Results tagged blog from David Lebovitz

Sign Up! Blog Posts & Newsletter Subscriptions

I’ve recently changed my blog subscriber service. A number of you had signed up but weren’t receiving the posts and recipes in your Inbox — a few readers wrote to me and thought I had stopped blogging! Irked that I was typing and baking away, updating the blog regularly with stories and recipes to share, but readers weren’t getting them, I moved everything over to a brand-new service.

Because everybody wants to control their Inbox, and not everyone wants to receive both blog posts and the newsletter (although why not?) – there are separate sign ups for each. If you are already a subscriber to either, you don’t have to re-sign up. However if you’re unsure, or haven’t been getting them, you should enter your information in the forms below, and it will let you know if your address is already in there. You can also use the two sign-up Subscribe forms in the upper right sidebar of the website.

– Sign up for the newsletter, click here=> Newsletter Sign Up

– Sign up for blog posts & recipes delivered to your Inbox, click here=> Blog Post Sign Up


-Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, other than sending out a monthly newsletter and for sending out blog posts. Email addresses will not be shared, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

-In order to ensure that you get messages delivered to your Inbox, please add to your “approved sender” list, so they don’t go into your spam folder. For Gmail Users, here’s how to do it with Gmail. For Gmail users, when you receive the newsletter or blog entries, drag those first emails into your Primary folder, and they will go into there in the future, rather than into the Promotions folder.

-You don’t need to subscribe to receive blog posts by email if you don’t wish to. You can still come to the site and read them as you wish. If you choose to have them come to your Inbox, you’ll get a notification and introduction to the post in your Inbox.

-Due to an overlapping error, some newsletter subscribers may receive blog posts sent to their Inbox. My apologies but you can easily opt out of those at the bottom of those emails. Please excuse any other tech glitches that many arise due to switching over to the new service, and we hope to get them ironed out as quickly as possible.

My Food Photography Gear

Many of you have asked about my Food Photography Gear, so here’s the run-down on how I take and process some of the photos on the blog, as well as the equipment that I use. The first thing I might say is that taking a good picture is partly the camera, but it is also the person behind it. I don’t consider myself a professional photographer but I practice taking pictures all the time.

When I am shooting a recipe, I’ll consider if a technique or step needs to be shown, if there is an ingredient that is interesting (or particularly beautiful), or perhaps if the situation where I am cooking or baking something feels like a moment that I want to share. If I’m out-and-about, I will often see something at the market that looks appetizing or a pastry in a shop that stands out. Living in Paris, I’m surrounded by beautiful things and most of the time, I try to do as little as possible and just get out of the way and take the picture; a flaky croissant or crusty baguette requires no manipulation to look great.

The following is a summary of the equipment I use, as well as a discussion of what techniques I use to get the shots for the site.

Pistachio Gelato
Pistachio Gelato shot outdoors in natural light on my roof.


For those starting out, I recommend the Canon Rebel, and I love it. It’s a great camera, and very well-priced for the features it offers. For years, this was the camera that I used and most of the pictures on the blog, that appear through 2013, were taken with my Canon Rebel. The compact size of the Rebel and weight made it easy to tote along and I was extremely happy with this camera, and I highly recommend it for folks starting out in digital photography. For the price, and quality of images, it’s an excellent choice.

In 2013, I moved up to the Canon 70D (below). I wanted to expand my options and the 70D offered a large vari-angle screen that can be moved around (helpful when using a tripod), it had a much higher ISO rating than the Rebel, allowing me to shoot in very low light situations (nights in Paris, inside restaurants, etc), features a touch screen ♥, and has WiFi capabilities. The controls are similar to the Rebel, but I’ve had to take some time to learn to use some of the new features this camera offers.

Canon 70D camera

If you can do one thing to improve your photography, is to switch to a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. People frequently ask what they can do to improve their photos and that’s the number-one tip I give to everyone. The ability to increase the ISO (the “speed”, so you can shoot in low light without a flash) and adjust the white balance, I find helps my photos immensely. Plus the quality of the lens means you’ll create photos much better than you can with a point-and-shoot camera.

When I bought my first camera, I was advised to get the camera without the lens. Since the ‘kit’ lens is less than $90, I bought it. But since I bought additional lenses, I took the ‘kit’ lens off and never used it again. So I agree: Skip the kit lens and buy one of the two I list below. 50mm 1.8 is a perfect, and inexpensive, place to start.

If you do get a Canon digital camera, or already own one, there are great online tutorials to help you figure out what all those dials and buttons mean.

I recently purchased a Canon G12 since I wanted a camera that was slimmer and more portable than my Rebel. This camera has all the same features of a DSLR, but is easier to tote around. The image stabilized lens does a good job and you can make videos with it as well. On the minus side, I’m not as happy with the photos – especially those shot indoors under low-light conditions – and am not sure if I would recommend this camera since the price is similar to a Rebel, which takes better pictures.


I have several lenses that I use:

The Canon 50mm 1.8 is the bargain of the century and the lens I snap on my camera when I leave the house since if something happens to it, it’s not a big deal. It’s small, lightweight, and inexpensive. If you own a Canon DSLR, you must get this lens.

I often use the Canon 50mm 1.4, which is faster than the previous lens, and more expensive, but it’s very well-made and good for low-light situations due to the 1.4 lens. This is the lens I use for most of the photos on the blog.

The Canon Macro 60mm isn’t cheap, but it’s an amazing lens which I use for anything very close up. It allows me to get as close as I want to something; some cake crumbs, a drip of chocolate, or a smudge of ice cream. I labored long and hard whether to invest in a lens like this, and I use it when I want to be right up tight against something. (However ever since I got the following lens, I don’t use the macro one very often.)

One of my favorite lenses in my arsenal is the Canon 24-70mm zoom which several photographer friends highly recommended. It’s very fast, so can be used in low-light situations, but is also quite heavy. It’s not inexpensive, but it has a wide range of uses and although the price was initially a deterrent, I’m glad I made the investment. It also has a macro function, too.

For toting my camera around, I recently discovered the Black Strap. I didn’t realize what a cumbersome nuisance the strap that came with my camera was until I tried this strap, which allows you to easily grab your camera without being tangled in a bunch of cords and straps. If you carry your camera around with you frequently, even though it looks slightly dorky, I found this to be a good item to have.

For those times I prefer to hand-hold my camera, I have this Case Logic Quick-Grip, which is less-cumbersome than a strap that hangs around my neck.


Because I tend to favor sharper images, and the lighting in Paris means I have to shoot at lower shutter speeds, I use a tripod 50% of the time. I prefer to shoot freehand, but invariably things come out a bit fuzzy if I don’t.

I have two. I have a Velbon tabletop tripod. This Velbon is sturdy, and a good value with a quick-release feature so you take easily take the camera off without unscrewing the whole thing. The downside it to tighten the camera after making an adjustment, you have to remove the quick-released platform and re-adjust the tightness.

The tripod I use mostly is the Slik Sprint Pro. This is a rock-solid tripod, easy to use and adjust and is a professional-quality piece of gear at a very attractive price. It is a great tripod and I love mine. A feature to look for a tripod is legs with clips that you can unfasten to allow you to raise and lower the tripod easily; the ones with the screw-type fasteners can be frustrating to use.

If you don’t have a tripod, prop your camera against something or rest it on a book to steady it. I do this sometimes in restaurants, since I don’t use the flash and use a slow shutter speed.

Lens Filter

Although I’m fastidious about keeping the lens cap on, it’s imperative to use a lens filter. This will prevent scratches on your lens.

Lens Cleaning

For lens cleaning, I use a microfiber cleaning cloth. Using fluids on a lens can damage it if you’re not careful, and every once in a while, I give my lens a swipe to clean off any bits of butter or caramel that may have landed on it.


roasted figs
Shot indoors, in my kitchen at night with the Canon Speedlight.

I recently invested in a Canon 430EX Flash. Despite my wariness to use a flash, sometimes I’m in a place like a chocolate shop or kitchen, where there’s a lot of movement and not a lot of light.

This excellent flash automatically compensates and adds just enough light to illuminate and shoot at a faster shutter speed, but doesn’t give people that “deer in the headlights” look. If you use it, simply point the light straight up at the ceiling and you’ll get a wonderful fill-in flash. The photo above, of the figs, was taken using my Canon Speedlight and doesn’t look like it was taken with a flash, at least to me. And if you live somewhere where there isn’t a lot of light, or plan to shoot during winter months when the sun goes down early, you might want to consider using one.

Tips and Techniques

food photo

When I take photos for the site, I don’t really have a plan. I try to keep props to a minimum and use materials like plates and flatware that don’t distract from the food. For this site, the photos are part of a story and if I’m writing about ingredients or techniques or a recipe, I like the photos to correspond with the text. Keeping things simple means that people focus on whatever it is I’m shooting, such as the vanilla extract and beans, above. Depending on the time of day or the season, I’ll either shoot in my kitchen or outdoors. The Pistachio Gelato shot at the top of this post which was shot on my roof, placed in a concrete corner out of direct sunlight. The vanilla was just on my kitchen counter and I use a tripod because the low light requires a slower shutter speed.

While creating a recipe for the site, as I start cooking, I’ll take pictures of the process along with way, especially if I’m doing a recipe that might require a photo of the dessert or a particular ingredient to accompany the text. But often I do it for demonstrating techniques as well, like rolling doughs or candymaking.

Unlike cookbooks, on the site I have the freedom to show step-by-step photos, which is helpful for more challenging recipes, such as my Kouign Amann recipe. And the photos were helpful for the post I did called How to Make the Perfect Caramel, where I wanted to show exactly what stages to cook the sugar to, and to alert readers to things to watch out for.

prephotoshoppedalp.jpg photoshoppedalp.jpg
The same photo, revamped using the Levels adjustment in Photoshop.

For most entries on the site, I take 25-50 pictures, download them onto an WD external Hard Drive (note that for Mac users, there is the same My Passport Hard Drive available formatted specifically for the Mac), then process them in Lightroom. Lightroom is a great editing program but is not exactly intuitive and I’ve had to take a few lessons on how to use it. A good book to learn Lightroom is The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers, which explains everything in everyday language.

I also use Photoshop Elements which is easier to use and has basic editing features. Note that there are online editing programs that are free or have free versions, such as Aviary (the basic version is free with Flickr) and PicMonkey. (PicMonkey is excellent for making mosaics and Facebook banners.)

I then upload them to my Flickr page, then paste them onto my site. (Whew!) Most of the Photoshop post-processing I do is by using the “Levels” control, and sometimes “Sharpen.” I rarely use any of its other features because I’m not a good geek and haven’t figured any of them out.

chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies from my book Ready for Dessert, shot outdoors in natural light.

Since many people are on laptops, I try to keep the images close to the food, but not too close; I don’t think food should ever be bigger than it actually is. Otherwise, to me, it looks weird. I don’t futz with the food too much; I try to stack it on a plate, or scoop it into a bowl, and just shoot it. I never crop images once I’ve shot them, and keep accoutrements to a minimum; I might use one utensil or a napkin alongside, as one would naturally cook or eat the food.

white asparagus
White asparagus snapped in a Paris restaurant with no flash, at ISO 800.

I almost always use my digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR), and on occasion at home (never in a restaurant), I use a Canon 430EX Flash.

Never, ever use the flash on the camera, as it makes the photos too harsh. I almost always shoot in M (manual) mode. The gray skies of Paris mean the light is always diffused, which can be good for photos.

breadpoilane.jpg breadpoilane2.jpg

Just changing the white balance in the camera, or with photo editing software, can make a dramatic difference.

The last bit of advice I’ll give is to practice. The great thing about digital is that you’re free to make mistakes because they’re easy to get rid of. Below are some additional links that offer advice on various food photography topics.

Food Photography Links

Heidi’s tips are at

Elise shows how she does it at Simply Recipes

Deb shows her approach to food photos over at Smitten Kitchen

Lara at Still Life With is one of the most comprehensive sites on food photography

Food Photography tips from White on Rice Couple

Lolo, from Vegan YumYum shares food photography tips

Nika teaches Food Photography 101

Ree gives 10 tips from her ranch.

If you want to see how Béa does it, visit her luscious site, La Tartine Gourmand

Jaden shows off digital lighting at Steamy Kitchen

Food Photography at Wrightfood

My Amazon list of favorite photo gear.

Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie

Vanilla Ice Cream

This weekend, I’ll be featured in an episode of Diary of a Foodie.

Click on the link to watch the entire episode.

Writing Your Own Cookbook

Many folks dream of turning their recipes into a cookbook and I hope to answer some of the questions you might have about the process in a concise manner. Below are some pointers that might help you out but there’s lots of other great tips out there and I encourage you to read as much as you can. (I’ve provided some great links at the end.)


In this post I offer some advice, but more important, interspersed are a lot of questions for you to ask yourself. There are no right or wrong answers, just points to consider and to help you refine your idea as you pursue your goal. These are not meant to discourage, but to encourage you to think about your project so that you can best position it, in case you decide to try to sell it and get it published.

[Note: This post was revised and updated in 2013, to reflect some of the changes and innovations in the publishing industry, including some interesting self-publishing options.]

Here are ten tips to help you get started:

1. Start With A Great Idea

Come up with an idea. And while you’re at it, make it a good one.

Perhaps you have a bevy of good recipes. Or you want to be famous and have a show on television. Maybe you want to be rich. All are reasons to write a book. But the best is because you want to share your great food and terrific stories with readers. If you look at your favorite cookbooks, each one has at least one recipe that’s amazing, that you make over and over again. If not, the author’s voice rings through and you like thumbing through it for the writing or the photographs. In either case, there’s something about it that excites you.

As someone once wrote about Julia Child “…everyone wants to be her, but no one would dream of putting in 10 years of obsessive work on a cookbook.” Yes indeed, Julia spent ten years writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Are you willing to spend ten years laboring over a manuscript? That’s probably not likely and shouldn’t take that long, but you should believe in your idea enough to obsess over it night and day during the time you’re writing it, and be willing to spend a big chunk of your life devoted to it.

Note: If you want to contact someone who is a cookbook author, agent, or editor to pick their brain be aware that you are asking someone to take time from their own work and life, to consult with you on yours. Read Modern Etiquette: Asking for a favor, which has guidelines on how to approach someone. Keep inquiries short and sweet. Get to the point – don’t just say, “I want to write a cookbook. Can you tell me what I should do?” And for the sake of everyone’s eyes, avoid superfluous text and use spacing between paragraphs. If someone is a professional editor, ask if there is a fee for the initial consultation if you have a lot of questions and want to set up a time to talk.

2. Find Your Niche

Saying you’re doing “seasonal and regional foods” isn’t enough anymore. Everyone does that—or says they do…what makes yours any better? Find something else, or work within that genre.

There are thousands of cookbooks that come out every year. Think about what makes you buy the ones you buy? Would your book appeal to you? Is this the kind of book you could see in a bookstore? Head to your local bookstore or online and see what is on display, and selling.

Like it or not, that’s what’s out there and that’s what people are buying. If they weren’t, no one would be selling them. Big-box bookstores exist to make money and they’re trying to sell books so most likely, ‘One Hundred Recipes from Tammy Terrific’ can’t compete with ‘One Hundred Meals from Rachel Ray’. Since they only have limited space, you need to give them a reason to carry your particular book. How is yours going to fit in, and /or compete?

Evaluate cooking trends. Scope Amazon and cookware shops. Is there a new item on the horizon that might need a cookbook to be sold alongside, like a panini-grill, a home smoker, a blow torch, or an ice cream maker? Are there any foods coming down the pipeline that might need recipes or merit further explanation? Soy, gluten-free, whole grains, and home-cooking are all popular right now. But what’s next? Hamburgers? Ceviche? Organic? A low-protein diet? What’s the next big thing?

3. Find An Agent

While it’s not imperative to have an agent, most editors and publishers give top-priority to proposals submitted by an agent. One editor told me she gets twenty proposals a day and frankly, doesn’t have the time to even look at most of them let alone respond. The best way to find an agent is to look at cookbooks that you like, check the acknowledgments, and take note of the agent. Then do some research to contact them with your proposal. Read query letter pet peeves from agents, to get a handle on how to approach one.

A good agent knows exactly where to send your proposal and is on good terms with the top editors. If an agent accepts to take you on, that means they can sell it or will try to, since no one wants to push something they don’t believe in. You may get passed over by an agent for no apparent reason (trust me on that one…) as they may have a similar proposal on their docket or another author working in the same genre. (Same with editors. You may simply get rejected based on the fact they have a book in print or in the pipeline on the same subject.)

Done right, with the help of an agent, your proposal can land on an editor’s desk the next day. A good agent will also help a writer shape that proposal and they handle on the contractual and legalese. Not that they have a crystal-ball into the future, but they do have their fingers on what’s selling and what’s not. As mentioned, you can sell a proposal without an agent but a good one will understand your concept and work on your behalf to get you’re your book sold. Finding an agent is one crucial part of the puzzle and in my opinion, one that’s important.

4. The Proposal

When I tell people I spent around eight months just working on just the proposal for my ice cream book, they’re shocked. But editors want to see a full and clear vision of what you’re going to write about. It’s especially true for a first-time author, but even for someone who’s written several books. Each book is a brand new project and requires a fresh start. And often the editors have to answer to higher-ups in marketing, sales, etc…and don’t, in general, have the last word.

Included in the proposal should be extensive samples of content, the tables of contents, recipe list and sample recipes if applicable, as well as a winning biography of you. And very importantly, a plan for how the book will sell once its published. Including as much as possible in there is a good idea, perhaps a sample chapter or two. But be careful: One editor told me she got a very good proposal but it was accompanied by some homemade cupcakes that were terrible and she found them, half-eaten, tossed in the trash of the employee break room where she left them for the staff. Not a good sign.

Most importantly, this is the time to give this your very best shot. Be concise and self-critical, and only send in your best effort. Editors are simply too busy to take the time to sift through a lot of material so your proposal should be, as they say, a “killer app.”

TIP: Publishers these days love numbers; Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter followers, as well as blog traffic. When you proposal lands at an editor, they need to “sell” the idea to the marketing team and nowadays those numbers have become important. They’re not vital, but the more followers that you have, the stronger your proposal will be. If you don’t have high numbers, don’t be discouraged. But an explanation of your social media and platforms will improve your position. If your numbers are low, explain how engaged with you those followers are. (Add proof, if you can.)

5. Give It Time

From the time you start writing down ideas, the proposal is written, the book sold, the book written and edited, and then printed and released, most books take much longer to come to fruition than people imagine. Plan on at least two years from the moment you start your quest until you see something tangible.

Most books have a one year lead time, which means you generally have a year to write the book. Then it can take another year to edit, re-test recipes, design and photograph the book. Finally, another year passes before the book is on the shelves.

6. Paying For It

Although it sounds tempting to live off your writing, for most writers, it ain’t their ship coming in. According to Dianne Jacob, in Will Write For Food, in her survey she notes a first-time author can expect to get a $5k-$25k advance.

But even if you get, let’s say, $50k, that might sound like a lot of money. So figure your agent gets 15%, the IRS gets 27%, plus figure $5k in expenses like food costs, printer cartridges (why are those things so darn expensive?), and equipment. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll go through a lot of pajama bottoms too, the preferred uniform of those who work at home. So that’s approximately $25,000 for a good 1-2 years of full-time work.

Most people who write books do something else to supplement their income: teach classes, lead tours, consult, have a restaurant or go to real jobs where they have to get dressed and leave the house for each day. Others marry rich. I’m not kidding.

7. Going Inside and Outside Your Blog

If you have a blog, use your blog to practice and refine what you do. Since anyone can start a blog, use yours to go out on a limb and write something outside your comfort zone.

If you’re used to writing recipes, for example, do a review of a product, visit a food producer, conduct an interview—whatever. Keep a theme going, but challenge yourself on occasion. If you want, keep your blog private and just use it for practice. Very few writers just start tapping a keyboard, or pick up a pen, and write something magnificent. I’m the exception. (Just kidding!) Most of good writing is editing. Step away, then come back to your writing. Or ask a friend who has good sensibilities, that you respect, to read what you wrote and get some feedback.

Another option is to use a writing coach. This can be money well spent if they get you motivated to write the book you want to write.

Note: If you’re going to ask someone for help, you should thank them properly. A lot of people give advice freely and graciously; I can’t even begin to thank those who helped me enough. But do take the time and have the courtesy to acknowledge the assistance of others. It’ll come back to you in spades and you’ll gain the respect and trust of others for acknowledging their contribution to your success.

8. Sell It

It all comes down to selling. There are lots of great ideas for cookbooks out there, but if you want to do a book, you need to have an idea that’s salable since most publishing houses are now owned by larger, global media corporations who are looking at the bottom line. But there are independents still out there that do superb cookbooks. See what’s out there, look at what publishing houses are releasing and what people are buying. Differentiate yourself from the pack if necessary, or go with the flow.

Say your book is all about making great salads. Great! Does the world need another book of salads? No. Do you have something extra to offer? Is there something special about your salads that make them different? Are you using a new product or vegetable to make those salads? If you do, that could be your hook.

People often want to publish treasured family recipes. If you are thinking along those lines, make sure to explain what makes your family special, and why are those recipes. Just because friends ask you for them, you need to explain in your proposal that ten- or twenty-five thousand other people will pay $30 for a book of them. Is your family from an ethnic group noted for something special (ie: Korean pickles, Swedish cordials, French dips, etc)? Is there something in your family’s culinary history that stands out?

Italian cooking is another popular topic. You may have a lot of great pasta recipes. But how does that make you different from the multitude of established (and already published) Italian cooking authors, like Faith Willinger or Marcella Hazan? Find what makes you different from the rest of the pack. Is it your take on it? Is it your personality? Are there techniques that are groundbreaking or truly exceptional that you can share?

9. Do It Yourself

If you want to write a book just for the fun of it, or to sell, there’s several places online to do-it-yourself and that can be a lot of fun if you have the pluck to do it yourself. In the past few years, many options have opened up, such as publishing an e-book through Amazon,, and Apple offers an iBooks Author publishing tool.

And there are apps for creating your own cookbook as well, such as Cookbook Cafe.

You don’t need to go through a traditional publisher and you have complete control over every aspect of the book, but self-published books need to find an audience so they sell best if you have some sort of outlet for sales, such as a blog or another medium. Another aspect is publicity. You won’t have a publishing house behind you pushing your book and making media contacts so you’ll need to take that on yourself. Still, no one’s as concerned about your book as you, and there are many self-published authors that sell tons of books on their own.

10. Do You Click?

In these cost-conscious times, if you have photographic skills, that can be a huge plus. Cookbook photography and styling is very expensive, costing $500 and up, per photo. So imagine the budget for a book with fifty, full-color professional photos. (And often the price of the book reflects that.)

If you are a good photographer, or are willing to learn, that can work to your advantage nowadays. If you can do a good job and save the publisher some money, that just might be a major plus in your favor during these cash-strapped times. Include samples in your proposal, but make sure they’re the very best you’re capable of doing.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged. Julia Child was rejected by almost every publishing house because Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t considered a salable book. Later in life, another of her books was turned down, which became a huge success as well. The folks who wrote The Silver Palate Cookbook came up with the idea over drinks at home one night and had no idea what they were doing. But they took a risk, worked hard, and it paid off: They got the book they wanted, it met with great success, and the rest – as they say – is history.

This is just a general overview and there are lots more to consider if you want to write a cookbook. But I hope these questions and suggestions give you a good introduction to the process – good luck!

A few excellent books that I recommend are:

Will Write For Food

-Recipes Into Type (out of print, but worth tracking down)

-The Recipe Writer’s Handbook

Related Posts and Links

5 Research Steps Before You Write Your Book Proposal (Jane Friedman)

Submission Requirements (Literary Agent Lisa Ekus)

Cookbook Boot Camp (Matt Lee and Ted Lee)

How to Write a Book Proposal (Jane Friedman)

So You Want to Publish a Cookbook (Justin Schwartz)

Before You Write that Cookbook (Cookbook Editor Susan Friedland)

From Blog to Book: How to Turn Your Ideas Into Reality (Chronicle Books)

How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal (Blogher)

How to Get a Cookbook Published (Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen)

Turn Your Blog Into a Book, Part I, and Part 2 (Gina Trapani of Lifehacker)

Chronicle Books’ submission guidelines as well as those from Ten Speed Press.

Five Secrets to Getting a Book Deal (Alan Rinzler)

Turning your blog into a book (Problogger)

So You Want to Write a Cookbook (

How to write about food (Adam Roberts of The Amateur Gourmet)

Cookbook editor Justin Schwartz writes When is a cookbook deal too good to be true?

Media Bistro: Information and forums for authors & writers pitching ideas.

Modern Etiquette: Asking for a Favor (Design*Sponge)

Read how one man’s book became a #1 bestseller—even though it was turned down by 13 out of 14 publishers.

Questions & Answers with Dianne Jacob, writing coach and editor, about writing a cookbook. and iUniverse both offer self-publishing and distribution options.

Tools and books: Resources I recommend for budding food writers.

Writing a Cookbook Proposal (101 Cookbooks)

The Making of My Paris Kitchen.

Comment Policy


Comments are welcome and an important part of my blog, and readers are very welcome and encouraged to leave comments in the blog posts. Questions will be answered in the comments at my discretion and due to the number of comments some posts have, and my other work, I’m unable to answer every comment. And in other cases, I may answer inquiries personally via e-mail and may not publish the comment.

So please use a valid e-mail address when sending in a comment. E-mail addresses are hidden from the public view and will not be used for any other purpose, nor are they shared or published in any way.

If no comment field appears at the end of a published post and comments, that means that the post is closed for comments. And if you have a question, it’s likely been answered in the comments previously and I don’t wish to comment further on it for various reasons.

1. Comments and URLs which link to commercial websites or blogs will immediately be deleted.

The exception is if the link is part of the discussion, ie: If someone asks where they can find a certain item or product, and another reader leaves a comment with a link to where it can be obtained.

2. Please do not leave the name or URL to your website or blog in the body of your comment.

There is a space for that where you enter your name and e-mail address, and it will automatically be linked to your website or blog. URLs that don’t relate to comments will be stripped out.

The exception to that if you are linking to an entry on your blog or website that is relevant to the discussion. Examples include if you’ve attempted a similar recipe or you have a post on your website or blog that adds to the discussion. You are welcome to leave a link, but please format it in HTML, (tutorials here and here), which will make it easier for readers to visit your site.

3. Comments may be edited for grammar, spelling, or content.

4. Comments may be moderated and may not appear on the blog without approval.

5. Comments may be deleted at any time, without notice.

6. If you find a broken link or typographical error, you are welcome to point it out.

But please realize that due to the temporal nature of blogs, those are both bound to happen and if you wish to mention it, tact is appreciated.

7. Diverse points of view are welcome but please keep the conversation civil.

The comments often become forums for discussion amongst readers, which is encouraged, but name-calling or baiting comments will be edited or deleted.

8. One-third of the readers of this blog live outside the United States

Please keep that in mind and readers should be sensitive to cultural differences and values when leaving comments or responding to others.

9. Anything written in ALL CAPS will be deleted.

10. Don’t Be a Douche.

Having worked in restaurant kitchens for over three decades, there isn’t anything that I haven’t seen, or heard. Trust me.

Blog Policies

If you have questions about various policies of the blog, you will likely find the answers at these links:

Disclosure Statement

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Use the Comment Feed

Restaurant Write Up Policy

How to Find Foods and Other Items Mentioned On the Site 1999-2005

October 1999