Monday, October 26, 2009

Mad Hungry - Meeting Lucinda Scala Quinn

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Lucinda Scala Quinn this evening at the book signing event held in Ann Arbor. 

Lucinda, VP and Editorial Director of Food for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and co-host of the PBS Series, "Everyday Food,"  made her stop in Ann Arbor to promote her new book "Mad Hungry."  I have to admit, while just paging through the book so far, I can tell this is one cookbook I will use and not allow to collect dust on the shelf.  It's practical, it's easy, and most of all, it's real food, for real people. 

The very intimate and informal setting at the Ann Arbor Public Library made for a very interactive evening. 


Lucinda started the evening with a brief presentation, sharing her life experiences as a novice cook to how she landed as the VP of Food for MSLO.  She shared tales of her sons, their own love for food, and the challenge of keeping active, growing guys well fed.  Hence, the inspiration for "Mad Hungry." 

Following the presentation, Lucinda did a quick demo on a quick and easy salad that can be eaten alone, with chips, or in a pita.  The tabbouleh salad, touted in her book as "health bonanza" was whipped up in just a few minutes and had the freshest taste of any tabbouleh I've ever had.  (I won't share the recipe... you'll have to buy the book and turn to page 90)

Following the demo, Lucinda took questions from the audience.  From Bacon/Egg/Cheese bagels (a big hit with her sons and with a lot of other people too), to her single favorite kitchen item (cast iron pans), the time spent between Lucinda and the audience felt more like a group of friends discussing food and sharing recipes.  It was so enjoyable to have that interaction.  Kudos to Lucinda for formatting her book signings to allow for that exchange. 

Lucinda then sat down to sign copies of "Mad Hungry" for members of the audience.  Again, sufficient time was spent with each guest.  I enjoyed being able to chat with her for several minutes while she signed the copies of Mad Hungry I had purchased. 

Since my very first interaction with Lucinda was through Twitter, she said, "I have to do this..." and signed my book to my Twitter screen name...

There were a couple things that really impressed me tonight... 1.  Lucinda's oldest son, Calder, is making the book tour with her.  I think that's a great show of support and says something about his character as a person.  (he did have to slip to the back of the room for a fantasy basketball pick.. but still...)  2.  The format of the event was again very interactive with the audience.  The barriers of 'author' and 'guests' seemed to have disappeared.  There wasn't an ounce of pretense about the event.  No food snobs here.  3.  Lucinda is just cool.  Plain and simple.  Easy to talk to, easy to understand, and a wonderful author; Lucinda makes food easy and 'do-able' for the home cook.  Lucinda rocks!

Keep up to date with happenings along the book tour by visiting her blog  There, you can follow along on the tour, find other tour dates, and learn something along the way.

Now.. if I can only talk her out of a Mad Hungry t-shirt....


John R. said...

Kenn, it was nice to see you again, tonight and I agree the entire evening was so friendly and intimate. Lucinda is so friendly, like a best friend.
I think I overheard her say that Calder had the shirts made.

marthaandme said...

I am MAD about Lucinda. I've loved every recipe she's had in Martha's magazines and I am ordering her book ASAP. I cannot wait to read it. There is something so down to earth and real about her. I'm envious that you got to meet her!

Kenn said...

The passion Lucinda has for her craft is like an energy that moves through you when you hear her talk about food. YES! You must get the book.. you'll love it. It's not only got great recipes; but it's truly a great read!

Elaine said...

It sounds like you had a truly memorable evening! I've been to book signing and they were nothing like Lucinda's! The recipes and cookbook sound wonderful.

Elaine said...

Love your banner, Kenn!

mike said...

Wow - the demo would have been worth it - how nice that she did that. I'm so glad you were able to make it and get your photo taken with her. Although.... I must have scrolled down a bit too fast......? :)

Thanks for the neat review! Happy cooking and reading!