America The Great Cookbook: chefs unite to support No Kid Hungry

Lights. Camera. Action!

Mixing up batter and drizzling glaze atop doughnuts is a standard part of our King Arthur Flour test kitchen crew’s routine. But said action accompanied by banks of lights, a director, and a photographer is quite the opposite.

Still, that’s just the situation we found ourselves in recently when we were asked to contribute to America the Great Cookbook, a new book by author and food writer Joe Yonan, two-time James Beard award-winner and food and dining editor of The Washington Post.

While our test kitchen is regularly tasked with providing recipes to outside entities, this request was special.

First, the book’s sales fight childhood hunger by helping No Kid Hungry connect kids with at least 200,000 meals. King Arthur has also supported this worthwhile hunger-fighting organization, both financially and via marketing initiatives.

And second — well, how could we resist rubbing shoulders, if only virtually, with the selection of nationally renowned chefs and bakers who’ve also contributed their recipes to the book?

The book’s subtitle — “The food we make for the people we love from 100 of our finest chefs and food heroes” — says it all. A total of 104 chefs, authors, and restaurateurs from around the country have contributed their favorite recipes. And each one is a personal answer to the book’s central question: “What do you love to cook for the people that you love?”

Now, all in one place – favorite recipes from over 100 of America's top cooks, all in support of No Kid Hungry. Click To Tweet

Their answers range all over the map — literally, with featured cooks from around the country. Each has written a short paragraph about his or her work and/or chosen recipe(s). And their words give the reader a peek into both the personality and personal life of some of this country’s most renowned foodies.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

Contributors include people like Ruth Reichl, author, writer, and food editor. Her entertaining memoirs and cookbooks, long stint at Gourmet magazine, and celebrity status as the New York Times’ restaurant critic have made her an American food icon. Reichl chose her Tart Lemon Tart recipe for the cookbook.

Note: Tart Lemon Tart, and all of the recipes mentioned here, can be found in The Great American Cookbook.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

And Joanne Chang, a celebrated young baker and author. This James Beard award-winner is proprietor of the justly famous Flour Bakery + Café in Boston. Check out her recipes for Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Raspberry Swirl Meringues.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

Marcus Samuelsson, a New York City chef, is familiar to many as a judge on the Food Network’s Chopped, Iron Chef America, and Top Chef. His Fried Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles are a new twist on an American classic.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

Known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase is a New Orleans chef, author, and restaurateur. She’s also as an honored member of the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of American Food and Beverage. Her shared recipe? Creole Gumbo, of course.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

Baker, pastry chef, author, and restaurateur Nancy Silverton, named the Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef in 2014, is also a pioneer of America’s artisan bread movement. Nearly 30 years ago, deep in an era of supermarket baguettes, her La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles featured slow-rising, naturally leavened breads. “Fett-unta” – Italian-style garlic bread — is Nancy’s contribution.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

Charlotte Rutledge (left); me, PJ Hamel (center), and Amber Eisler (right) all bake and develop recipes as part of our jobs at King Arthur Flour.

And then there’s us — me, Charlotte, and Amber, all bakers at King Arthur Flour. King Arthur is proud to be one of just three national food companies selected to participate. When asked what we’d like to contribute to the book, we decided on a variation of a website favorite, Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts. Adding Boiled Cider Glaze to this reader-favorite recipe takes it over the top.

America the Great Cookbook via @kingarthurflour

Want to add a hefty tome of superlative recipes to your collection — and help feed hungry kids as well? You can’t do better than America the Great Cookbook.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Jason Byler

    The best way to get a good picture and feel for the education center is to sign up for a class as I did last fall. It was a bucket list experience. KAF’s staff, regardless of position, is extraordinary, as they are all employee owners and it shows. One gets so much more than just class experience: the bakers as they bake all morning long and more; the store employees; the cafe staff, and on it goes. I never heard a complaint in 8 days. It was remarkable. I can’t wait to go back. J. Byler

  2. Gaylen

    I am a regular contributor to No Kid Hungry and would love to buy this but don’t have room to keep physical books. Do you know if there is or will be an e-version available? Thank you.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Good news, Gaylen. It looks like there’s a downloadable version that’s made for the Kindle, which you can order from Amazon. We hope that helps, and enjoy! Kye@KAF

  3. Gracemarie

    Thank you for responding. I love pictures in my cookbooks. I have so many of your recipes saved on my iPad, maybe some of them will be included in the Great American cookbook. So, how do I order?

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Thanks for baking with us, Gracemarie — Just click here to order: America the Great Cookbook. Our recipe for glazed pumpkin doughnuts is included in the book, along with a lot of other really yummy sounding recipes from all across the country. Enjoy! PJH@KAF

  4. Sue C.

    Had the great pleasure of meeting P.J. in person a few years back; this included a behind-the scenes tour of the test kitchen (building just up the road from KAF) ~ my husband and I are native New Englanders now living in Florida, and this was definitely a highlight of our annual summer sojourn to Vermont from Florida!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It does, Gracemarie, and they’re beautiful! Almost every page either contains a photo of the recipe or of the baker/chef. Annabelle@KAF

  5. Anonymous

    Congratulations on being included in the book. How long did it take to decide which recipes to include. I can only imagine how difficult the decision must have been.

    1. Annabelle Nicholson

      Thank you! In choosing the recipes for the whole book? We simply don’t know. It was a lot of work for so many great bakers and chefs from across the country. As far as choosing our featured recipe? It only took about an hour! We knew wanted to go with a recipe that felt very Vermont/New England, was popular with our customers, and of course, tasted really really good. Thus, Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts prevailed! Annabelle@KAF

  6. sandy

    I really liked getting a little glimpse into the KAF test kitchen in this post. I am a devoted KAF blog reader and have wondered what the test kitchen looks like. Maybe some time there can be a post showing the bakers and more of where all of the good stuff happens. Would be fun for all of us KAF fans.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for making the suggestion, Sandy. We know that would be a fun topic to write about and share with readers. We’ve shared it with the larger blog team to consider. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  7. Dolores F. Arendall

    In the picture with PJ ,a crock stands with untinsuls does KAF have it for sale?? I would love to buy one ..


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *