Regina Schrambling takes a thorough look behind and in front of the scenes at Kitchen Arts & Letters on Eater National today. The renowned Upper East Side food book store, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has one of the most extensive cookbook collections in the country, with a total of around 13,000 titles on its shelves (and in its cavernous basement). Besides a carefully curated selection of classics and hot new releases, there are magazines, foreign cookbooks, and a stockpile of rare and out of print books like first editions of M.F.K. Fisher and a book called Liberace Cooks.
That kind of selection attracts quite a few chefs, who owner Nach Waxman says account for around 70 percent of his business. Wylie Dufresne is "a big customer of us from forever," and Daniel Boulud often sends his young chefs over. According to Waxman, these chefs don't even care if the cookbook is in English, they're just after those big, beautiful photos. "They buy books the way you would go to a show at the ICP, or an artist would go to see something at the Met, or someone would go to Carnegie Hall to hear a musician — not to copy anything but to take inspiration." For more on the shop, from its rarest books to its worst customers, do check out the full profile on Eater National.
· Inside Kitchen Arts & Letters, the Legendary NYC Cookbook Store [~EN~]
[Nach Waxman of Kitchen Arts & Letters by Daniel Krieger]