martha head shotMartha Holmberg has authored a gem of a book all about plums. Martha is a former La Varenne student, trainee and long-time friend, and she’s released this 9th volume in a series called Short Stack Editions this week. I’ve already ordered a copy of Plums! The book takes an in-depth look at the subject, highlighting their sweet-tart intensity in savory recipes as well as sweet, all playing on the gorgeous color of plums. Think of a homemade plum jam!

If you aren’t familiar with Short Stack, it’s an innovative publishing house that has set out to rekindle the nostalgia and lasting value of old fashioned food pamphlets by creating hand bound, single subject books. There seems to be a new trend in small books as I am seeing more and more come across my desk. The American Academy in Rome has tiny books on subjects like Biscotti or Zuppe. The University of North Carolina Press has a series of books called Savor the South on ideas like Biscuits, Pecans and Buttermilk. Short Stack Editions is the only publisher to zero in on the La Varenne alumni network! Virginia Willis authored a book on Grits and Jessica Battilana wrote the most recent one on Corn.

Martha seems to be doing more than just studying the plum. She’s working on her third video for online tutorial site Craftsy and putting a co-authored Cocktail Book to bed. Martha is also working on a book about Vegetables to be released in 2016. And if that isn’t enough, she is also serving as Director, Communications and Content for IACP. (It’s a great organization for food professionals, worth checking out their upcoming events.)

People are always commenting on how busy I am, but it is not just me. The entire La Varenne family seems to be going non-stop. From authors and media specialists to catering coordinators and hard core restaurant chefs, I’m constantly amazed and impressed by all that alumni accomplish. Congrats to Martha on the latest! Anne