sat. Jan. 12 • Carla Hall • Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration 3:00-4:00 PM • FREE
In Carla Hall’s Soul Food, the beloved chef and television celebrity takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine and traces soul food’s history from Africa and the Caribbean to the American South. Carla shows us that soul food is more than barbecue and mac and cheese.

Wed. Jan. 16 • Jordan Michelman & Zachary Carlsen • The New Rules of Coffee • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE.
This introduction to all things coffee written by the founders and editors of Sprudge, the premier website for coffee content, features a series of digestible rules accompanied by whimsical illustrations. Divided into three sections (At Home, At the Cafe, and Around the World), The New Rules of Coffee covers just about everything you want to know about the subject.

Thurs. Jan. 17 • Ellen King • Heritage Baking: Recipes for Rustic Breads and Pastries Baked with Artisanal Flour from Hewn Bakery • 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE.
Here is a go-to resource for bakers of all skill levels who love new information and techniques that lead to better loaves and more flavor. These 45 foolproof recipes for delicious, nutritious, good-for-the-gut breads and pastries star a wide range of artisanal flours that are now readily available to home bakers. These flours add layers of flavor and texture, and combined with a natural starter and long fermentation, make these baked goods enjoyable even by those who have difficulty with gluten.

Sat. Jan. 19. • Fiona Bird •
The Forager's Kitchen and The Seaweed Kitchen • 3:00-4:00 p.m. FREE.
Fiona divides her time between the stunning Angus Glens where she forages in woods and heathland and the Outer Hebridean Isle of South Uist, where her husband is the Island doctor. She blogs about wild stuff for the UK Huffington Post and cooks with wild edibles. Hebridean suppers usually include seaweed.

Sat. Jan. 26. • Catherine Fallis • Ten Grapes to Know: The Ten and Done Wine Guide • 3:00-4:00 p.m. FREE.
It’s easy (or easier) to become a wine expert when you narrow the field down to ten grapes. For the wine drinker who loves Pinot Noir but doesn’t know what to try next, wants a French Chardonnay but isn’t sure what to look for on the bottle, or needs a little support before they open the wine menu at lunch with a client, Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis’s authoritative but inviting introduction to wine is an indispensable guide.

Sun. Jan. 27. • Diana Zheng • Jia! The Food of Swatow and the Teochew Diaspora • 3:00-4:00 p.m. FREE.
Author Diana Zheng wrote her cookbook to bring Teoswa flavors into American kitchens via (mostly) easy recipes and (sometimes very) detailed explanations of core ingredients and the Teoswa philosophy of cooking and eating. She visited China & Southeast Asia to learn about this unique cuisine and worked hard at adapting, simplifying, and testing recipes to work even without access to a Teoswa wet market. The resulting work is magnificent.