The nomination process was interesting, as usual, with many strong contenders, and a late nominee gaining momentum in the final days. I think we've ended up with two fantastic books to choose from. If you wish to peruse the full list of nominees, the nomination thread is here:
The book with the most nominations was PLEASE TO THE TABLE: THE RUSSIAN COOKBOOK, by Anya Von Bremsen. From our friends at Amazon:
"From the robust foods of the Baltic states to the delicately perfumed pilafs of Azerbaijan, from borscht and beef stroganoff to the grains and yogurts of Georgia, Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman take Westerners on a spectacular tour of the many and varied cuisines of the fifteen former Soviet republics.
Anya von Bremzen, a native Muscovite, grew up on regional cooking and has traveled extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, visiting professional chefs, touring markets, and sampling and gathering dishes. Covering eleven time zones and hundreds of recipes, Please to the Table brings to light the astounding culinary diversity of this corner of the world-and the similarities between the cuisines, too."
And the dark-horse candidate, coming from behind to almost catch the forerunner, is POLPO: A VENETIAN COOKBOOK (OF SORTS), by Russell Norman, with recipes from the London restaurant of the same name. Once again from Amazon:
"Tucked away in London's edgy Soho district, Polpo is one of the most irrepressibly buzzing restaurants in town. Critics and food aficionados have been flocking to this understated bacaro where Russell Norman serves up small dishes-think tapas-from the back streets of Venice. A far cry from the tourist-trap eateries of the famous floating city, this kind of cooking is unfussy, innovative, and exuberantly delicious. The 120 recipes in this book range from salads and snacks to small main courses, drinks, and desserts, including asparagus with Parmesan and anchovy butter; warm duck salad with beets and walnuts; crispy baby pizzas with zucchini, mint and chilli; scallops with lemon and peppermint; soft-shell crab in Parmesan batter with fennel; fizzy bellinis and glasses of bright orange spritz; panacotta with poached rhubarb; and warm autumn fruits with amaretto cream.
The recipes are accompanied by luminescent photography within a dazzling design, including a distinctive stripped-away spine to reveal colorful Japanese stitching--a feature that also allows the book to lie open flat on a chef's workstation. Polpo captures the unfrequented corners, bustling bacari, and sublime waterways of Venice as they've never been seen before."
To vote, click on the blue heart in the appropriate post below to "like" the post. You may only vote for one book. To change your vote, click again on the heart to "unlike".
Voting will end at 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, March 24. To convert to your own time zone, use this tool: