The best cookbooks nowadays don’t simply convey recipes for people to use at home. They reflect the lives and experiences of great contemporary chefs, often imparting informed views on where food should be sourced, how meals should be presented, and why what we eat makes a difference to our health and well-being.

This fall Politics & Prose is delighted to be hosting several of the country’s most prominent chefs, who have new books to offer. The October list includes:

Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and legendary restaurateur, activist, and author, who returns to D.C. on Sunday, October 11, visiting with fans at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market at 10 a.m. and Politics & Prose at 2 p.m. Her new book, My Pantry, written with her daughter Fanny Singer, presents simple, basic, and flavorful recipes. Waters will be appearing at both Washington events with her daughter, an illustrator whose pen-and-ink drawings enliven this personal new cookbook. 

Beloved food writer, restaurant critic (for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times), and former editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine, Ruth Reichl, who will celebrate the publication of My Kitchen Year. The work is part cookbook, part memoir, and shares a personal account of a difficult year for Reichl, as Gourmet folded. Reichl will be appearing at three different events, chief among them a ticketed dinner at Buck’s Fishing and Camping restaurant on October 17 that will feature a five-course menu inspired by My Kitchen Year. The meal will be prepared by some of Washington’s most exciting female chefs and restaurateurs, including Anne Alfano (Little Red Fox), Amy Brandwein (Centrolina), Lizzy Evelyn (Paisley Fig), Rosalie Harrington (Rosalie’s), Cizuka Seki (Izakaya Seki) and acclaimed author Joan Nathan. Reichl will be in conversation with Sally Swift, producer of The Spendid Table radio program. Other appearances by Reichl include a visit to the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market on Sunday, October 18 at 10 a.m. and a talk at Politics & Prose @ Busboys and Poets Takoma on Sunday, October 18 at 3 p.m., both free and open to the public.

Yottam Ottolenghi, accomplished chef, restaurant owner, and award-winning writer. This culinary star, along with Ramael Scully, head chef of Ottolenghi’s latest restaurant, Nopi, are scheduled for Sixth & I Synagogue on October 20 at 7 p.m., in conversation with Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg. Their new cookbook, Nopi, continues a dedication to sustainable ingredients, recipes with a Mediterranean influence, and food that is both simple and daring.

Come November, get ready for The Beer Bible, the ultimate drinker-friendly guide to the world’s beers. Writer Jeff Alworth will be flying in from the heart of the world’s craft beer belt, the Pacific Northwest, to talk ales, lagers, IPAs and more at Politics & Prose @ Busboys and Poets Brookland on November 10 at 6:30 p.m. 

Also in November, we’re looking forward to a visit with seventh generation farmer and bestselling author Forrest Pritchard. He’ll be speaking at Politics & Prose @ Busboys and Poets Takoma on November 24 at 6:30 p.m. about a subject that’s a passion of his. Growing Tomorrow is the story of Pritchard’s hunt for the unsung heroes of local, sustainable food and the 18 exceptional farms across the country that he found as a result of his journey. Featuring lots of delicious recipes, this is a unique, holistic look at farm to table.

--Brad and Lissa


Children & Teens

New in Hardcover

Kate Messner
Tree of Wonder
(Chronicle, $16.99)


Blast From the Past

Lynne Cherry
The Great Kapok Tree
(Voyager Paperbacks, $7.99)

read more about these books.

Music News

Walt Whitman

Saturday, October 31, 12 p.m.

Join Garrett Peck, author of Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet, and Politics & Prose on a guided walking tour of Whitman-related sites in the nation’s capital as we reflect on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Walt Whitman, the poet laureate of the Civil War, lived in Washington for ten remarkable years during that tumultuous period, starting as a hospital volunteer who helped tens of thousands of wounded soldiers.



Rock Creek Park

Sunday, November 8, 9:30 a.m.

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Susan Austin Roth, the author and photographer of A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, D.C., for a walk under the trees in the Boundary Bridge area of the park, where the group will witness the last blaze of autumn glory in the trees and learn to identify them by their acorns nuts and other fall fruits.


P&P and PEN/Faulkner Contemporary Fiction Reading Series at Busboys and Poets

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 p.m.



Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 p.m.


Supported Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Contact Kate Shawcross if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.

Wednesday, October 7, 7:00 pm
at Gaithersburg Library
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Just Announced

Monday, November 9, 7 p.m.



Thursday, November 12, 7 p.m.



Coming This Fall

Monday, October 5, 7 p.m.



Thursday, October 8, 7 p.m.



Friday, October 9, 7 p.m.



Thursday, October 15, 7 p.m.



Tuesday, October 20, 7 p.m.



Friday, October 23, 7 p.m.



Monday, November 2, 7 p.m.



Tuesday, November 3, 7 p.m.

This event is sold out.