Local author and chef to be featured in upcoming Best of the Best cookbook

SHELBURNE The accolades for Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont are piling up. The cookbook, published in Fall 2007, has been selected for inclusion in Food & Wine magazines 11th annual Best of the Best cookbook. More than 150 books were considered for this years edition of Best of the Best, but only the best recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year made the final cut. The book, co-authored by Melissa Pasanen and Rick Gencarelli, will offer four previously published recipes and one brand new, never-before-seen recipe that Pasanen and Gencarelli developed exclusively for Food & Wine. Of course we are honored and excited, said Pasanen. And we are just so pleased to receive this kind of validation and to know that the publicity will further the celebration of local and sustainably grown food. According to Pasanen, she spoke with an editor from Food & Wine at last summers American Cheese Society annual conference. She learned that the magazines test kitchen loved the book and that it might end up on their top 25 list. At the time, I was hopping up and down with disbelief and excitement, she said. I knew that we had done everything we could to develop great recipes but to have the test kitchen at Food & Wine say we had delivered on that was huge. Originally, Pasanen and Gencarelli figured the editor had meant the book would appear in an article at the end of the year. When no article appeared, the duo assumed that the editorial board had changed their plans. But after returning from a promotional event in Portland, Maine, they found that they had each received emails congratulating them on their success. The aforementioned email was sent on a Thursday, but Pasanen and Gencarelli did not see the email until Friday. the editors asked the pair to send several brand new recipes for review by the following Tuesday. Luckily, they each had free time on Monday. We both brainstormed by ourselves and came together to cook on Monday, said Pasanen. Just like in the cookbook, some recipes start more with one of us than the other. But the one they picked for the magazine was really a joint creative effort. According to Pasanen, the Shelburne Farms cookbook neglected many of the summer vegetables that grow in Vermont, as they did not fit neatly into the books chapter structure. So Rick suggested green beans, then the two thought to add tarragon, and to finish their summery salad off, they added bacon -- one of Gencarellis favorite ingredients. Then we sent them in and didn't hear anything for almost two weeks, added Pasanen. So I figured they hated our ideas and were rethinking whether they should even have made us one of their bests in the first place. But then they emailed and said they loved the green bean recipe and we were all set. Cooking with Shelburne Farms is already in its second printing despite being published less than six months ago. The other recipes -- the four previously published ones -- are Mushroom and Root Vegetable Pot Pie, Grilled Steak with Cumin-Coriander Mushrooms, Maple-Glazed Ribs, and Cider-Glazed Squash and Arugula Salad. Back in December, the New York Times featured the book on its list of 25 noteworthy cookbooks for 2007. Other notable chefs on that list included Deborah Madison, Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, Anne Willan, Molly Katzen, Jonathan Waxman and the infamous Martha Stewart. The co-authors will be featured on Vermont Public Televisions VPT Cooks! and they will also host the Maple Community Potluck Supper at Shelburne Farms on Sunday, March 9. They will also host a demo and book signing at Barnes and Noble on Wednesday, March 19. Copies of the book are available at most local bookstores and can also be purchased online at www.amazon.com . For more information about Cooking with Shelburne Farms, visit www.shelburnefarms.org .

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