Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook layout has arrived!

I have worked on the book for what has long seemed like “forever.”
And then, just like that, the book’s pages land in my inbox.
My amazing editor Melinda dished up the review copy just before she left town for a well-deserved holiday.

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to see the book. 
For too long it was a dream. 
It existed in my head – and in my heart. 
I think I was even afraid to write about the making of the book here in the blog. 
I am too superstitious I know, but it was no coincidence that it seemed every time I did start to chart the amazing, intriguing, funny, against-all-odds story about the process of going from an idea to the bound book, something would change – the goal posts got moved. 
Jinxed.  (More summary on that later)

But now I’m feeling that it is not just a dream.
The book is indeed, at long last, a reality. 

I love telling (and listening to) stories: family stories (I did lots of genealogy research for my own family), funny stories (life!), love stories, and fairy tales and the bedtime stories my father told about the birds and squirrels.
But I especially love telling stories about art and accomplishment and the talented among us who make a difference – those thought leaders and over-achievers who are passionate about making others happy with what they produce. 

The Hamptons & Long Island Cookbook is full of those special art gurus.
In the book, I am so lucky to have been able to profile the stories about the master locavore chefs and the growers who inspire their culinary creations.

The Voyageur Press world-class graphic team has done a heroic job with the design of the book!  I understand the CEO weighs in with his experienced eye and opinion, too. Wow.
All this thoughtful compilation and curating has resulted in a manuscript that visually, is both delicious looking and gorgeously sensual.  The writing is pretty cracker-jack, top notch too, I will say. J  But then again, look who I got to showcase.
The list of master Long Island chefs from my news post for Long Island Restaurant Week:

The process of writing a book like this is that it is a very intimate experience.
The interviews I conducted with the chefs explored their life: their motivations, their loves, their families, their challenges and ultimately the intrinsic, intangible thing that made them challenge the status quo and reach beyond their safe, expected successful world, to create recipes and restaurants that weren’t like the others. 

Sure it was more work. Sure they had to develop food sources that perhaps didn’t exist.
And if they did, they had to be persuaded to work with a chef.  At a time and place that growers eyed chefs and those business margins with less than happy scrutiny. 
The mutual success they now enjoy, built on an abiding, mutual respect is at the core of the book. The book explores the connection to grower and the chef and to the land and sea.
It is an uncompromised, unconditional love.

The growers – from honey farmers to oyster farmers to duck growers and vintners, as well as the mushroom growers and traditional small family vegetable and fruit growers – work harder than anyone but the chefs and their families can know, in order to produce a quality product that is so full of nutrition and flavor and good things – and oh, by the way, it is sustainable and happy -- it is no wonder these sprites of nature bridge the world of growing food and inspire our master chefs.

The stories have just begun.  
Stay tuned.

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