Ron Herbst to talk about new reference book

The Bodega Bay-based co-author of “The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion” will talk about the new reference book at 2 p.m. Saturday at Borders-Union Square, 400 Post St., San Francisco.

How is this “Deluxe” book different from the definitive “The New Food Lover’s Companion,” co-written by your wife, Sharon Tyler Herbst? It’s based on the earlier book, which has been such a bible in the industry, but it’s filled with even more information. There are fast facts, 40 different glossaries and a lot of illustrations, for instance. 
 
Who’s the audience for the volume? Both experts and novices — and also for people who want a particularly nice-looking
book. The first book was plain vanilla.

Do you actually know all the stuff in the book? No; I’m always learning a lot, finding new information and taking time to verify it.

Can you talk about what you learned?How about this tidbit? Did you know that almond extract makes cherries taste more like cherries in baked goods?

How long did it take to write? About a year; it took Sharon [who died in 2007] about three years to research and write the original book on which this is based.

What didn’t get into the book? I always have a running list of things to put into a new edition, for example more Asian and South American cooking terms. An executive chef has asked about an Indian drink called sofki. … I have to check into that.

— Leslie Katz

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