Curtis Sittenfeld Will Read Your Unpublished Manuscript If You Help Local Harvest

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Curtis Sittenfeld will be at Local Harvest this Saturday. | Jennifer Silverberg

As we reported earlier this week, Local Harvest Cafe & Grocery faces imminent closure (and we mean imminent) if it doesn't raise at least $70,000 by February 7. Although there has been some backslash for the community bailout, Local Harvest has already rasied over $40,000.

See also: UPDATED: Local Harvest Cafe & Grocery Launch Fundraiser to Thwart "Imminent Closure"

Curtis Sittenfeld, whose book Sisterland won our award for best book by a local author, made an offer via Twitter this week to help out the beleaguered business. We spoke to her about her proposition and why Local Harvest is important to St. Louis.

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Meet the Pawpaw: Missouri's Forgotten Fruit

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       We compared the pawpaw to two pup's paws and found few similarities. | Mabel Suen

A couple weeks ago, Gut Check came into possession of some mystery produce: the pawpaw fruit. As soon as we learned some of its common nicknames, "a poor man's banana" and "American custard apple," we were intrigued. What is this? Where did it come from? What can we do with it?

Enter Andy Moore, who delivered the pawpaw to us directly from grower Jerry Lehman in Indiana. Moore stopped in St. Louis to conduct research for his book, Pawpaw: The Story of America's Forgotten Fruit, and he had plenty to impart about his adventures thus far.

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Days of Our Lives: Meet the Cast Tonight for Health Wisdom and Recipes, Obviously

Categories: Books

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Days of Our Lives Publications

Feeling a little out of balance and in need of some serious qi restoration? Perhaps you would like some tips for leading a more fulfilling life? Sure, your first inclination may be to read a book by the Dali Lama, learn transcendental meditation or head to an ashram, but why go so far when you have the wisdom of your favorite soap stars at your fingertips?

Fans of the NBC soap Days of our Lives, together with all St. Louis-area spiritual seekers, are in luck. Tonight at 7 p.m. at the West County Mall Barnes and Noble, cast members of the daytime drama will be signing copies of their new book, Days of Our Lives Better Living: Cast Secrets for a Healthier, Balanced Life. According to Days co-executive producer Greg Meng, there seemed to be a strong desire among fans to learn how cast members stay so young-looking or keep in such great shape while maintaining a busy schedule. Not content with the obvious Botox-and-good-camera-angles answer, cast members dug deep to provide tips and tricks for those not blessed with personal trainers and on-demand make-up artists.

See also: From Michael Ruhlman to Mom: The Favorite Cookbooks of St. Louis Chefs

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Edward Lee Cookbook Signing Tuesday at Taste

Categories: Books

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       Want your copy signed? | Smoke and Pickles

Louisville chef Edward Lee is stopping in St. Louis tonight, August 13, to sign copies of his new cookbook, Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen at Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) at 5:30 p.m. Oh, and he's inspired a special menu for us St. Louisans.

See also:
- Taste's Grilled Asparagus with Crisp Poached Egg: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now
- Taste's "Barbacoa": One of the 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now
- Taste's Kyle Mathis: Winner of Iron Fork's Mixology Competition and Featured Bartender of the Week


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Paula Deen to Star in Her Own Comic

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Paula Deen is the latest "Female Force" subject. | Bluewater Productions

Surprisingly, not everyone has canceled their Paula Deen books. Bluewater Productions will roll out their "Female Force" biography comic book featuring the butter-loving chef this fall. Here's the kicker: they aren't making fun of her.

See also:
-Paula Deen Should Probably Just Own It
-Angry Paula Deen Fans Mistake Missouri-Based Food Channel for Food Network
-Paula Deen Unintentionally Moons the Universe

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St. Louis Public Library Forgives Fines for Food

Categories: Books

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       Food donations can go to the Central Library or any other SLPL location.
St. Louis Public Library

An overdue book and a hefty fine is no longer an excuse not to go to the library! The St. Louis Public Library (1301 Olive Street, 314-241-2288) is taking canned goods in lieu of fines the whole month of July.

See also:
-Donate to a Good Cause, Get Doughnuts
-A Trip Inside the New, Improved Central Library
-A Brief History of Canned Food


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Win a Copy of Local Author Amanda Doyle's New Book, 100 Things to Do in Saint Louis Before You Die

Categories: Books

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Wikimedia Commons
Item 36 on the St. Louis area bucket list: Pick fresh fruit at Eckert's!
Summertime is as good a time as any to show off some St. Louis pride -- why not cross some items off of that bucket list while you're at it? With the help of local tourism expert Amanda Doyle and her new book, 100 Things to Do in Saint Louis Before You Die, find some new fun destinations and revisit the ones that locals often leave behind.

Read on to learn about Doyle's book and how to win a copy!

See also:
- Amanda Doyle Presents: Finally, A Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis By and For St. Louisans, Neighborhood by Neighborhood
- 25 Reasons to Love Summer in St. Louis
- 8 Best Ice Cream Spots in St. Louis


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Chef Clara Moore Exceeds Kickstarter Goal for Book Project, Hosts Party Friday, May 24 to Celebrate

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Image via
Chef Clara Moore
Last month Gut Check reported that chef Clara Moore, former executive chef and regional manager of local grocery and restaurant chain Local Harvest Cafe & Catering, had launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a cookbook and grocery guide with food writer Matt Sorrell.

As of this writing the project has exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $6,000 by $464, and to celebrate, the authors are hosting a "kick-down" party at Salt (4356 Lindell Boulevard; 314-932-5787) on Friday, May 24, from 7 to 10 p.m.

See also:
- Chef Clara Moore Writing Cookbook and Grocery Guide, Launching Kickstarter Campaign April 24

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Q&A With Bob Spitz, Author of Julia Child Biography Dearie, Visits Left Bank Books May 7 -- Win A Copy Today! [CONTEST] [Updated]

Categories: Books

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Image via
Dearie by Bob Spitz.
There are arguably two waves of cooking that unfolded in America during the 20th century: before Julia Child and after. Last August, right in time for what would have been Child's 100th birthday, historical biographer Bob Spitz -- of best-sellers The Beatles: The Biography and Dylan: A Biography -- released Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, a comprehensive tome chronicling Child's life. Much like Child herself, the first half of the pages are filled with her family history, her childhood, her days spent boozing at Smith College, her time working in the United States Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of today's Central Intelligence Agency.

Almost halfway through the book we find a 40-year-old Julia Child learning to cook for the first time in her life -- and soon perfecting cooking French cuisine, soon becoming an international phenomenon with the publishing of Mastering The Art of French Cooking. By age 51 she had ascended to television stardom and forever changed the medium and cooking forever with the debut of smash-hit TV show The French Chef.

Next week Spitz stops in St. Louis to discuss his book, on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (321 North Tenth Street; 314-436-3049) in downtown St. Louis.

Always curious to learn more about the fascinating life of Julia Child, Gut Check called up Bob Spitz for a chat about the chef, why she hated Italian food and how she's essentially the Beatles of modern American cooking.

Click through for the chance to enter to win a copy of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child.

Update: Congrats to commenter nikolembrown, who logged the following winning comment: "Bifteck Saute Bercy (Pan-broiled steak with shallot and white wine sauce). Any recipe she has that combines wine and butter is ALWAYS amazing."

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Chef Clara Moore Writing Cookbook and Grocery Guide, Launching Kickstarter Campaign April 24 [Update]

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Liz Miller
Chef Clara Moore at Local Harvest Grocery in Kirkwood.
Update: Moore and Sorrell launched their Kickstarter campaign last evening. As of this writing, the project has $1,175 in pledges and 29 days to go. Our original post follows.
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In recent months chef Clara Moore moved from St. Louis to Seattle, Washington, leaving her position as executive chef and regional manager of local grocery and restaurant chain Local Harvest Cafe & Catering. She now divides time between her hometown, St. Louis, and Seattle, and she's still a business partner at Local Harvest.

Now comes news that Moore is writing a cookbook and St. Louis grocery-store guide titled Shop Like a Chef: A Food Lover's Guide to St. Louis Neighborhoods, with plans to fund the project through a Kickstarter campaign slated to launch Wednesday, April 24.

Curious to learn more about the book, we gave Moore a call.

See also:
-Chef Clara Moore Leaving Local Harvest Cafe & Catering
-Chef's Choice: Clara Moore of Local Harvest Cafe and Catering

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