Sometimes the impromptu things end being the best, right? The last-minute let’s-go-out-for-dinner plans with friends who also happen to be available? That’s the spirit behind next weekend’s Gourmet Game Night gathering on Orcas Island at Allium restaurant in Eastsound. Sunday night October 16 during happy hour (5:30 to 6:30), I’ll be hanging out in the bar at Allium ready to play games, share tips for game night planning, talk about some favorite game night snacks and drinks. And of course I’ll have books on hand to sign and sell for anyone interested. Allium’s chef/owner Lisa Nakamura will be offering a couple of cocktails and a couple of snacks from the book as happy hour specials that night. Hope to see some of you there! Orcas may be a bit of a trek to get to, but it’s one of my favorite spots on earth. I, for one, can’t wait!
I’m so thrilled that Crate & Barrel is carrying Gourmet Game Night! Not only carrying the book, but as I understand things the book is due to be part of a special display during the fall months building up to the holidays. Woo-hoo! What a great match for the book. Crate & Barrel does, after all, feature a phenomenal array of dishes, glassware, small plates, picks and such that make game night entertaining a breeze.
I’ll be doing a couple signings in two stores near me, October 23 from noon to 4:00 pm at the Seattle location and October 30 from noon to 4:00 pm at the Bellevue location. And hoping I might add another signing or two to the calendar with other travels this fall. Check out my events page for information on these and other Gourmet Game Night events in the coming months.
Just think: an ideal holiday gift for countless people on your list! A fun little cookbook with lots of tasty recipes and great ideas for effortlessly hosting a fun game night dinner party. And while you’re at it, pick up a set of stemless wine glasses, appetizer spoons, small plates, or fun picks. Add one of your favorite games and shazam! You’ve got a really fun holiday gift that will be one of those that keeps on giving–in the form of delicious game night fun–again and again.
Never too early to start stocking up on those holiday gifts, after all. Despite that I, myself, still tend to wait until the calendar page turns to December. That’s just my style. Driven by deadlines!
A couple of weeks ago I was in Portland for the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference, an event that’s a highlight of my year and has been for nearly two decades. I joined nearly 60 of my author-colleages at a public book signing event on the Friday afternoon of the conference, we each had our 4 or 5 feet of table space to do with what we wanted to showcase the book we were signing. Many brought food samples, some had props relating to their topic. A couple were even serving cocktails! By my tablemate to the right (Kara Newman, author of Spice & Ice) said she was sure I was having more fun than any of the authors there that day (and this coming from one of those who was shaking up a cocktail, hers with tequila, blood orange juice and jalapeno! YUMMMM).
I’d brought along my Slamwichcards to just show people one fun kid-oriented game with a foodie theme. And I had a bag of Bananagramstiles, working on an ever-expanding freestyle crossword of food-related terms. I was particularly enchanted when beloved writer and writing coach Crescent Dragonwagon spent a few minutes at my table lost in the joyful challenge of filling out the wordscape with a number of other food-related words, from “horehound” (an old-school herb traditionally used to make a hard sugar candy, or used in cough drops) to “love” (which, she pointed out, is often at the core of why we cook). That was a wonderful moment! Words and games bringing folks together. This example here is from a book signing I did this past weekend at Metropolitan Markets. Can tell you how many folks too one look at what I was doing and said “I love Bananagrams!!”
All that to lead into the fact that I’ll be having yet more fun on the road with Gourmet Game Night on May 13. The folks at Tom Douglas headquarters are all avid game-players and have dreamed up a fun evening at Palace Kitchen. We’ll be playing dominoes, sampling a few recipes from the book(Green Pea and Mint Spread with Crispy Pancetta, Herb Marinated Shrimp, and Lamb and Olive Kebabs) and generally celebrating the release of the book in a fun and dynamic fashion.
Plus they’ll be stirring up one of the cocktails from the book too, yummy Orange Negronis, available at the bar that night. Come join in the fun!! Tickets are $10 to cover the snacks, and books will be available that night as well, all the info you need is here. Of course, I’ll be happy to sign those books that night too. It’s going to be a really fun evening.
Many thanks to the folks from Blue Highway Games who will be on hand to run the domino tournament and provide their general game-playing expertise. That shop at the top of Queen Anne was part of the inspiration behind the book. I figured that if a couple guys who used to be in the electronic gaming industry were turning their attention to retail of old-school board games, there had to be something to this trend of unwinding with friends and family around the table, not electronics required. Hope to see you next week!
In a few weeks I’ll be making a trip south to San Francisco, such a great city! I’m sad to say I don’t get there nearly as often as I’d like despite the quick hop it is down the coast. I’d love more opportunities to explore its nooks and crannies, new restaurants and great shops, cafes and museums–and just stroll through its many neighborhoods.
Alas, that’s not what the agenda looks like for this next trip, it’s a power-packed couple of days for a conference. But I’m thrilled to have time to be making my first-ever visit to the destination book shop for food lovers, Omnivore Books on Food. I have the good fortune to be a guest author there on Monday April 12, 5:30 to 6:30 pm, signing copies of Gourmet Game Night. They’re also due to have some foodie trival games on hand, so we can all test our culinary mettle for a little fun as well. It’s a free event, just show up! I’m a little humbled to see the other authors on the roster over the coming weeks: Lorna Sass, Alice Waters, Rose Levy Berenbaum. I’m so looking forward to spending time there myself. Hope to see some of you food-and-game lovers from the Bay Area!