A First Look

The compiling of a cookbook is a slightly more daunting task than I assumed. Sure, I’ve been working on gathering all my recipes – for the book and otherwise – but there’s an extra step in writing the book. I have to put all the recipes into chapters and try my best to format them identically and use the same kind of voice when writing them.

But wait, since I was the author of all the recipes in the first place, surely they all “sound” the same, right? I figured that would have been the case as well, but as it turns out, nothing could be further from the truth.


“Hmmm… Something about this first draft just doesn’t sound right…”

Since these recipes were all jotted down at different times in my culinary experience and with differing amounts of time for me to get the recipes on paper, and with different purposes in mind (writing for other chefs or my students for example…) they all really do sound amazingly different. So there’s been a lot of clean up going on with my computer. And as a chef, that editing time is time I’d much rather be spending in the creation of new recipes for the book!

But all is not lost. My first run through the book was completed yesterday. I had well over 100 pages (not counting things like dedications and an index which I’ve yet to write) but only 79 recipes altogether. For the record, I’m looking for somewhere around 125 or so recipes for the book.

Seeing that I was only 2/3 of the way there after working on this for the past few months was a tad disheartening. But there’s no going back now!

On the bright side, thanks to my recent efforts to compile all my recipes, I was able to search through those for other recipes I always meant to add. And since they were already “cleaned up,” there was little extra work that had to be done to place them in the manuscript!

It’s only one day later, and as of this morning, I’m already at 89 recipes! Soon I’ll have the draft I’m happy with, and we’ll enter into the next phase: Testing!

(Now’s a good time to volunteer for that phase if you’re interested…)

Chef Matt

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One Response to “A First Look”

  1. Lindsey says:

    My Dad fell in love with limoncello when he and my mom were in Italy a few months ago. What a fun project we could try together in the near future—better father-daughter bonding than over alcohol? I think not ; )