I have a lot of cookbooks. I can’t really say how many, but it’s possible that it tops one hundred. I can’t even say I try not to buy them. Thanks to a notice from a friend who blogs here, we went to the UCF Book Festival and attended a panel by some local food celebs last weekend and they were talking about their books, eating and shopping local, cookbooks vs. online recipes, recipe testing, etc. It was really engaging and I was sad at how quickly the time flew by. Hosted by local food critic, Scott Joseph and the panel was comprised of Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand & Heather McPherson who all collaborated on a cookbook called Field to Feast, celebrating the local farm and chefs in mostly Central Florida as well as James & Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig/Cask & Larder who have also written a cookbook called The Ravenous Pig, Seasons of Florida. It was interesting to hear them discuss the slow coming of age of locavorism in Orlando and all about the producers, that for the most part, I hadn’t heard of. When asked where a non-food professional (me) could purchase great local products and produce close to Lake Nona, they said they felt it was coming. I hope so but don’t see it yet. They also sang the praises of Whole Foods produce and their work to procure and sell local. I agree with that sentiment although don’t always find it easy to get over there on a weekly basis. The other thing that has stretched my mind were the comments about why people cook from cookbooks in the age of the internet. They thought people bought them for the ‘story’ and after talking about it at home we also think that the recipe testing is a key. For the most part you know a recipe is going to work. I personally think that for me, they are a source of visual inspiration. I don’t really buy books that aren’t stunning visually. After the talk they had a book signing and Z bought me copies of both books which I am engrossed in reading. One of these days I might even cook something.