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Monday, July 18, 2011

7/19 - The Written Word: Books for Cooks

Bill LeBlond, Editorial Director of Food and Wine, Chronicle Books
Christine Hanna, Author and President of Hanna Vineyards.

There's nothing quite like flipping rhrough the pages of a cookbook, absorbing the pictures, gleaning ideas for new recipes and allowing the author to inspire you to try new ingredients, methods and combinations.  You can sit outside, lay on a sofa or take a book anywhere, dog-ear it for your favorites and always have it on hand to go to without having to power up anything.  

In this episode we'll learn about the evolution of the cookbook, the changing styles and topics over the years and how to bring out your inner "author".  You'll hear ideas from both a publishers perspective and a first time author about the process of writing and getting a cookbook published and earn a greater understanding of what lies between the pages of the next cookbook you pick up.


Bill LeBlond is the editorial director of food and drink at Chronicle Books. He is responsible for the acquisition of most of the thirty cookbooks, cocktail books, and wine books Chronicle publishes each year. Bill publishes some of the best food writers in the country and has had the privilege of working with such outstanding authors as Colman Andrews, Michael Ruhlman, Joyce Goldstein, Martha Holmberg, Michael Chiarello, John Ash, and Janet Fletcher.

Bill’s books have been nominated for, and won, many IACP and James Beard Foundation cookbook awards. Bill is also a frequent speaker on publishing topics.

Christine Hanna is the President of her family’s winery based in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California.  She grew up at the home ranch, making tiny batches of wine with her father, winery founder Dr. Elias S. Hanna, in the late '70s and early '80s.

Christine came to work at Hanna Winery full time in 1991, first in public relations and marketing, then taking over the management in 1993.  In her tenure, she has directed the winery’s growth from 1000 cases to 50,000, with national distribution and a robust direct to consumer program through three tasting rooms and three wine clubs. Christine has repositioned the winery’s focus to Russian River Sauvignon Blanc, a consistent award winner now representing half of Hanna’s production.  She transitioned the winery’s dependence away from purchased fruit to an estate program and began marketing fruit from Hanna’s vineyards to other leading wineries.

Christine is the author of The Winemaker Cooks: Menus, Parties and Pairings, published by Chronicle Books in 2010 and available everywhere. In the book, Hanna presents more than 100 recipes, drawing from local farmers' markets and the garden that grows beside the rustic, century-old Alexander Valley hunting lodge she and her family call home. Her menus are brought to life with 75 luscious photographs by Sheri Giblin, a San Francisco photographer. In sidebars throughout the book called “Ask the Winemaker” Christine answers the myriad questions about wine and winemaking that she’s asked every day by consumers. The Winemaker Cooks was one of three finalists for Best American Cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Christine’s recipes have also appeared in Food & Wine, Savor Magazine, The Tasting Panel, Imbibe, California Home+Design, and on the syndicated television show In Wine Country, and she demonstrates them to consumers at cooking classes around the country, including Central Market Cooking School in Texas, and Apron’s Cooking School in Florida.

Christine is a past President of the Sonoma County Vintners, and helped reposition the organization with its current focus on strategic marketing. She served on the Board of Directors for ten years. She served as Chairperson for the Sonoma County Showcase and Auction for 2003 and 2004, directing the popular consumer food and wine event, Taste of Sonoma.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in creative writing.  She has done postgraduate work in viticulture and enology. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Alexander Valley Unified School District.

Christine is married and has two children. They live in the Alexander Valley in a restored Craftsman hunting lodge and grow 14 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on their property.

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