A Novel Idea: Eating Meets Reading in New York's West Village

Staff Writer
Author Kim Barnouin celebrates her book launch with a signature vegan pizza at NYC eatery
Matt Armendariz
Author Kim Barnouin has teamed with New York pizzeria Wild to help promote her newest book.

Skinny Bitch co-author Kim Barnouin is known for her sassy bestselling health and nutrition tell-all, but this season she returned to bookstore shelves with something a bit breezier. June saw the release of Barnouin’s first fiction dip, Skinny Bitch In Love, a romp of a read perfect for warmer weather.

Basically, Barnouin was inspired by sun and sand. Asked how the idea for In Love came about, she told us, “Two years ago, with my son and my mom on vacation, I’m looking around at all these people on the beach, reading summer novels. The light bulb went off. I thought, Wow, I think I want to be part of this. I called my literary agent that minute.”

While Barnouin has built the SB brand—which essentially launched in 2005—on vegan cookbooks and lifestyle advice for women and men eager to clean up their act (both in the body as well as in the home), her latest tome stays true to the franchise, but swaps recipes and recommendations for revenge and romance.

And what pairs better with the latter than food and booze? Cue the collaboration between LA-based Barnouin and quaint West Village pizza place Wild, known to some as “Eat Drink Wild,” though that’s just the URL.

Skinny Bitch makes vegan living accessible,” Wild’s founder Miki Agrawal told us. “I’m so excited to help celebrate the launch of this beautiful concept.”

Already a vegan-friendly establishment—featuring a mouthwatering vegan version of truffled ricotta pizza as well as a savory kale and tofu salad, among other kind-inclined dishes—the fresh, local, farm-to-table restaurant recently welcomed to their modest menu one more pie.

Called simply Skinny Bitch, the ’za is crafted from Wild’s signature gluten-free (and thin-as-anything) crust and is topped with pesto, grilled zucchini and eggplant, basil and tomatoes. According to sources, it’s a hit.

“Putting the Skinny Bitch pizza on my menu gives it a fun edginess,” Agrawal added, with a smile.

Because not all the story’s characters are plant-based, it made sense to promote the publication with an outpost that strongly encourages green eating, but isn’t completely vegan. Like Barnouin herself, In Love’s protagonist Clementine Cooper is cruelty-free from head-to-toe. But her roommate and BFF struggles—though seemingly succeeds—with it, and her love interest isn’t in tandem with this diet (yet) either. Thus, Wild aligns seamlessly with the DNA of In Love. And, of course, the Skinny Bitch pizza, added to the menu last week and around until the end of summer, offers diners one more compassionate ordering option.

In other news, Agrawal has partnered with Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh to open a second Wild location in downtown Las Vegas next month. The space will include a full liquor bar and a full juice bar, and will seat 85. Of the area, Agrawal said, “It’s a beautiful community gathering space, ripe for serendipitous encounters.”

Like Agrawal, Barnouin is poised to introduce a second installment, too. Expect Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched sometime next summer.

In the meantime, eat—and read—up! 

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