The people have spoken. As of the October 26th NYT Best Sellers list, the Thug Kitchen cookbook is officially a #1 hit (in the “Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous category,” at least).

Bloggers Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway attracted a ton of press—not all of it good—after they stepped out from behind the anonymity of their website and revealed that they’re a white couple from Hollywood.

thug kitchen.
Photo: Matt Duckor for Epicurious

Speaking on Rachael Ray, Davis offered the following explanation of choosing the Thug Kitchen name:

I mean, we understand where people are coming from; Thug is a loaded word, and it’s definitely gotten a lot more loaded in the past year and a half in the news. But we’ve always intended…to use it more as an attitude.” 

The controversy has clearly helped move copies—after all, it’s not an everyday occurrence that a vegan cookbook shoots to #1. While touring to promote the release, the duo had to cancel a number of appearances in the Bay Area due to threats of protest. Meanwhile, just about everyone with an online presence and an interest in food has weighed in on the implications of the name, from CNN’s Eatocracy, to Bustle, to the CBC Community Blog.

Whether or not any of this was planned is unclear, though it would take some Kardashian-level marketing minds to turn such an uncomfortable reveal into commercial success. Perhaps that’s what it takes to move cookbooks in 2014.

[via GrubStreet, Twitter]

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