A First-Time Cookbook Author Gets Her Due

DSC_5425When a cookbook comes out, you see the finished product and the glory, and you don’t know the behind-the-scenes story of struggle, sacrifice, and hard work. Here’s my “proud mother hen” story about one author. It may surprise you.

In 2005 Romney (Nani) Steele worked at the San Francisco Ferry Building selling mache and working with the Cowgirl Creamery. A tall, single mom with a Master of Fine Arts ┬áin Poetry, she came to a Food Writer’s Conference I chaired, ostensibly to learn how to write a cookbook about salads.

Later I reviewed her cookbook proposal and sent her an email that said, in part,”You write like a confident published writer. That’s fantastic — don’t let go of that skill.”

She confessed to wanting to write a different, more difficult book. It was about growing up at Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur, as the granddaughter of the original owners, [Read more…]