!t’s here and it’s spectacular. Released in October, Seinfeld: The Official Cookbook is the perfect gift for all Sein-stans and a perfect companion for meals on the couch should you binge the sitcom around the clock on Netflix. The book is by our former editor Julie Tremaine and Brendan Kirby, one of the hosts of WPRI’s The Rhode Show and a superfan of the comedy, which ran over nine seasons on NBC. The hardcover includes 60 recipes drawing from foods referenced in episodes – from Mrs. Choate’s Marble Rye to Elaine’s Mulligatawny Soup. We chatted with the pair about their collaboration, cooking, and, well, nothing.
Hey Rhody: Seinfeld has been off the air
for more than 24 years. What’s the deal
with this cookbook?
Julie Tremaine: I had already written three books with my publisher Simon & Schuster, including one based on The Office TV show, when they approached me with the idea for a cookbook based on Seinfeld.
Brendan Kirby: A cookbook for a show about nothing.
HR: Sounds like a great idea. So how did the two of you connect on this project?
JT: We’ve known each other for years from the Providence scene through Brendan’s work on The Rhode Show and my time at Providence Media. And everyone is aware of his encyclopedic knowledge of Seinfeld.
BK: She needed help from someone with a pathetic knowledge of a 24-year-old sitcom.
JT: That, and I wanted his help incorporating comedy, and it’s a very specific kind of comedy.
BK: Seinfeld is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. It still remains a part
of the culture.
HR: But you don’t necessarily think of food when you think of Seinfeld.
JT: Not at first. But there are so many food references in the show. So many food scenarios. My challenge was to figure out how to turn them into recipes.
BK: And my job was to make it funny. Seriously, though, if you look back, there are so many conversations happening around food, whether it was in the diner or Jerry’s kitchen, from soup to nuts.
HR: Who is the book for? Who is
BK: The book is fun for hardcore fans and people who may not be as familiar with the show. The series has a real-world presence. It’s culturally significant and relatable. I watch it now – as an adult, I guess – and I understand it differently from when it first aired.
HR: I remember watching it on Thursday night and talking about it at work the next day. You assumed everyone in the office had seen it. Now, people are binge watching it, especially since COVID.
JT: Right. I think people watched all of Friends, then maybe all of The Office and were looking for something else to binge. They found Seinfeld either for the first time or all over again.
BK: The book is kind of like that for me, too. It seems like we wrote it so long ago and now it’s published and I’m seeing things I forgot about and I still think they’re really funny.
HR: Now that the book is out there, how do you feel about it? What has the response been like?
BK: Nervous. I love the show. I want passionate fans to love it.
JT: He was afraid that he would have to cook, really.
BK: I have an abject fear of cooking.
HR: Cooking is scary. I get that.
JT: The response has been great. We’ve been interviewed all over the country. People get the mass appeal of it.
BK: People really like it. What’s not to like? It’s a ride for your tastebuds.
Ask for Seinfeld: The Official Cookbook at your favorite local bookseller.
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