Fort Greene

Book/Plate: A literary culinary series with Greenlight Bookstore & Peck’s Homemade

April 21, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Amanda Vaill will present her book “Hotel Florida” on April 26. Photo by Xanthe Elbrick

Fort Greene’s Greenlight Bookstore is partnering with neighborhood market and restaurant Peck’s Homemade and Jeff Waxman to offer the second season of Book/Plate, a literary/culinary series featuring dinner with an author, pairing new books with complementary cuisine.

The spring season features three special dinners with authors of new books, each featuring a look at a distinctive time and place, with food evoking the region.  Guests receive a copy of the book, a multi-course meal and cocktail, and an incomparable encounter with an author for the price of admission.

On April 26, Book/Plate will welcome historian Amanda Vaill to present the paperback edition of her acclaimed group biography “Hotel Florida,” a look at the entangled lives of six artists and journalists covering the Spanish Civil War.  On May 17, Jim Shepard dines with guests to present “The Book of Aron,” a rare novel from the acclaimed short story writer, which takes place in the Warsaw Ghetto.  June 21 will see the internationally renowned Israeli writer Etgar Keret celebrate the release of his memoir “The Seven Good Years.” The menus created for to accompany the events will evoke Hemingway’s Spain, the foods of the Eastern European Jewish Diaspora and contemporary Israeli cuisine.

Peck’s owner, Theodore Peck, works with the chef to design a custom menu to complement each author’s book.  While menus are not yet final, they are always original and evocative.   

Conceived by Jeff Waxman, a former bookseller and currently a marketing manager for Other Press, the series’ first season was covered and praised by Time Out New York, Edible Brooklyn and Vol 1 Brooklyn.

“The only thing I love more than my family is food, and after that is having a great conversation,” says Peck.  “After living in Clinton Hill for the better part of a decade and starting a family here, it is a special feeling to be able to contribute to the cultural life of this vibrant neighborhood and feed my community the way I feed my family. We conceived this event with Greenlight and Jeff to bring together the people I care about, my neighbors,” says Peck.

Greenlight Bookstore’s Jessica Stockton Bagnulo added, “Good books can make you hungry — they create longing for the world you’re reading about.  And the best books make you wish you could have dinner with the author.  Book/Plate fulfills a fantasy of pairing great books with great food, and offers the unique chance to break bread with the creators.  The fact that we can do this right here in our neighborhood is part of what makes Brooklyn so special.”

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Each event begins with a signature cocktail, handed to guests as they pass through Peck’s old world deli into the backyard, where they also receive a copy of the featured book.  The featured author arrives to mingle and chat with guests as appetizers are passed.  Everyone then sits down for dinner at family-style trestle tables, to enjoy cuisine inspired by the featured book.  The author joins guests for dinner, and later takes the backyard stage to talk informally and intimately about their new book and their work, and whatever related topics take their fancy.  Books are signed by the author as the evening winds down with dessert.

Capacity for each event is 40 guests.  Tickets for Book/Plate are available through Brown Paper Tickets.  Details, ticket links and updates can be found at the Book/Plate series site (pecksbookplate.tumblr.com), Peck’s website (peckshomemade.com), and Greenlight’s website (greenlightbookstore.com/bookplate).

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