In the comments to the previous two posts I mentioned that there was a super special reason why strawberries are the seasonal/topical ingredient this time around for Paper Chef. They were pre-announced inadvertently when they were suggested by one of the nominators, and since there is a special reason, I had already selected them, so I had to come clean.

The reason is in fact both seasonal and topical. It all comes about because the Berkeley Farmer’s Market is holding its annual strawberry tasting on Saturday May 21st at the Farmers market at the intersection of Center and ML King Jr Way (two blocks from downtown Berkeley BART). In conjunction with this prestigious event, I am finally launching Digital Dish. (See little advert thingy up in the top left). This book is a compilation of the best food writing from food blogs around the world between Summer of 2003 and Summer of 2004. There are 24 different food blogs represented. So, if you live in the Bay Area get on over to the Farmers Market where you can get a signed copy. Four of the authors will talk about food blogging, serve little snacky things and sign books. Plus you get a free strawberry tasting thrown in!

If you can’t make that date, an additional launch event takes place the following day at the Lafayette Bookstore in Lafayette (also 2 blocks from BART) on Sunday May 22nd at 4PM where the agenda will be a little more literary and a little less strawberry but will still have four authors talking and signing books. The four local authors in question are me, Dr Biggles, Ellen and Stephanie.

Besides wanting to not lose a lot of money on the book (I set up a publishing company and spent six months on researching, signing up authors, editing, laying out, designing and dealing with business and printer issues and then paid for printing) I have an additional agenda in mind – if the book is even a modest success I want to follow up with Digital Dish 2 – from Summer 2004 to Summer 2005. And there are a LOT more food bloggers from around the world now! The authors are all getting a better deal than if this was a normal publisher and a normal compilation. I have wanted to start a publishing company for some time and this seemed like an ideal vehicle and since I am also a writer and have been all my life, I wanted to make sure it rewarded writers properly. So, do your bit and order a copy!

The book is being delivered on Wednesday. I had hoped for today but the freight company couldn’t quite make it and they can only deliver in the middle of the day and I can’t manage Monday and Tuesday because of that so Wednesday it is…

So – that is the rather surprising reason for strawberries being both the seasonal and topical ingredient for Paper Chef this month. Full ingredient list to follow shortly…