I am lucky to be the daughter of a chef. I was lucky enough to learn how to use a stove, what spices go with each other, how to eye if a chicken is ready, and before many of my other peers could do the same. I got to spend a lot of my formative years in the kitchen with my dad watching him flip eggs and give me little tidbits of secret knowledge and tricks that I still use today in my own kitchen. Being raised in a chef’s household also gave me privilege to a fairly wide library of cookbooks. I had a favourite, of course, as many of us do. I loved the pictures of the food, and it’s kitsch-inspired details and aesthetics. The instructions were clear and simple enough for 8 year old me to take a swing at a full family dinner, much to my father’s enjoyment and pride. And despite the cookbook’s age, there was not a single aspic recipe in those pages, making it even more approachable and, pardon the pun, digestible.
“If you want happy endings, read cookbooks.”
Food is culture, wherever you are in the world. It brings families together, and I can bet that your best memories happened around food. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, and a lot of heart and soul goes into curating them. Cookbooks allow us to dive into those traditions and the culture while educating it’s readers about the importance and joy of cooking. Cookbooks are so much more than lists of ingredients methodically described and placed in pans and casserole dishes, they are photography albums, personal memoirs and anthologies of memorabilia shared with the public by culinary artists. Many beginner authors publish cookbooks as their debut publications due to the simple, legible and straightforward nature of these books. The popularity of cookbooks has only increased in popularity, leading more burgeoning authors to tackle the medium and share their unique cookery ideas with the world.
“I think it's important if you're going to write a cookbook, it should sound like you're talking - it should be things you actually believe, otherwise I'm not interested.”
Any style of cooking can be a popular phenomenon when deciding to write your cookbook. If you love the culinary experiences you’re writing, then the audience will as well. Good cooking comes from the heart, but it also reads from the heart. You follow that and you’ll be good to go as far as content. Cookbooks also have a strong visual element to them. From well propped photography, to cute cartoons, to stunning infographics, always ensure your cookbooks are loaded with pictures and visual details to accompany the recipes. Not only do these pictures employ more entertainment factor, they also give reference to the readers and home cooks trying to get it right. Ensure you choose a sturdy paper weight and stock so that cooks with their hands full can still read their pages. 100lb gloss coated paper to protect from stains and spills is a good choice, and is also available with colourful print so you can customize and accessorize. Coil bound is also a popular binding option as it is cost effective, simple, and allows pages to move freely without spinal tension. This makes it an ideal kitchen companion that won’t close up on you.
“Beyond the recipes and the glimpse into the mind of the chefs, such books can be souvenirs of experiences that are special.”
Remember to make it personal. It was more than just the pictures and simple recipes in my favourite cookbook that made it my favourite. It felt like it was written for me. It had all my favourites before I even knew what they were. First time authors will not only enjoy writing their very own cookbook, but also have a joy printing it with ease. If you’re looking for a lucrative and popular book, you can’t go wrong when it’s dealing with food. So pull up a chair, and start writing someone’s next favourite cookbook.
Written by Kaylin Baker-Fields, Submitted April 22 2021