Short Stack is a small-format publication about inspiring ingredients and recipes, created by the food world's brightest talents.
Thank you to all of our generous donors who helped us exceed our goal. Because of your generosity we've been able to print more of our first three editions (and pay our authors more for their hard work and creativity).
After the campaign ends you can buy current and future editions at ShortStackEditions.com.
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We are creating a new kind of food publication and we need your help to make it happen.
Short Stack is a series of small-format cookbooks about inspiring ingredients, authored by America’s top culinary talents. Each edition is a collectible, single-subject, 50-page booklet packed with recipes that offer ingenious new ways to cook our favorite ingredients.
We know firsthand how hard it is to make a living creating recipes and writing about food, so we’ve organized Short Stack into a new publishing model that puts the author first. Our authors will be paid for each copy of their book that we ever print, guaranteeing that their hard work will pay off, again and again, as we sell more of their editions.
We’re Kickstarting our first three editions—Eggs, Strawberries and Tomatoes—just in time for summer.
In creating Short Stack we drew from our experience in the world of cookbooks and food magazines.
Like the best cookbooks, Short Stack editions consist of original recipes created and rigorously tested by a single author with the home cook in mind. In addition to recipes, the books will contain original illustrations and countless sourcing and cooking tips. They are beautiful objects meant to be collected, gifted and, most importantly, cooked from. And, like the best food magazines, Short Stack editions are concise, affordable and built for function.
Short Stack is also a contemporary offering of old-school craftsmanship: Each book will be printed locally on the highest-quality paper and card stock, and stitch-bound by hand using baker’s twine. Our production process is intimate and specialized, and we’re also inviting our readers to join in the fun at bookmaking gatherings that we’ll host for each edition.
The artful assembly mirrors the series’ individualized, personal tone. We are building Short Stack as a platform for authors that we admire; each edition is a love letter from one cook to his or her favorite ingredient, with recipes that will have you reaching for your skillet before you’ve finished reading the title.
For our first three volumes, we’re working with three excellent authors, each of whom is an industry veteran and a leader in the food-writing field. Between them they have worked on five cookbooks, five movies, two television shows and have bylines at Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health and more. They are the best of the best, and we’re thrilled and honored to be working with them. (Read more about each author below.)
The Long-Term Plan:
Short Stack will be an ongoing publication; we plan to print new volumes on an increasingly frequent basis and eventually sell subscriptions. This Kickstarter project will benefit our first three volumes, enabling us to print our initial runs of 1,500 copies per edition (or more—it’s up to you!). We have more great authors waiting in the wings to tackle additional essential ingredients.
We realize that $50K is a mighty chunk of change. But it’s what we need to produce three editions without cutting corners. Our platform—paying authors for every book printer (forever), binding each book by hand, printing locally—is pricy, but we believe the final product will be worth it. That said, we have done lots of research to make sure that our costs are as low as possible, while still retaining our project’s high standards.
Our goal also begs the question: Why launch three editions at once? Just as much as each edition is an individual work that captures its author’s voice and style, it is also meant to be collected. We felt it was important to establish the series as just that—a series. You can pre-order one volume or all three right now and have it delivered to you later this summer.
Production and Distribution:
Down the road, Short Stack editions will be on sale at select bookstores and gift shops, but we’ll initially be selling them via our website, shortstackeditions.com.
We will begin printing our first three editions the moment we finish our Kickstarter campaign. The books will be printed by the end of July, bound by the end of August, and shipped in late August/ early September.
We’re underway with volumes 1-3. Our authors are busy developing and testing recipes; we’ve finished designs and made our initial mock-ups. All we need to do now is pull the trigger on printing our first full runs.
Volume 1 | Eggs, by Ian Knauer
Eggs are the superheroes of our refrigerators, just as essential at breakfast as they are at dessert. The recipes in this collection offer creative takes on iconic egg dishes, as well as less familiar preparations that are poised to become favorites.Recipes include:
- Egg Drop Soup with Edamame, Red Chile and Scallions
- Fresh Egg Pasta Carbonara
- Shrimp Egg Foo Young
- Portuguese Egg Tarts with Burnt Marshmallow Frosting
- Chocolate-Earl Grey Pavlova
About the author: Ian was a food editor for Gourmet magazine for nearly a decade, and developed and tested innumerable recipes for the publication. His first cookbook, The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food, was nominated for an IACP cookbook award, and Ian’s new PBS show, “The Farm,” brings education and teaching back to food TV by following locally sourced ingredients all the way to the dinner table. When he is not in a kitchen, Ian is hunting, fishing, and foraging his dinner. To learn about Ian, visit ianknauer.com.
Volume 2 | Tomatoes, by Soa Davies
Few things are better-tasting (and easier to cook with) than a ripe tomato. These recipes get to the heart of this fruit’s popularity and its versatility, utilizing both peak-of-the-season summer fruit and high-quality canned tomatoes.
- Green Tomato Parmesan
- Smoked Tomato Jam
- Curried Tomato-Lamb Stew
- Wasabi Bloody Marys
- Tomato Tart Tatin with Caramel
About the author: Soa Davies began her culinary career working under David Walford at Splendido in Beaver Creek, Colorado, then moved to New York to take a position at Le Bernardin. There she became the Director of Operations, Culinary Producer and Head of Research and Development under Eric Ripert. She also managed the development and production of Ripert’s cookbook, On the Line, as well as the critically acclaimed television show, “Avec Eric,” and its companion cookbook. She currently runs Salt Hospitality, a culinary consultancy that counts HBO and The Standard hotel among its clients.
Volume 3 | Strawberries, by Susan Spungen
From its ruby-red color to its sun-ripened sweetness, the strawberry is a dramatic fruit. This edition will put the show-stopping berry through its paces, in both savory and sweet applications.
- Soba Salad with Strawberries, Cucumbers and Miso Dressing
- Strawberry Tartines with Ricotta and Basil
- Roasted Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
- Strawberry Hand Pies
- Strawberry Sangria
About the author: Susan Spungen is a cookbook author, culinary consultant and food stylist for both print and film, having brought food to life in major feature films such as “Julie & Julia,” “It’s Complicated” and “Eat, Pray, Love.” She was the founding food editor for Martha Stewart Living, where she was responsible for conceiving of, developing and styling recipes for the magazine. She is a frequent contributor to national magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and More, where she is a contributing editor. Susan is the author of RECIPES: A Collection for the Modern Cook, and her latest book, What’s a Hostess to Do?, has just been released. Learn more about Susan at susanspungen.com.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Timing: The biggest challenge for this project will be keeping the production of our editions on schedule; we want to make sure that the editions reach our readers while the featured ingredients are still in season. This risk is mitigated by our past experience in the publishing world and keeping our first print run to a modest size.
Assembly: Each Short Stack edition is stitch-bound by hand using a needle and baker’s twine. With thousands of books to bind, we’ll be enlisting the help of readers through a series of bookmaking gatherings, where the featured authors will serve some recipes from their editions and bookbinding guru Jordan McIntyre will teach attendees how to make a book. On top of that, we’ll be hiring a fleet of helping hands to ensure our books are stitched on time.
Of course. Send us a message and we'll keep you updated on our production progress. Our first priority will be to get books into the hands of our Kickstarter backers as soon as possible, then we will begin working with select retailers who want to stock Short Stack.
We hope to publish international editions in the future--international demand will dictate this--but for now we're using the same old American units that frustrate us all.
Hell no! As much as we love our devices—and, increasingly, are figuring out how to cook from them—we want Short Stack to celebrate the printed page. We feel strongly that cookbooks will be around as long as humans can read, and we want to do our tiny part to ensure that happens.