Press Release

For Immediate Release



Woodrow Wilson

731 Avocado Place

Del Mar, CA 92014



California chemist publishes cookbook for today


DEL MAR, CA  Woodrow Wilson, career chemist to the military, has published a book of restaurant quality dishes without restaurant prices.  Among his former clients, even generals never ate this well.  Whether it’s an intimate dinner for two, or having the boss over for the first time, you’ll be proud to serve from Wilson’s The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook.


Wilson’s book offers delicious recipes for the dishes you would order at a restaurant.  “For the cost of tax, tip and valet parking,” he says, “you can serve the good stuff at home.”


Creativity honed in the lab is applied in the kitchen.  Mouthwatering recipes are invented or refined.  All are easy and fun.  The first step in his beer can chicken recipe is “Open the beer.  Drink half.”  The reader’s biggest challenge will be picking a favorite from all the choices.






The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook,  Woodrow Wilson,, September 2009, 108 pages, $12.95 paperback $8.95 electronic, ISBN 978-1-60145-927-5







About the Author



Woodrow Wilson is a Caltech PhD chemist who learned to cook in self-defense.  He could live the life of a starving student as long as he didn’t have to taste it.  Spoiled by years of his mother’s home cooking he’d have to do better.  Besides, his roommates wouldn’t tolerate mediocre cooking.  Dinner might not cost much, but it had better not taste like it didn’t.


Wilson brings his creativity out of the laboratory and into the kitchen.  Toying with recipes—adjusting ingredients to improve taste or substituting ingredients for whatever he’s out of—he presents new takes on old favorites.  Cooking by the seat of his pants, and then reverse engineering the ones that turn out well, he produces some great new taste sensations.  His best results are presented in his new book The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook.  This is a collection of recipes simple enough they are a joy to cook, but delicious enough they are a joy to eat.


Wilson is a research scientist, an author, a Toastmaster, a husband, a father, and a grandfather.  Visit his web site to learn more about him.  As a special bonus, you’ll discover new recipes there every month or so.



What are they saying?


North County Times, September 17, 2009


Food and Dining Briefs for Sept. 17

Del Mar chemist writes cookbook: Woodrow Wilson, a Del Mar resident and former Ph.D. chemist from CalTech, has self-published a cookbook for those who like fine-dining restaurants but can't afford the prices. Using his chemistry background, Wilson "reverse-engineered" some of the best dishes he's been served at top restaurants to figure out the ingredients and proportions. Then, he created his own versions for easy home preparation. "The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook" includes recipes for dishes such as bacon-wrapped, crab-stuffed shrimp; pork medallions stuffed with blue cheese; onion-stuffed sirloin; meatball stew; smoked turkey; and more. The 108-page cookbook can be ordered via Wilson's Web site at


Del Mar Times, October 9, 2009, page B5& Carmel Valley Leader, October 19. 2009


Chemist/cook writes book


Woodrow Wilson of Del Mar, a chemist with a Ph.D. from Cal Tech, past Toastmaster president and longtime amateur chef, just released "The Champagne Taste/Beer' Budget Cookbook," $12.95, "for people who want to eat well despite these hard economic times." The recipes are simple enough to be a joy to cook, and good enough to be a joy' to serve, he said. The book is available online at


Toast of the Town, September 2009


Bon Appétit by Larry Knight


Have you ever eaten as exquisite meal at a quality restaurant but you can’t justify the expense of going back?  If so, Encinitas Toastmasters member Woody Wilson’s newly published book “The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook” might be just what you are looking for.


Woody says that his cookbook of over 100 recipes will bring scrumptious pleasures to the most discerning palate at a fraction of the cost of your restaurant meal.  Woody says he wrote the book primarily for those who could no longer afford to eat out due to the current economy.  According to Woody, his book demonstrates that “for the cost of burgers out, families can have steak at home.”


Woody’s idea for the cookbook actually started with a Toastmasters speech project.  For his advanced manual “speeches by management,” Woody was looking for a subject other than his usual “tech talk.”  He decided on a speech about his hobby of cooking and the many delicious recipes he has fine-tuned over the years.


As he developed his speech, he soon realized that if he could identify a target audience and a unifying theme around his perfected recipes, he would have a great cookbook.  The rest, as they say, is history.


Woody’s book will soon be available on his website,, Amazon, and possibly at Barnes and Noble.  He is also hoping to make it available at specialty cooking shops.


The Coast News, February 19. 2010, page A3


Bianca Kaplanek


Photo by Bianca Kaplanek




Author Woodrow Wilson discusses his “Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook” at the Del Mar Library on Feb. 13.  The 108-page book features more than 100 recipes with easy-to-follow and entertaining instructions such as “open the beer, drink half.”  Wilson, a Del Mar resident, said he started cooking in college as a survival tactic and developed many original recipes throughout his single days.  “It made dating affordable,” he said.  All the recipes are “pretty easy,’ he said, and can be prepared for about the same price as a fast-food burger.  “The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook” is available for $12.95 at


Del Mar Times & Solana Beach Sun, April 2, 2010


Woodrow Wilson likes cooking up fun … and talking about it!


Del Mar's Woodrow Wilson is a scientist, a Toastmaster, a cook, an author, a husband, a father and a grandfather. Wilson earned his Ph.D. from Caltech and began a career in research and development. Highlights of his long and varied career include 12,000 mph impacts, explosions and disposal of chemical ammunition.


Wilson is an advanced communicator and an advanced leader in Toastmasters. His technical experience plays into some entertaining and informative Toastmaster speeches. So do his children, his grandchildren and his books. Wilson also serves as area governor, supporting the management of six local Toastmaster clubs.


Wilson brings his creativity out of the laboratory and into the kitchen. Toying with recipes - adjusting ingredients or substituting for whatever he's out of - yields new takes on old favorites. Cooking by the seat of his pants, Wilson produces new taste sensations. His best are presented in his "The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook," which he is signing in libraries across North County.


What brought you to Del Mar?


I fell in love with California when I was in school at Caltech. The job market was nearly as bad when I graduated as it is today. It took six years to find a job that would pay me to work in California. I moved to Olivenhain when it was still rural, won the Bicentennial Beer Drinking Contest, and decided I never wanted to leave northern San Diego County. So far, so good. I'm now in rural Del Mar.


What makes this town special to you?


There's so much to love about our town. When the tide is out, walking the beach from Penasquitos Lagoon to Dog Beach and back is out of this world. Watch for people, dolphins and even whales. If you have time, stop at the tide pools along the way. On a summer Tuesday night, there are concerts at Powerhouse Park. Watch the sunset with a baguette, a bottle of wine and a few good cheeses.


If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?


Saint Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland; I'd drive the snails out of North County.


What inspires you?


On morning walks with the dogs, I can watch the sun rise over the mountains of East County and know there's another day in paradise ahead for me. I promise myself not to waste it.


If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?


I'd invite Hedy Lamarr. She lived her famous quote, "Any girl can be glamorous, all you have to do is stand still and look stupid." She hid a brilliant mind to be regarded as the most glamorous woman in the world. Her patent led to the Qualcomm patents. Where would the area economy be without them?


A former teacher, Richard Feynman would be the life of any party. Fascinating: He invented quantum electrodynamics, and he played bongo drums. He could talk to anyone about anything. He would sketch Hedy Lamarr's portrait ... and probably take her home at the end of the evening.


Ben Franklin would be a welcome guest. Scientist, statesman and diplomat: Imagine the stories he could tell about the founding fathers. He would coin a dozen new Poor Richard one-liners before the evening was over. A legendary lady's man in his time, he might compete with Feynman for Hedy's attention.


Galileo could talk to Feynman. Einstein considered him the smartest man who ever lived. He'd be fascinated by modern astronomy that grew from his creation. He could tell us about the Inquisition. Would he be happy to know that his heresy was pardoned ... 500 years later?


We'd take Leonardo da Vinci down to the Air and Space Museum to see its exhibit of his inventions. We'd ask him about the Mona Lisa: Who was she? What was she smiling about? Would I ask him what he thought of Dan Brown's book? I don't think so.


Named the 16th most influential person in history (behind the likes of Mohamed, Buddha, Confucius, Christ, Newton, Galileo and Einstein), Charles Darwin could be an interesting guest. He conceived his theory of natural selection after an extended trip around the world, but spent the next 23 years refining it. He only published then because a rival had come to the same conclusion.


Darwin would get along well with Isaac Newton, the father of classical physics. They were both obsessive to the point of stubbornness. To discover physics, Newton first had to invent calculus. Calculus was neat, and he wanted to explore its full potential before publishing. (Four hundred years later, mathematicians still haven't finished that task.) Like Darwin, he finally published when a competitor was about to scoop him.


Jules Verne would be glad to learn he was right about the submarine, and dead-on about going to the moon. He'd be fascinated by today. I wonder what he'd say about tomorrow.


Tell us about what you are currently reading.


I've fallen months behind in reading Scientific American. I read it cover to cover; sometimes I even read it twice. I'm also reading a few business books on publishing and marketing.


For entertainment, I visit the library and peruse the fiction section. When I find an author I like, I return and read everything the author has written. This month, I'm reading my way through Greg Iles' mysteries set in the deep South.


What is your most-prized possession?


Since you can't "possess" people, I'd have to say my most-prized possession is my green thumb. I'm into plants, and most of mine survive. With water rates rising, I love cactus and succulents more than ever these days.


What do you do for fun?


For grown-up fun, there are walks on the beach, concerts in the park, and prime rib at Bully's. There are barbecues, dinner parties and my son's concerts. With my grandchildren, there are the trails of San Dieguito Park, and all the animals at Feather Acres Nursery next door. The San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park are favorite day trips. I took "staycations" in San Diego County when gas was 30 cents a gallon.


Please describe your greatest accomplishment.


My greatest accomplishment would have to be earning my Ph.D. from Caltech. That gave me the tickets to a world of interesting and challenging problems.


What is your life motto?


Do something interesting.


Angela Hoy, BookLocker publisher, e-mail, July 19, 2009


I already ate dinner but, now that I've thumbed (well, clicked) through your book a bit, I'm starving! ;)


 Gloria Uhler, “divaonline” January 14, 2010


… a mix of science and clever kitchen mechanics!


Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook Review

[Katie Campbell,]

I love to cook, it is such a pleasure to spend time making a meal and then hearing one of my kids say "Wow! That was good" or ask me to cook a meal they already tasted and liked. That is one of the big reasons I am including Cook Books in my Gift Guide. And the Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook by Woodrow Wilson is a cook book for anyone!

About Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook:

"Got champagne taste and a beer budget? Here's the cookbook for you. A great meal doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. For the cost of burgers out, you can dine on filet mignon at home. The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook
shows the way. This small volume is full of recipes simple enough they're a joy to cook, and tasty enough they're a joy to eat. Whether it's an intimate dinner for two, or having the boss over for the first time, you'll be proud to serve from this fine cookbook.

Enjoy restaurant quality meals without the quality restaurant prices. One meal eaten in rather than eaten out pays for the book. With the money you save cooking with The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook, you could serve filet mignon every night. Better yet, the money you won't be spending will add up as fast as an executive's paycheck. Best of all, the government hasn't figured out how to tax these benefits...yet.

Serve something fancy, like pork medallions stuffed with bleu cheese or onion-stuffed sirloin. Serve something basic like meatball stew or pot roast. Serve something great every time.

The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook is about more than just eating well and saving money. With instructions like "marinate significant other, set aside" and "open the beer, drink half" Wilson puts fun back into the kitchen."

There were several recipes I wanted to try in this book, but I decided on Tex Mex Spaghetti. Why? I wanted to see a "hyped" up version of my usual spaghetti. Weird as this sounds, spaghetti is not one of the fan favorites in my house. I don't know, maybe because I make it using such a basic recipe there is nothing too it I guess.

What added the "Champagne" quality of this recipe I think is that included Garlic Cloves, Cumin, Chili Powder, and corn as some of the ingredients. Ummm...that is definitely a leap from what I normally put in my spaghetti (I told you, my spaghetti is B.O.R.I.N.G!). So how did it turn out?

Well, let's just say there was NONE left at the end of dinner! If that doesn't say something about a recipe, nothing will.

If you are looking for recipes that "normal" but then add a twist to them to make them taste more like something you would get in a restaurant, this is a great cookbook. The only thing I was bummed about was that there were no Dessert Recipes.

Great Gift For:
Men, Women, Anyone who likes to cook.

Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook can be purchased online here or on Amazon for $12.95.

The Champagne Taste/ Beer Budget Cookbook by Woodrow Willson.
[Lauren Happel,]

Another great frugal style cookbook. The name is what caught my attention, it is totally my type of thought process, living with luxury but NEVER paying the real price! It goes for my food as well, we might not pay much for our food but we do have a pretty high standard in our house for what type of food we eat(my kids are known for asking me to make them bluefish and rice for lunch, thankfully I have an awesome Uncle who fishes and does not eat it so we get bluefish when he goes fishing)

But anywho back to this great cookbook, I can not wait for tomorrow nights dinner because we are having Beer Can Chicken, I have heard of this before but never tried it and after reading the recipe and how I can cook it in the oven instead of on the grill, since ours is itty bitty and would not fit the chicken, I made sure to get a full chicken the other day at the store. Through out this cookbook there are little comments, that are hilarious it is such a fun easy going cookbook that it was fun just to actually read it instead of just looking at the recipes that were in it.

My favorite section of this cookbook is the seafood, we love seafood in this house and with the exception of Bluefish(from my uncle) it is hard to find it for a great price but when I do find is at a good price or a rebate form for it, everyone here loves it! The Bacon-wrapped Crab-stuffed Shrimp sounds absolutely amazing!

Buy It:
You can buy The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook on and Barnes and Noble.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I did receive a product to review. All opinions are honest and my own.


The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook



You don't have to go to the expensive restaurants to feast. The book brings you very elegant restaurant quality food at a very low cost. Thanks to this enjoyable book, you can cook the "high-society" meals with a really reasonable budget. You can choose among various ingredients and dishes like beef, pork, poultry, seafood, pasta, soups, potatoes, corn, vegetables, etc. There are also secret ingredients and brunch dishes sections in the book.


What I noticed that at the beginning of every section, there is a good and informative background data about the related food. While reading, I saw that the author explained the cooking way of the food in different methods such as gas barbecue, charcoal barbecue, broiler, grill, etc. There are also quick helpful tips about the cooking.


By the way, the author doesn't forget to make you smile or even laugh! For example, when explaining the preparation of the beer-can chicken, he says "open the beer, drink half". There are such enjoyable sentences scattered inside the book.


PS: The only disadvantage of the book that it has no pictures in it, sorry :(


My Favorite Sentences:


-       "You can always put it back and cook it more, but you can never put it back and uncook it."

-       “Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?"



{A Christmas To Remember Gift Guide} The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook Review & Giveaway



I love cookbooks, and I think they always make such a nice little gift for friends and family, especially the foodies on your list! So, I'm happy to introduce you to The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook by Woodrow Wilson!


From seafood to pasta and more, this cookbook is full of some wonderful recipes. The Salisbury steak and chicken cacciatore are my favorites. Plus, I'm sure that the title caught your attention, right? Well, this is a cookbook that any frugalista will love, as well foodies! It allows you to enjoy meals just like those from perhaps your favorite restaurant at just a fraction of the price that you would pay when eating out! All of the recipes are simple to follow (so don't worry if you're not a wiz in the kitchen), and it's actually fun to read! When you read through the recipes, you'll surely encounter a few laughs, just as I did. Also, every couple of pages or so, you'll even find cute cooking/food related quotes, which I loved reading, such as, "I's strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach," from Popeye.