Peter Workman, founder of Workman Publishing Co., died of cancer Sunday in his New York home at the age of 74. Workman, whose company owned the imprint Artisan, helped bring to coffee tables the likes of The French Laundry Cookbook (and its sister publications Ad Hoc at Home and Bouchon Bakery), as well as Eric Ripert's On the Line.
Perhaps the most important book published during Workman's reign was The Silver Palate Cookbook, published in 1981 and lauded by Regina Schrambling as the Joy of Cooking of the generation.
"He never followed the Food Network; his publishing house sought out authors with substance who would sell for the long haul — The Silver Palate Cookbook is still on shelves after 31 years for very good reasons," Schrambling wrote in her tribute on Eater.
Prominent chefs and food personalities tweeted their condolences earlier this morning, remembering the man who juggled page-a-day calendars (A Year in Beer) alongside cookbook heavyweights. "Profound loss. Peter Workman @WorkmanPub was an extraordinary man & tireless champion of publishing. We're all in a better place b/c of him," Thomas Keller tweeted.
"Just learned the sad news: Peter Workman, publishing genius, died. His vision made our world smarter, more beautiful + more delicious," Dorie Greenspan added.
Other cookbook contributions from Artisan includes The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual, Melissa Clark's Franny's cookbook, and books from Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford. "RIP publishing visionary Peter Workman. He gave a generation of food writers a voice," Good Food's Evan Kleiman tweeted. He will be missed.