The Big Book of King Cake
"I once ate more than eighty king cakes in a single Carnival," author Matt Haines proudly remembers, demonstrating his dedication to this delicious Mardi Gras tradition. "So you can imagine how amazed I was to learn there has never been a coffee table book dedicated to king cakes!"
The Big Book of King Cake changes that, telling the thousands-year-old story through lush photography of more than one hundred and fifty unique king cakes, as well as stories from the diverse and talented bakers who make them.
While king cakes are typically only available during Carnival season, readers can enjoy this book year-round. From the traditional cakes generations of New Orleanians have loved, to the unconventional creations that break all the rules, this book is your guide to the Crescent City's favorite baked good.
The Big Book of King Cake is for anyone who loves food, history, sweets, culture, and of course, New Orleans.
"No mere dessert, king cake in New Orleans is a beloved tradition, a creative muse, and an emblem of home. King cake culture runs deep, and Matt Haines gives you an inside look at what makes it so vibrant and delicious."
— Ian McNulty, Food Writer, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate
"For years we’ve been hearing, ‘Someone should write a book about the history of the king cake.’ Well, Matt Haines has done it, telling its incredible story through the eyes of seventy-five New Orleans-area bakers, painting a vibrant picture of our region’s diversity and its tug of war between tradition and modernity. BRAVO!"
— Arthur Hardy, Publisher, Mardi Gras Guide
"This book is the most comprehensive collection of New Orleans king cakes that exists! Flipping through the pages is like watching our beautiful traditions come to life in historic and modern ways, all the while making us very hungry.”
— Alon Shaya, James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Founder, Pomegranate Hospitality
"We love everything about king cake! The explosion of different styles in the last thirty years mirrors the explosion in New Orleans food. The creativity is exciting and just plain fun. The tradition of getting the baby and having to bring the next king cake is so New Orleans. And so is this book by Matt Haines—so New Orleans and so overdue."
— Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan, Co-Proprietors of James Beard Award-Winning Restaurant Commander’s Palace
About the Author
Matt Haines tried to eat as many different versions of king cake that he could during the 2017 Mardi Gras season, and ended up sampling over 80 different varieties. That was just before he hiked the entire Appalachian trail. When he returned to New Orleans from this amazing feat he began his writing career. Since then Matt has written for Voice of America, Lonely Planet, CNN Underscored, Zagat, Fodor's Travel, Rosetta Stone, Great Big Story, AlltimePower, The Times-Picayune, The New Orleans Advocate, Gambit Weekly,Very Local New Orleans and GoNOLA.com, as well as technology companies like Align and nonprofit organizations such as 504ward. Matt loves writing about food, travel and just about anything that helps him better understand people and their unique motivations. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Randy Krause Schmidt is a New Orleans based portrait and food photographer. He’s had a sweet tooth for as long as he can remember, so he was elated to collaborate with Matt Haines on this celebration of such an integral part of the region’s food culture and the talented bakers who make it possible. His work has been featured in Vogue, Southern Living, Louisiana Cookin’, New Orleans Magazine, Where Magazine, Eater, and others.
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