Dorian Hargrove 9:31 p.m., May 23
Instruction on Writing Instructional Culinary Prose
Writing a cookbook. It sounds simple enough so long as the author knows how to cook. But as anybody who’s actually sat down to document their dishes can attest, there’s a method to it. That method doesn’t come naturally.
Having consulted on cookbook projects and written recipes in standard cookbook language for chefs, I can attest that pro recipe writing skills aren't a part of most culinary professionals' repertoires.
Add in the fact that cookbooks almost always follow a central theme and include forewords, background stories and anecdotes, and what seems like a project akin to filling out a bunch of grandma-style index cards can quickly become a mammoth undertaking.
Aspiring cookbook authors don’t have too many educational options at their disposal. I actually had to teach myself by poring over text after text to develop a feel for various styles of recipe speak and get a grasp for various voices and formats utilized throughout the publishing industry. It was a long and arduous process and it would have been helpful to have the assistance of someone with experience in this area.
One such individual, Randy Clemens, will be offering a class called “A Great Recipe for Writing Great Recipes.” Held at The Ink Spot Gallery, it will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 7. Clemens, a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, was responsible for the heavy lifting on last year’s The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance, and wrote his own instructional work, The Sriracha Cookbook, so he knows his way around the process.
There’ll be time for plenty of Q&A at the class, but the real bonus is him making himself available after class for additional discussion over some brewskies at Mission Brewery in the East Village. Staying after school never sounded so appealing. For more information and to register for the class, click here. The Inkspot is located at 710 13th Street, Suite 210.
More like this:
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- Craft Beer: America's Most Underexamined Culinary Component? — Oct. 7, 2013
- Schuy's the limit for cookbook author — Jan. 15, 2013
- Mental Eats: San Diego Cooks' Books — Oct. 20, 2010
- Green on Your Teeth — March 30, 1995