Pen & Palate

Mastering the Art of Adulthood, with Recipes


By Lucy Madison

By Tram Nguyen

Read by Lucy Madison

Read by Tram Nguyen

Formats and Prices



  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
  2. ebook $13.99 $17.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $26.00 $31.50 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 31, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From the writers of acclaimed blog Pen & Palate, a humorous coming-of-age (and mastering-the-art-of-home-cooking) memoir of friendship, told through stories, recipes, and beautiful illustrations.

Getting through life in your twenties isn’t easy–especially if you’re broke, awkward, and prone to starting small grease fires in your studio apartment. For best friends Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen, cooking was an escape from the daily humiliation that is being a twenty-something woman in a big city.

Pen & Palate traces the course of Lucy and Tram’s devoted friendship through miserable jobs and tiny apartments, first loves and ill-advised flings, successes and setbacks–always with a shared love of food at the center of the narrative. A modern take on Laurie Colwin’s classic Home Cooking, this coming-of-age memoir for the Girls set weaves together comical (mis)adventures and recipes meant to be shared with a best friend and a bottle of wine.

  • "It's cookbook as bildungsroman. The recipes are great, but greater still is the pair's unvarnished take on the comedic hideousness of being young and totally confused about everything from love to work to how much the steam heat in your crappy Manhattan apartment costs."
  • "Told with charming good humor, this millennial-girls-taking-on-the-world story will have readers immediately casting themselves and their girlfriends as either a Lucy or a Tram . . . An absolute must-have for young women and a perfect addition to food and memoir collections."
    Library Journal
  • "[Lucy and Tram's] advice on how to get through that fraught post-college decade: Good food, good friends, and plenty of wine. Oh, and listen to your mother (sometimes). . . . PEN & PALATE offers some lived-in advice for surviving your twenties--and eating well along the way."
    Food & Wine
  • "I have rarely devoured a book as quickly and as joyfully as PEN & PALATE. I paused in my reading only to snack-the book made me so happy, and so hungry. Besides being a brilliantly conceived, beautifully illustrated, funny and delicious book, PEN & PALATE is also the story of a real, deep, and wonderful friendship."
    Emily Gould, author of Friendship and And the Heart Says Whatever
  • "PEN & PALATE is a modern tale of friendship and food. Lucy and Tram learn many of life's tough lessons: first, cold SpaghettiOs are not better than your mom's homemade caramel and coconut braised pork, and second, you can't hide from your true self (and it just so happens, your true self is actually pretty great)."
    Amelia Morris, author of Bon Appétempt
  • "PEN & PALATE lets you tag along on the fun, sad, and sometimes kind of embarrassing journey of two young women stumbling into their own identities, while holding fast to one another. Weaving in the hallmark recipes of each chapter in their lives, Lucy and Tram have made a cozy and satisfying meal out of their stories-the kind that makes you want to sit at the table and chat all night long."
    Kelsey Miller, author of Big Girl

On Sale
May 31, 2016
Hachette Audio

Lucy Madison

About the Author

Lucy Madison is a New York City-based journalist and editor, and a senior editor at Food & Wine magazine. She has worked for publications including W, Interview, Teen Vogue, Lucky,, Refinery29, The, and more.

Tram Nguyen is Chicago-based illustrator and costume designer, who has built costumes and props for television, print, theater, and professional sports teams. Her work has appeared in,, Lucky, and more.

Learn more about this author