Books Inc., Cafe Rouge, and the Pasta Shop, all located on Fourth Street in Berkeley, have joined forces to create the Cooks' Book Club, a monthly event combining book readings with food and wine. Participating merchants will also make it easy to buy the ingredients for recipes mentioned in the readings.
The club meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m., at one of the three locations. It kicks off Jan. 25 at Cafe Rouge with Rosetta Costantino's My Calabria, Rustic Family Cooking From Italy's Undiscovered South. Gordon Edgar will present his Cheesemonger: My Life on the Wedge on Feb. 22 at the Pasta Shop. Alice Medrich speaks on her Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies on Mar. 22 at Cafe Rouge, and Harold McGee appears in support of his Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes.
While the inaugural event is $20, the admission price will vary with each program, based on the food and wines offered. Costantino's reading promises to cover her recipes for stuffed pizza with chard and dill, salt baked sea bass (which we can confirm is excellent), and cauliflower salad, which she'll sample and pair with Southern Italian wines. Books will be available at Books Inc. as well as the Pasta Shop in advance of the events as well as on reading nights, but don't worry, you won't be tested. You can just show up to snack.