Welcome to the Salt + Spine Cookbook Club!

UPDATE: The Salt + Spine Cookbook Club is now on a seasonal schedule! We'll be featuring one author each season and cooking along with them in a Virtual Dinner Party.

The Salt & Spine Cookbook Club is like a ‘regular’ book club…but with a very special twist. Each season we focus on one author's work—reading, cooking and connecting about it on social media.

The bonus: we get together live with the author for a Dinner Party, sponsored by HARDCOVER COOK, the subscription box and ingredient shop for cookbook lovers. Currently, the Dinner Party is virtual (via Zoom); we look forward to the day when we can meet in person at The Civic Kitchen.



Join the Salt + Spine Cookbook Club and our spring featured guest, author Abra Berens, and her latest cookbook, Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes. Join us as we cook through this book (and Abra's first cookbook, Ruffage), share on social media, get a peek into Abra's creative process with exclusive content. Then come together on a Zoom Dinner Party with Abra and other cookbook lovers! Reserve your spot at the Dinner Party now!

Abra Berens is a chef, former farmer, and writer. She believes that the meals we eat should change with the seasons and that their ingredients should come from nearby. She strives to make simple, delicious meals that champion the region.

She started cooking at the storied ZINGERMAN’S DELI in Ann Arbor, MI, then trained in the garden-focused kitchen at BALLYMALOE COOKERY SCHOOL in Cork, Ireland. She co-founded Bare Knuckle Farm in Northport, MI, where she farmed and cooked for 8 years before returning to the kitchen full time at Local Foods in Chicago, IL before landing at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI, where she creates one-of-a-kind dinners celebrating the best of South West Michigan’s diverse agriculture. Her dinners there made her a JAMES BEARD SEMIFINALIST for Outstanding Chef: Great Lakes.

RUFFAGE, her first cookbook, focused on vegetables. It was a Michigan Notable Book winner and James Beard Award nominee.

GRIST, her second book, builds upon the ideas of Ruffage to provide creative, easy, and endlessly riff-able meals from grains, beans, seeds, and legumes.

Our cookbook club is hosted in collaboration with our friends at The Civic Kitchen cooking school, and this Virtual Dinner Parties is presented by Hardcover Cook, the subscription box and ingredient shop for cookbook lovers.

Below are some of the ways you can take part in the club:

Join the Club!

Your email address will be shared only with Salt + Spine and our partner, The Civic Kitchen, for periodic updates on the cookbook club and associated dinner parties.
Thank you for joining the Salt + Spine Cookbook Club!

We can't wait to #TalkCookbooks with you!
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in partnership with:


Naz Deravian
Priya Krishna
Jessica Battilana
Sonoko Sakai
Nik Sharma
Anna Francese Gass
Lauren Ko
Julia Turshen
Jake Cohen
Hetty McKinnon
Abra Berens



Start your month by tuning in as Abra Berens sits down with Salt + Spine host Brian Hogan Stewart to talk about her career, her latest cookbook Grist, and more. This episode originally aired on February 1, 2022.


Grab your copy of Grist and pick a few recipes you’d like to make. Here are some recipes to get you started:

Plus: Reserve your seat for the Virtual Dinner Party and get access to more featured recipes.

Don’t have a copy of Grist yet? See links above to purchase. You can also check your local libraries for hard copies or digital versions.


Show off what you’re cooking from Abra Berens! Snap a pic and use the hashtag #TalkCookbooks when sharing on social media. And see what others are making, too!

Plus, learn from Abra as she shares cooking tips, recipes, behind-the-scenes content, and more—exclusively on our social media.


Come together on Zoom with Abra Berens and other Salt + Spine cookbook club members for an awesome Virtual Dinner Party!


Cook along from Grist (if you'd like!), then sit back and take the chance to ask Abra all your culinary questions and meet other cookbook lovers.

Reserve your seat for OUR Dinner Party WITH ABRA BERENS HERE!
And then join us next month for our August featured author, PRIYA KRISHNA!
Reserve your seat for OUR Dinner Party WITH PRIYA KRISHNA HERE!