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A pioneering digital cookbook featuring three rising star chefs. Join us as we work to evolve digital cookbooks beyond print replicas.
A pioneering digital cookbook featuring three rising star chefs. Join us as we work to evolve digital cookbooks beyond print replicas.
221 backers pledged $19,085 to help bring this project to life.

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Alta Editions: An Unconventional Cookbook

$19,085

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What's the Project?

Unconventional is an innovative online cookbook from Alta Editions that will feature delicious recipes and stories from rising star chefs Jesse Schenker (Recette, The Gander), Jehangir Mehta (Graffiti, Mehtaphor) and Francisco Migoya (Modernist Cuisine). Top food photographer Evan Sung will shoot each of the finished dishes along with step-by-step photos and short instructional videos. Unconventional will be the next release in our award-winning Cooking Series. 

What Makes It Unconventional? 

It's funny to think of something published online as "unconventional" these days, but given that it's 2014 and the vast majority of cookbooks sold today are still hardcover books, the idea of releasing a cookbook online is perhaps a bit unusual. 

The change to digital is coming, however, and its our belief that combining the quality of traditional cookbooks (i.e. professionally-tested and edited recipes, top notch photography and quality writing) with the convenience, interactivity and the social capabilities of the web makes for beautiful, enjoyable and, most of all, useful cookbooks. 

Will the Recipes Be "Unconventional" Too?

Unconventional? Perhaps. Delicious? Absolutely. We invited Jesse, Jehangir and Francisco to participate in this project because they are three of the most curious and creative chefs working today. The recipes they've contributed to this cookbook include many familiar flavors, but they're used in ways we hope you'll find surprising and fun. 

Some sample recipes from the book...

from Jesse Schenker:

  • Cheesy Braised Pork Shoulder with Parmesan Brodo and Kale 
  • Chicken Thighs Braised in Fennel Caramel with Winter Vegetables
  • Bacon-Poached Arctic Char with Onion Puree and Brussels Sprout Salad

from Jehangir Mehta:

  • Mustard Seed Duck with Chile Maple Syrup 
  • Chickpea-Crusted Red Snapper with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
  • Thyme-Roasted Beets with Bacon Popcorn

from Francisco Migoya:

  • Doughnut Truffles
  • Chicharrón Enrobed in Dark Chocolate with Fleur de Sel and Chipotle Powder
  • Canided Niçoise Olives
Some photos from our recipe testing...
Some photos from our recipe testing...

We've tested each of these and the other recipes in the cookbook and they are seriously delicious!

How is This Cookbook Different Than Other E-Books? 

Most e-cookbooks today are published in traditional e-book formats like Kindle, EPUB and iBooks that require dedicated reading devices or apps. Because Unconventional will be published online you can simply log in at www.altaeditions.com on any computer, tablet or mobile phone to access the book. Curious to try it out? Check out some recipes from our other books

Here are a few things we think you'll love about our online cookbooks:

Have your phone with you? Our cookbooks are always at your fingertips.
Have your phone with you? Our cookbooks are always at your fingertips.
Scores of helpful inline tips, instructional videos, visual prep and shopping lists and other Interactive features make cooking easier and more enjoyable.
Scores of helpful inline tips, instructional videos, visual prep and shopping lists and other Interactive features make cooking easier and more enjoyable.
Recipes are super easy to share with friends and on social media.
Recipes are super easy to share with friends and on social media.

What is Alta Editions?

Alta Editions is an award-winning publisher of online cookbooks. We started in 2012 as a project inside a large mobile content company. This April, when the company was sold, we purchased the business from the new owner and are now proud to be a small independent cookbook publisher. The flip side is that we don't have the same resources available to us that we used to. 

We believe innovation is critical for the future of cookbooks in a world where bookstores are slowly disappearing and where the majority of cooks look to Google and online recipe databases for inspiration. 

How Will the Funds Raised Be Used? 

The manuscript and recipe testing and editing are nearly complete and we now need to complete the photo shoot and final design and production work. The money raised will be used to pay for two days in a Manhattan photo studio with a full team, including the chefs, photographer, prop stylist, food stylist, recipe editor and various assistants. One final round of recipe testing and a final copyedit are also required. Lastly, some final design and technical work will be needed as well as a round of testing before the book can be released. 

More About the Authors

 Jehangir Mehta opened Graffiti in the East Village of New York City in 2007 after receiving acclaim at New York City restaurants including Aix, Compass, and Jean-Georges. At his restaurant Graffiti, Jehangir presents food that is nothing short of inspiring. From his 50 square foot kitchen he produces some of New York’s most exciting dishes, which have been featured not only traditional food magazines but also in Vogue and The New Yorker. Over the years, Jehangir has been seen on many national television programs including Martha!, Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef. He is the author of the cookbook, Mantra: The Rules of Indulgence, released in 2008 by Ecco. 

Jesse Schenker has amassed an impressive culinary history as executive chef and owner of Recette and The Gander in New York City. His contemporary approach to creating American classics is a reflection of his devotion to highly-refined technique combined with his passion for comforting and satisfying food. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in the food and wine industry and inclusion in Details magazine’s “America’s Best Young Chefs” list in 2011. His new memoir, All or Nothing: One Chef's Appetite for the Extreme, will be released this September by HarperCollins.

Francisco Migoya is the Head Chef at Modernist Cuisine, the award-winning publisher of the modernist cooking masterwork of the same name. He was previously the owner and chocolatier at Hudson Chocolates and a Professor at The Culinary Institute of America. Prior that he was Executive Pastry Chef for The French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery and Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, CA. He is also the author of the IACP award-winning cookbook, The Elements of Dessert, released in 2012 by Wiley. 

[Francisco Migoya photo by Ben Fink]

Risks and challenges

Unconventional is 90% complete and we only need to complete the photo shoot and final production work. Evan Sung is an all-star food photographer and we have 100% confidence in his ability to produce exceptional photographs and videos.

We have published three online cookbooks to date so we know exactly what to do once we have all of our final assets (i.e., the edited manuscript, photos and videos). We've won three IACP cookbook awards for our previous books and our second book was named as a finalist in the 2014 Digital Book Awards. We are a skilled and dedicated team and we are committed to publishing Unconventional.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THE COOKBOOK: Unlimited access to the Unconventional Cookbook on altaeditions.com plus a thank-you credit in the book and on the Alta Editions website.

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    THE COOKING SERIES x2: Two one-year subscriptions (one for you and one for a friend) to the Alta Editions Cooking Series (normally $1.99/mo each), including the award-winning cookbook, The Journey, and Unconventional plus a thank-you credit in the book and on the Alta Editions website.

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    + MY PROVENCE x2: All of the above plus the IACP Judges Choice award-winning cookbook, My Provence by chef Laurent Gras (normally $9.99).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    + GOODIES: All of the above plus a package of hand-crafted sweets featured in the cookbook. Your choice between a) Candied Niçoise Olives, b) Chicharrón Enrobed in Dark Chocolate with Fleur de Sel and Chipotle Powder, or c) Chocolate Truffles.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    COOKING SERIES FOR LIFE + MY PROVENCE x2: Two lifetime subscriptions (one for you and one for a friend) to the Alta Editions Cooking Series (normally $1.99/mo each), plus 2x My Provence plus a thank-you credit in the book and on the Alta Editions website.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    + COME TO THE COOKBOOK LAUNCH PARTY (NYC): All of the above plus an invitation for two to the launch party for Unconventional, to be held in October in New York City. We'll be serving food from the cookbook along with choice beverages.

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    + JOIN US FOR LUNCH AT THE PHOTO SHOOT (NYC): All of the above plus join us for lunch at the photo shoot on either Thursday, September 25th or Friday, September 26th.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    + AN EXCLUSIVE DINNER WITH JESSE SCHENKER (NYC): All of the above plus a four-course dinner for two at the Alta Editions / CBS Local dinner at chef Jesse Schenker's acclaimed new NYC restaurant, The Gander, on Tuesday, September 23rd or Wednesday, September 24th.

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    + DINNER AT THE GANDER OR RECETTE (NYC): All of the above plus a special four-course tasting menu dinner for two at one of chef Jesse Schenker's acclaimed NYC restaurants with paired beverages.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    + A PRIVATE DINNER AT GRAFFITI WITH JEHANGIR MEHTA (NYC): All of the above plus dinner for four in the intimate private dining room at Next Iron Chef Finalist Jehangir Mehta's acclaimed restaurant, Graffiti. Enjoy a 5-course menu with paired beverages.

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    Exclusive sponsorship of the Alta Editions Cooking Series for three months. Your brand will be prominently featured on the title page of each of our three books in the Cooking Series as well as any future books published between now and the end of 2014.

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Funding period

- (30 days)