UPDATE, March 1: Looks like I will be adding St. Louis and Rockport, Maine! See below for details. ~Hank
UPDATE, March 4: My East Lansing (MI) event (actually Okemos, MI) will be at Red Haven.
In a few short months, I will be back in my little truck and on the road again.
My next cookbook, Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Ducks and Geese, both Farmed and Wild, will be released by Ten Speed Press on October 1. On that day I plan to already be on the road, in Boise, Idaho (actually Nampa) where I will be working with the chef at the James Beard Award-nominated Brick 29. Our goal: An innovative, duck-themed dinner that highlights the greatness of this great ingredient.
The same will be true at 49 other restaurants in 49 other cities, ranging from Manhattan to Milford, Birmingham to Boston. As you can see from the book tour map, I will crisscross the nation twice.
It is an ambitious schedule, and it will be taxing both on my pickup — I will be driving the whole way — and on me. I’ve done long stints on the road before, and they can be exhilarating and enervating all at the same time. Why do it? Because of you, dear readers. Two years ago, when Hunt, Gather, Cook came out — God, has is been two years already?! — I started with a modest tour schedule. Then I heard from you, over and over again, asking me to come to your city. I threw down the gauntlet: I’ll come if you think you can help me sell a couple dozen books. You picked up that gauntlet, and again and again, showed me the kind of hospitality and generosity that still gets me a little teary-eyed, even now. That tour was a highlight of my life.
So when it came time to plan this tour, there was no question: I had to do it again.
Anchoring each stop will be a book dinner at a local restaurant: some trendy, some obscure, award-winners and unsung culinary heroes all. My hope, my goal, is to meet you at these dinners. To pack the house both for the restaurant’s sake — I make no money from the dinner itself — and yes, to sell as many copies of my book as I can. This is my tour, not one set up by my publisher, and it’s on my own dime. But for me it’s worth every penny to meet all of you in person. Whenever that happens, I learn as much from you as you from me.
In many places, such as the Twin Cities, Fargo, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle and Austin, I am planning several events, and most of these will be cheap or free. After all, not everyone can afford a $60-a-head dinner, no matter how awesome. I get that.
No matter what the event, I need your help to make this tour a success. The restaurateurs are being generous to host these dinners, and the big stressor for me is attendance. Without at least 25 or so people at each (50 is better), the restaurants start hurting — and I don’t want to do that to them, especially since some are friends. This is major reason why I am setting dates and venues so early: To give everyone plenty of time to save the dates, tell their friends and gin up some excitement.
As it stands now, this is what the tour looks like:
TRIP ONE – THE NORTH
- October 1 in Boise at Brick 29
- October 2 in Dillon (MT) at The Bookstore
- October 3 in Billings at Bin 119
- October 5 in Bismarck at Pirogue Grille
- October 6-7 in Fargo
- October 8-11 in the Twin Cities at Bachelor Farmer
- October 12-14 in Madison at Forequarter
- October 15-16 in Milwaukee at Hinterland
- October 17-19 in Chicago at Vie
- October 20 in East Lansing (MI) at Red Haven
- October 21 in Detroit
- October 22-26 in Cleveland at the Brew Kettle and Fire Food & Drink
- October 27 in Burlington (VT)
- October 29 in Cambridge (MA)
- October 30 in Bath (ME) at Beale Street BBQ
- October 31 in Rockport (ME) at Salt Water Farm
- November 1-2 in Gloucester (MA)
- November 3 in Providence at La Laiterie (or the New Rivers Cafe)
- November 4-5 in New York City at the Beretta Gallery
- November 6 in Philadephia at Brauhaus Schmitz
- November 7 in Navesink (NJ) at The Homestead at Seven Arrows East
- November 8-9 in Milford (DE) at Abbott’s Grill
- November 10 in Arlington (VA) at Lyon Hall
- November 12 in Lexington (KY) at Azur
- November 13 in St. Louis at Libertine
- November 14 in Kansas City at Extra Virgin
- November 15-17 in Norton (KS) at the Kansas Governor’s Ringeck Classic
- November 18-21 in Denver at Old Major
- November 23-24 in Salt Lake City
TRIP TWO – THE PACIFIC
- December 2 in Sacramento at Mulvaney’s
- December 3 in Davis at Avid Reader
- December 4 in San Francisco at Omnivore Books
- December 7-8 in Portland at Restaurant St. Jack
- December 9-11 in Seattle at Local 360
- December 14 in San Diego — I’m doing a pop-up restaurant with Chef Chad White
- December 15 in Ventura
TRIP THREE – THE SOUTH
This trip will begin in Phoenix (actually Scottsdale) on Sunday, January 5, 2014 with a Southwestern style duck dinner at Rancho Pinot. From there things get squishy. The plan is to head to Albuquerque, then Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Raleigh and Suffolk, Virginia. Then I swing south to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, then on to New Orleans, Houston and finally Austin, where my friend Jesse Griffths and I will be doing some nefarious cooking together.
You will notice that some of these cities are still a work in progress. In some cases, I am still hammering out details and will announce venues and events as they firm up.
But in a few places I need some help setting things up entirely. So if anyone knows a good place to do a dinner or other event in the following cities, I am all ears:
- Burlington, VT
- Salt Lake City
- Little Rock
And if you want me to come to your town and you think it might work in my schedule, let me know. Things are tight, but if you try on your end, I will try on mine.
Even though it’s still some months away, I am getting pretty stoked about this tour. There will be a ton of amazing duck (and goose) to be eaten, adventures to be had, old friends to see again and new ones to meet for the first time. Are you with me?