Four Seasons' Fete

The summer season is in full swing and for Seattleites, it's time celebrate! Summer in the Pacific Northwest is a jaw-dropping sensory overload experience--and a swift reminder why we endure months of rain. Sunset over the water with a backdrop of purple mountains, really, does it get any better?

Last night, the Four Seasons Hotel rolled out the red carpet for an incredible evening of nibbles & sips. Billed as a wine & cheese event, they gilded the lily with a major assortment of cheeses, passed h'orderves (lobster pizza and sushi!), blushing pink rosé, and a cocktail dubbed "The Big Dill."

Align Center

Entering the room, we were greeted with two options: rosé or my favorite, the "Big Dill" cocktail (recipe below).

Food as art: mushrooms illuminated in a case at the sushi bar. In the foreground, ART at the Four Seasons' happy hour menu ($5 food & drink specials). Valet parking, a water view and happy hour? What's not to love?

Smoked chicken on polenta.

Heirloom tomato salad. Notice those mini tomatoes have been peeled?

From the moment I walked in the door, there was a crush of people surrounding the cheese table. In luxe Four Seasons-style, notice the amazing array of cheeses, paired with an assortment of fruits and jams. I counted 5 kinds of bread (pretzel rolls!)

Wall 'o wine. Did we make a dent in their collection?

A peek in the kitchen. Notice the giant tweezers? He's topping each dish with a nest of microgreens.

Seattleites, want to join the next Four Seasonss party? Jump on their mailing list: (Click "Events")


And now, without further new favorite summertime cocktail:

Courtesy of: Art Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel
Seattle, WA

Muddle in glass:

Fresh dill
Fresh cucumber


1.5 oz. Square One Organic Vodka
1.0 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
5 oz simple syrup or agave nectar

Shake vigorously with ice and strain into chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a cucumber wedge.

White Lightning Wanderings

Map Quest says the trip can be done in 90 minutes. En route? For me, double least. In my family, we call that: The Wander Factor...

As a kid, my dad would load us into the family car and drive. Destination: Anywhere. On an old school version of Twitter, the CB radio chattered most of the way. My dad would jump on the CB and ask for advice: Where to eat? Points of interest along the way? Inevitably the trucking community would heed the call, providing us with the regional highlights.

Growing up, my dad and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum. His handle was "White Lightning," a moniker earned by a love of speed and his giant white convertible with red leather seats. I, on the other hand, leaned toward a slower pace, observing countless details along the way. From my earliest memory, I was dubbed "Penelope Pit Stop."

Destination Anywhere trips were the best. We'd pull off for lunch at a roadside stand or truck stop. Dawdler that I am, I was always fascinated by the comforts of home in the middle of a semi-truck oasis: showers, phones, music and apple pie.

Sliding into a booth at the diner, my brother and I were endlessly amused by tableside jukeboxes and wooden peg games. My ritual order: a juicy patty melt, no fries, and a rootbeer with a side of cream. Those squat amber glasses were perfect for "black cows" ...a poor man's version of a rootbeer float.

Although White Lightning and Penelope Pit Stop rarely saw eye-to-eye, we both developed a love of exploring. Driving through the Midwest farmland, we'd pack a stash of sugar-glazed carrots. I'd spy a horse farm and if the timing was right, dad would slow, and pull up the gravel drive. He'd say a few words to the farmer, then call me out of the car with the "all clear" signal. I'd step up to the fence and lure horses with those sweetened carrots. Laying my palm flat, the first cautious horse would approach, and eventually muzzle the carrot from my hand. As a horse nut, this was my idea of heaven!

Over the years, my brother and I have collected hundreds of similar stories. This was a classic experience: On a trip to Disney World, my dad befriended a trucker (via CB radio). Before long, we both approached a designated mile-marker and pulled off the road. I watched, incredulously, as my brother was lifted into the cab of an 18-wheeler. Following the truck for several miles, we chatted with my brother on the CB, Smokey and the Bandit-style. We passed the truck and gave the classic tug gesture, laughing in surprise as the horn blared "Dixie."

Heading out on one of my dad's classic road trips, and the kids would cry, "Where are we g-o-i-n-g?"

Dad would respond, nonchalantly, "To see what we can see..."

Highways, back roads...roads to nowhere, getting lost was half the fun. Dad was quick to reassure us, "You're never really lost, as long as you've got gas."

It was always an adventure.

The other day, I was at a roadside diner. I bumped into a man sporting a lady's sun hat. Fastened 'round the brim were fresh flowers and series of buttons. I commented on his hat. He paused for a moment, and then began describing the significance of each pin. "This is for my son who is serving in Iraq. Next to it, is my pin. I'm a Vietnam Vet. And this...Save Our Farmlands." He plucked a purple-grey rose from his hat and offered it to me.

Friends of mine are astonished by the random people I meet. But if you knew my dad? That's just par for the course....and it's a tradition I'm happy to carry on.

White Lightning? Thanks for instilling my love of wandering.

Penelope Pit Stop

Delancey, An Impromptu Visit

I can't remember the first time I met Molly's beau Brandon, but I liked him instantly.

On the most surprising and yet random occasions, we'll bump into each other. For me, a Brandon-sighting is on par with the ice cream man. What can I say? The man just makes me happy. Whether he's regaling stories about his latest eBay score...or how he's perfected mixing concrete for the tabletops at the new restaurant, I love hearing about his latest thrifty conquest! (Trust me, if the man knew about Freecycle, Brandon happiness would be off the charts!)

Brandon & Molly's pizza pie venture, Delancey, will be open later this summer and I couldn't be more excited! I imagine a room buzzing with conversation over thin-yet-chewy New York-style pizzas. Mmm...

On my way to the bakery next door (warning: the canneles are amazing!), I popped in to say hello. Work is still in progress...but on the day of my visit, the oven was in, the brick facade was laid (floor to ceiling), and the bar was due to arrive soon. Brandon & Molly are doing much of the work themselves, and I'm astonished every time I see the space....

Without revealing too much, here are a few snaps from my visit:


(from between the bricks on the wood-fired pizza oven)

Lighting, reclaimed

Lighting, made

(Notice the clamps? These are jars, strung with a lighting socket.)

Beer tap, second-hand


(Brandon had the metal frames built, then poured the concrete tops himself.
I like the rough look of this first attempt--air pockets and all.)


Delancey is expecting a summer opening--July or August, permit-pending.

Check here for updates:


To read more, Molly's detailed their journey on Orangette:


The Dead Who Dream

I Get a Glimpse

Some Time Away

Writing Fearlessly with Crescent Dragonwagon

It was the chance of a lifetime, and I knew it. A table for eight in New York. Expenses paid. The guest list? Chocked full of who’s who—including two authors recently lauded by the James Beard Foundation. And if I could make my way to New York, there was a space for me.


I weighed the pros and cons, and attempted my best creative financing. Every “con” was supported by a feeble “pro”, giving way to all rational thinking:

What about airfare?

Justifying the expense, I countered, “Flights are cheap right now.”


“I could stay with friends in Jersey. Three adults, and two kids in a tiny condo, no problem!”

You wouldn’t really fly to New York for dinner, would you?

The moment was slipping through my fingers. Suddenly the inner-child-cum-whiney-brat inside me began to wail. Rolling in a fit on the floor, she gasps for breath between sob-soaked words. “It’s. The. Chance. Of. A. Lifetime!”

Defiance was beginning to override all sensibilities, when the phone rang.

It was my friend Crescent. Hurried small talk precedes the true purpose of her call. Finally, she says, “I’m teaching a writing workshop in San Diego at the end of the month.” Crescent has taught writing workshops to a host of luminaries, including Julia Child and Alice Medrich, and is a James Beard Award-wining writer, currently under contract for a new book on Fearless Writing.

I think to myself, “Ah, Temptation, you have found me again!” Temptation perches himself in front of me. “We’re becoming old friends, aren’t we?”

Several years ago, I attended an abbreviated version of her Fearless Writing seminar. The largest room in King County’s library system overflowed--chairs filled instantly, latecomers claimed any available space, scrambling for seats on the floor. Her class had an indelible impact on me, and she knew it.

I’d seen a fraction of her work and frankly, two full days in a writing seminar sounded like heaven.

Lost in my thoughts, the voice on the phone continued. “I’d like to offer you a scholarship to the workshop.” Snapped back into the moment, my cheeks grew hot. “We’ve rented a house and there’s an extra bedroom for you.”

New York waffling? Gone.

Hellooooo San Diego!

I found a cheap flight and made my way to the beautiful adobe rental on the hill. Both bedrooms had French doors leading to a serene patio, which was surrounded by magenta bouganvillea. A nest of songbirds took residence in the palm tree, and the cool morning air was punctuated by jasmine in bloom.

The following day, we set to work. A small group gathered on the patio, notebooks at the ready. In lieu of introductions, we addressed the question, “What do you hope to get out of this workshop?” Answers ran the gamut. Some hoped to complete their first novel, others wanted to eliminate roadblocks and make more time for writing. Me? I’d like a byline someday.

Crescent’s parents were both notable writers, and with over 40 titles to her credit, she peppered the class with invaluable insights. As an aspiring writer, I found her anecdotes reassuring: “I’ve received 10-15 rejections for each publication I’ve ever done.”

Rejection? That’s a normal part of the process.

The small group of women leaned in close, as she emphasized her point. “Anxiety, risk and ‘I don’t know the outcome’ are the coin through which we purchase creative freedom.”

Can one truly write fearlessly? I’m not so sure. But with a proper set of tools, you can fear…less. And that’s the goal.

What resonated with me was the notion of habit:

· “Habit is one of the great underrated things with writing.” It’s important to create a routine around writing.
· “Flow” is that moment when the words practically write themselves. Flow comes from an unconscious corner of your mind--the more you show up, the more frequently it comes.
· “You must be in the studio if the Angel of creativity comes. Woe to you if he shows up and you are not there.”
· The majority of all writing is process- and habit-centered. Craft and technique are supporting players.
· Inspiration comes and goes, but you must write even when the inspiration is not there.
· Create a space for writing. Show up. Do the work.
· “Do shitty first drafts.” (Anne Lamont)

During a previous writing workshop, someone once asked, “Does writing get any easier?”

Julia Child attended the same workshop and by then, she was well into her 80’s. Crescent called out to her, “Julia, can you tell us…does it get any easier?”

Her response? “Absolutely NOT!”

The key is this: writing is a process, and having a set of tools helps alleviate the strain.

What’s in your toolbox?

Crescent’s book on Fearless Writing will be out in 2011. Stay tuned for updates on future workshops. Until then….

Recommended Reading:

How to Become a Better Writer, by Jennifer Jeffrey

Bird by Bird: Some instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamont

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg

Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser

Will Write for Food, by Diane Jacob

A Taste of Americana

Representing nations from Africa and Asia, I recently attended a discussion with four visiting academic fellows. Drawn into their world, I was captivated by the stories-- a former Lost Boy talking about his current work in peace & reconciliation, the shy and diminutive Indian woman who fought for fishermen rights, the cooperative farmer advocating for pesticide-free crops in Africa, and then there was Betty.

With ready smile, she laughs easily, radiating a certain conviviality to all those around her. When asked about her work, she speaks earnestly about the need for HIV and AIDS awareness in Africa. The issue of gender inequality arises and her brows furrow, knitting tightly together with an intensity that surprises me. "In my country, when you eat a chicken, there are 'men's parts' and 'women's parts'. How can we have equal rights when even the food is not equal?"

Addressing the group, someone asks, "How do you like American food?" An extended pause falls over them.

After months of being in the U.S. the response is simply, "We haven't had 'American' food."

I suddenly realized, in our multi-cultural city, it's quite easy to go for days without eating a typical "American" meal. French for breakfast, Thai at lunch, and Chinese for dinner. How often do I even eat 'American' food?

An idea was born.

Joining forces with the host organization, iLEAP, we decided to have an all-American potluck. Friends of mine at Stumptown Coffee Roasters offered their roasting facilities as a party space and an invite was drafted. The theme sparked many discussions...what is Americana? What does it mean to you? Regional differences abound. It was a blast comparing notes.

And finally, Monday night we welcomed friends old and new (hello, new-found Twitter friends!). We were all more than a little astonished, watching the giant table fill with American favorites: pulled pork sliders, hot wings, mac n' cheese, Texas caviar, potato salads, deviled eggs, homemade bagels, cup cakes, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, cakes, ice was a cornucopia of goodness!

On the libation side of things, folks brought everything from Rainier beer, microbrews, homemade wines, local vintages, and sweet tea.

Ah, Americana. What does it mean to you?

Here are a few snaps from the evening:

Homemade bagels and jello salad

What's in the bowl? I can't remember...but even the bowl was made by hand.

Rice crispy treats with Cocoa Puffs

A tribute to the Japanese-Americans interned in WWII, fried rice with hot dogs.

Funny, this is the only dish that never got eaten.

Derrick's smoky ribs

Pulled pork sliders with pickled cabbage.

The table, loaded with contributions.

Pie, chocolate chip cup cakes, rice crispy treats, Indian pudding and local Rainier beer.

Before we at, 90+ people gathered around the table, introduced themselves and mentioned their dish. In the middle are two of the visiting fellows.


The food keeps coming...

Chickpea salad

Flashback to my childhood...carrot & raisin salad

Headed home. How cute is that cake carrier?

Memorable Recipes with Sur La Table's Renee Behnke

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the book launch for Memorable Recipes. As someone who loves to entertain, this book is right up my alley! Packed with flavorful recipes that are easy to assemble, I'll be reaching for this book over and over again.

If you don't know the name Renee Behnke, let me introduce you. Renee is the owner and current president of Sur La Table. When she purchased a kitchen shop in Seattle's Pike Place market, who knew she'd eventual drive the business to encompass 74 stores across the United States?

With a busy family and a growing business, Renee routinely brought the crowd together over food (is there a better lure?)

Reading Memorable Recipes is like raiding the files of the best cook you know. The book is packed with party-friendly bites. Tested tried and true recipes set you up for enteraining success. And in the back of the book, Renee arms you with the the tools for great party planning: menu planning ideas, checklists, and copious wish-someone-would-have-told-me-that tips.

At the launch party for Memorable Recipes, it was fun to see the book, in action. Taking a cue from Renee, food and wine stations were spread throughout the space (encouraging flow throughout the room). Each station offered wine and a scrumptious bite from her new book.

Clearly, Renee is a woman who treasures her friends, and brings them 'round the table regularly. Armed with Renee's new book, I'll be doing the same!

Sur La Table's flagship store in Kirkland, WA

Book signing with Renee Behnke and writer Cynthia Nims for their book, Memorable Recipes.

Preparing a nosh from the book (Moroccan Meatballs) in the store's demonstration kitchen. A wee bit of nostalgia for me here. This is where I learned how to cook, taking up to three classes a week!

Author Renee Behnke and writer Cynthia Nims

The Spicy Scallop station. Notice the cast iron grill pan, which stays super hot in between batches of scallops? If you're cooking for a crowd, this is the way to go.

Renee and her neighbor, who is featured in the book.

The fruit-dipping station. This guy came along and picked a strawberry the size of my fist! I love the intensity of his focus here.

Swoon alert! I've had savory palmiers but these proscuitto pinwheels are in a league of their own. Excellent hot or at room temperature, we call these perfect party fare!

With a glass of wine in one hand and a room full of kitchenware, surely you can appreciate the dangerous situation here, right?

David Leibovitz in the house! Perfect Scoop is one of my all-time favorite books.

And see what we have here? My pal Cindy's latest book, Art & Soul of Baking, winner of the IACP Baking Book of the Year Award. Love it!

I was lured away from a shopping expidition by these nibbles back in the demo kitchen. Mmmm...I'll be making these soon!

The good life...with fabulous friends. Bon Appétit!

International Conference on Food Styling & Photography

Over drinks and pulled pork BBQ, I had a chance to chat with photographer, Lara Ferroni (author of Plates & Packs, Cook & Eat, and Still Life With).

If you're into photography and have your sights set on a career in food styling or photography, Lara says this is the place you want to be: The International Conference on Food Styling & Photography, A World View of Business, Technique, and Design (Boston, June 12-15th).

Held once every two years, this conference is where the pros go. Laura's mark of approval seals the deal. And I did I mention, food science guru, Harold McGee will offer the keynote speech? Yeah, you want to be here. I know you do...

What are you waiting for? Register here.

My heart is racing just thinking about this schedule:

Optional Pre-conference Master Class

How Did They DO That? Case Studies of Photography Creative Problem Solving
Moderators: Jim Scherer, Katherine Hennessy

Every day we are presented with tricky problems to solve. This seminar will give you an insider’s view into the thought process of four successful food photographers, each sharing how they tackled a challenging problem and figured out a great solution. They’ll show detailed visuals of the evolution of the tough shoot and talk about how the project initially presented itself, the technical details about cameras, lighting, special styling needs, why they made the choices they did, and post-production issues. Although this is not a business seminar, client involvement will be part of the discussion. _________________________________________________________
(June 13-14, 2009)

Alice Hart, Laura Shapiro

How has the career of food styling evolved over the past 30 years? What was happening in the real world with home and restaurant food and cooking that influenced what stylists do? A food historian known for her exploration of the post WWII lifestyles and a trailblazing food stylist who began her styling business in the 1970s will share where we’ve been and where we hope to go in capturing the way we produce, cook, and eat now.

Christopher Hirsheimer, Melissa Hamilton

An acclaimed photographer and food stylist, both veterans of the magazine and cookbook publishing world, will discuss their shared organic approach to food photography and styling. Their experiences led them from the intoxicating environment of food and lifestyle magazines to stepping out of it all to start up their own studio specializing in food photography, styling, illustration, design, and writing. Hirsheimer and Hamilton, who together have over 30 years of experience shooting, styling, and producing stories from around the globe for magazines including Saveur, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living, and Metropolitan Home and for cookbooks for the who’s who of the culinary world, from Julia Child to Alice Waters, opened their own studio in a small river town in 2007. While they continue to work on others cookbooks, they have embarked on a project all their own—self-publishing Canal House Cooking, a quarterly food journal.

Mel Mooney, John Carafoli

The process of creating magazine advertising has moved, blurred, or erased the line between the business and editorial sides of publishing. Join the senior account director for Saveur magazine and a veteran food stylist for a journey through the process of creating magazine ads that look as good, and sometimes better, than the editorial content itself. These industry leaders will talk about the fundamentals of putting together teams of innovative stylists, creative photographers and insightful account directors to come up with ads that sell.

CAMERA, LENS, AND TOILET PAPER—Practical Tips and Stories of a Traveling Photographer
Gregory Bertolini

Whether traveling across town or across the country, every shoot involves the movement of equipment and personnel. Learn to travel correctly and safely with either a single camera or a complete studio. Advice on safety and insurance, renting equipment, respecting the environment you’re visiting, and items you should never forget.

Marcela Sorondo, Clare Ferguson

Two dynamic international food stylists will take you on a journey through their globe trotting work all over England and Europe, Argentina, and beyond. Local food traditions and foods, table manners, food fashions, provincial issues and multi-national food clients all influence how these innovative stylists work. Their experiences underscore that multicultural knowledge is the wave of the future.

Stef Culberson, Mette Nielsen

The world is going green—but what does that mean? A European-trained chef and food stylist, who also owns a small farm, teams up with a photographer dedicated to documenting the explosion of organic foods and local farm production to define what it can mean for the food photography industry to embrace the philosophy of sustainable food and styling.

James Scherzi, Zach Phillips

Learn to move your creative imagery from still to motion in this discussion about what it takes to become a hybrid still + video studio. What equipment do you need? How much of an investment is it to develop this new side of your business? How do you learn the essentials for making professional-level videos? Most importantly, how do you leverage television content, podcasts and viral online marketing to help reinforce your client’s brand?

Eugene Mopsik, Ilise Benun, Tim Foley, Beatrice Peltre

Calling all solopreuners and creative types: what’s the buzz? There are always new issues facing our commercial industry, new technologies, and new ways to market and connect with colleagues and potential clients. Hear the very latest from the executive director of the American Society of Media Photographers, an innovative marketing guru for creative professionals, a creative agency principal, and a food photography blogging star. What do you need to know about protecting your image copyright and usage? Should you be “linked in” or spending time everyday networking via your web site about your work? There will be plenty of time to take your questions or hear your stories about business concerns.

Delores Custer, Steve Adams, Lorna Rhodes

Whether you are a photographer or stylist, it’s a tough market out there. Long gone are the days of big budgets and days devoted to just a few shots. This panel of seasoned professionals has weathered the ups and downs of business twists and turns, and survived. Explore how you can leverage your skills and find new opportunities and clients by staying inspired and fresh, being aware of where your professional world is moving, and teaming up with colleagues who share your positive vision.

Richard Anderson

Struggling with digital filing? Organizing and being sure you’re submitting the right file type or size for specific jobs? And what about preserving the long-term integrity of your hard work and creative output? Learn the best system for digital asset management—increasing the value of your investment in your professional work. Learn the details of this innovative program developed by the ASMP/Preserving Digital Images team, made possible by an award from the Library of Congress.

Francine Malalon-Degni, Maxine Kaplan, Peggy Chase Jordao

Need to find just the right plate? Create just the right set? The owner of one of the biggest prop houses in the U.S. will offer her bird’s eye view of her show room. And where and why she selects what she buys to rent in her shop. A long-time New York prop stylist will take you through time with her insights into the business of setting the stage for photos—and how she thinks trends change when the political climate changes. And an energetic location photo stylist will share her insider scoop on the challenges she deals with when parachuted into unfamiliar territories.

Mette Nielsen, Pornchai Mittongtare, James Tse

A panel of award-winning and highly admired food shooters will share their work, their creative inspirations, and what it takes for them to get “the” shot. From working with stylists to photographing chefs or food in its own environment, these dynamic photographers lend a special touch to their photos that is hard to define and sets them apart. They’ll show what makes them commercially successful, but also artistically unique.

Mara Papatheodorou

The job of a good producer is to pull all the details together. They can transport people to other places just by how effectively they create new worlds in a magazine feature or television spot. These armchair travelers become future consumers of what that producer is selling for their client. What exactly does a producer do? Do you have the skill set to scout locations, source props, write the story, and style the shoot?

THE ARTISTIC INTERPRETATION OF FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY (All-Day MASTER CLASS)Francine Zaslow, Deborah Jones, Catrine Kelty At Zaslow Photography

Two leading creative women photographers, each with her own unique approach to how they work, will demonstrate their “secret ingredients” for creating beautiful photos for both editorial and advertising. This interactive workshop will be set in a working studio, where you will learn how each photographer uses light, composition, selective focus and props to create strong images. Your specific problems will be discussed, and creative solutions demonstrated.

Lou Manna

The author of the first book specifically addressing digital food photography will take you under his wing, introducing the essential tenets of effectively shooting food. Even if you are already shooting commercially, this interactive workshop will give you the tools to better understand food as a subject and the importance of working as a team with a food stylist.


Bake Style, From Dough to Lens (morning)
Cindy Lund, Maura Kilpatrick

The food styling manager at General Mills, one of the leaders in consumer baking, and Boston’s top pastry chef will bridge the worlds of professional pastry work and home baking. Their demonstrations of baking and styling techniques will cover a variety of challenging desserts, refrigerated dough products, and packaged dessert mixes. Sharing their expert recommendations about favorite equipment and ingredients, they will also demonstrate techniques for frosting the perfect cupcake, beautifully glazing cakes, and baking up golden pastry. Special emphasis will be placed on troubleshooting unexpected situations with baked goods, along with exploring unique styling methods, like creating a luxurious butter melt or that amazing chocolate pull on a warm chocolate chip cookie.

Kitchen Troubleshooting (afternoon)
Delores Custer, Dan MaceyBold

From cheese pulls on pizza to producing steam on demand, there is often more than one way to tackle the many problems food stylists face with foods that want to misbehave. One of the foremost styling authorities and an insatiably curious stylist will share their techniques for dealing with problem foods, including their favorite problem-solving techniques. From the basic (perfect sunny-side up eggs and beautiful ice cream scoops) to the challenging mile high sandwich, explore the techniques of controlling the color, texture, flow, melt, browning and freshness of foods you work with everyday. A lively Q&A session will be part of the afternoon.

Write a Killer Cookbook Proposal with Dianne Jacob

If you've got a burning desire to write a cookbook, listen up!

Dianne Jacob, author of the food writing bible, "Will Write for Food" has an in-depth eight week online seminar on the horizon. If you want the lowdown on how the business works, Dianne is your guide.

"Write a Killer Cookbook Proposal" is a nuts-and-bolts approach, moving that dream into reality.

Workshop topics will include:

• The 10 best ideas for a cookbook
• How to organize and structure your idea for commercial appeal
• What a platform is and whether yours is sufficient
• Why and how to promote your book before it’s published
• How to write an introduction that keeps editors interested
• Which recipes to include and why
• What to say about photography and illustrations
• How to research the competition like a pro

Want to know more? David Leite's got the scoop here.

P.S. Bookmark this site for future classes, such as: How to Write an Effective Pitch Letter and Recipe Writing Primer.

Ode to Tater Tots

Stumbled on this sign, strolling through Ballard the other day:

"I'm so happy to have tater tots in my life."

I hear ya, Zayda Buddy!