Culinary school is no longer the natural route to publishing a cookbook. Food bloggers are getting the book contracts, from Pim Techamuanvivit () to Julie Powell of Julie & Julia fame. Cathy Erway, whose site on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m. in a "Food and Politics" event, then cooking as part of the Hapa Kitchen's supper club dinner at Bradbury's on Sunday evening. Hapa, a Brooklyn-based communal kitchen that Erway is involved with, is putting on the Sunday event dinner in conjunction with Madison's on Monday.
"I'm looking forward to coming to Madison; it's one of those foodie meccas I keep hearing so many great things about. In New York, we're just starting to get into the small farms," says Erway, in a phone interview.
There are many ways that cooking instead of eating out is beneficial: It's healthier and costs less. But Erway finds that people are both frightened of cooking and don't have the time. "A lot of my peers didn't have much experience cooking. I think it's a generational change." Both of her parents liked to cook, though, and to try new things: "It was simple, home cooking."
In 2006, Erway was living in New York, where dining out is a way of life. She moved into an apartment where the stove hadn't even been hooked up to the gas line for 20-some years.
While her blog chronicled the eat-in challenge, her new book "expands on activities and groups I'd seen emerging, a DIY food renaissance." That includes the informal supper club movement, freegans, rooftop gardeners and more.
But Eating In is also a "cohesive memoir about the whole two years," each chapter concluding with a couple of recipes.
Ultimately, when cooking for yourself, Erway notes, you know exactly what's in the dish. "You decide how much butter or shrimp it may or may not have in it. It's empowering."