Jeni Britton Bauer Launches Tour to Support Second Book
In 2011, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams founder Jeni Britton Bauer published what she thought would be the only book she’d ever have to write. It made the New York Times Best Sellers list and won her a James Beard award, which proved that it was a pretty successful venture for the local ice cream maven.
“While working on that book, I realized how difficult writing is, because I’m just not that good at it,” she proclaims. “I have to work ten times harder on it than most people, so I have a lot of respect for people who write professionally.”
In spite of that, her second book “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts” was officially released last week, which means that something big had to inspire her to give it another go.
“We’re always doing a lot of cooking and baking in our kitchen, making cakes that sometimes go into our recipes for ice cream,” she explains. “I get asked for ideas a lot on pairing ice creams with other desserts so I began to think that maybe that could turn into another book.”
The end result is less of a sequel to her original ice cream recipe book and more of an instruction manual designed to provide some basic recipes that can be remixed, interchanged and reinvented by each reader who wants to put their own spin on a perfect home-crafted dessert.
“I’ve always loved those ‘driving directions’ type of cookbooks,” says Bauer. “So this second book provides ways to freestyle a whole bunch of things. There are simple cake recipes, but you can do all sorts of cool things with different kinds of ice creams or frostings or ingredients. The real magic happens outside the pages when people start mixing and blending ingredients.”
Some of her favorite examples include german chocolate cakes and frozen Boston creme pies.
“We took a lot out to make things as simple as possible,” adds Bauer. “We’re not trying to convince you to create something, we’re trying to inspire you.”
The Jeni’s brand of inspiration will be taken on the road this summer as Bauer kicks off a new 25-city book tour. She’ll be hosting signing events here in Columbus at The Wexner Center on Friday and at Williams-Sonoma at Easton on Saturday.
Bauer says that the opportunity to do a book tour is special to her, as few publishing companies accommodate tours in the age of Amazon. But the Jeni’s fanbase has grown cross-country to support these types of signing events, and she sees it as a great opportunity to promote Columbus in the process.
“Everyone is so much more interested in entrepreneurship than ice cream,” she says. “I tell people that you have to go and find your inspiration and I find tons of it in Columbus. It’s the best place in the world to start a company. And I don’t have to push that Columbus conversation on people — they ask me about it everywhere I go.”