My consulting services reflect a blend of skills honed as a food professional and my lifelong love of problem-solving, which is echoed by my math degree and penchant for puzzles and games. With those points of departure, I’m here to connect the dots and solve problems in a range of ways.
Below are some of the areas in which I have proven expertise. They fall in two general categories: traditional editorial work and a newer “Better Recipes” focus targeted specifically on well-written recipes. Don’t hesitate to reach out about a project that doesn’t necessarily fit one of these options below. I will do my best to help you meet your objectives.
Just like a logo, web site, marketing style and social media presence, recipes are an important branding tool that reflects the image, values and personality of their source. My mission is to help individuals and companies have a keener understanding of the value that well-written recipes bring to their work and their brands. I share insights from three decades deeply engrossed in recipes to offer clients tools and information that will enhance the quality of recipes they share with readers, customers and the world. The ultimate goal is recipes that are clear, reliable and detailed, sure to keep home cooks coming back for more. Below is a selection of services that can range from a few hours’ time to much larger projects. Contact me if you would like a more detailed menu of services. You can read more about what inspired this new focus here.
When a general survey of recipe content is of interest, rather than editing of individual recipes, I can perform an audit of a collection of recipes. After careful review of the collection (or a sample thereof), I will provide objective, detailed guidelines for key ways that the recipes can be improved. This will include both general best practices for recipe style, as well as qualitative improvements relative to the specific project. This post shares a whimsical example of improving a recipe by applying some of those recipe-writing standards, one going way back to my first cookbook collaboration.
Recipe Style Guides
Recipe style guides serve the purpose of assuring that language, terminology and other elements are consistent among the recipes within a given project, platform or company. I can work with clients to produce a customized recipe style guide for an individual or in-house content team. This is particularly important when multiple people contribute to the writing and/or editing of the recipe content, and for ensuring standardization of brand-specific terminology. Though anyone who writes or edits recipes on a relatively regular basis benefits from a guide to ensure consistency.
Recipe Writing Workshops
For a company with an in-house editorial team, a professional culinary program or other environment in which a group of people are tasked with writing and/or editing recipes, I will provide personal instruction in writing recipes that is customized to the client’s needs. After initial consultation to understand existing practices, strengths and challenges of the client, I will develop content for a 2 to 3 hour workshop. This will include review of general best practices and what I have come to identify as the key guiding principles for recipe writing. Further discussion will focus on both practical factors—audience, ingredients, method—and creative elements that showcase the expertise and personality of the individual or company presenting the recipes.
If you need new, original recipes for a specific editorial project (magazine, newsletter, cookbook) or commercial brand (web site content, marketing materials, product packaging), that’s right up my alley. I have been creating recipes for home cooks since the earliest days of my career, and have an exacting testing process and consumer-friendly style.
Whether it’s restaurant recipes that need to be translated for the home cook, online recipe assets that are inconsistent and need polish, or recipes for a cookbook that need careful review—I will provide just the keen editing needed to get your recipes in shape. Too many poorly-written, incomplete, inaccurate recipes are in circulation today. I’ll help you avoid that pitfall.
A recipe is nothing if it hasn’t been well tested. This critical process evaluates every aspect of the ingredients and procedure to ensure delicious, reliable results for the home cook. I have done as much for the many hundreds of recipes I’ve written over the years and apply the same exacting standards when testing others’ recipes as well.
When not writing my own cookbooks, I’m available to help with yours. This can include co-authoring/ghostwriting; developing and testing recipes; writing or editing content; project managing; and writing cookbook proposals. I’ve edited content for a private family cookbook and edited a Junior League cookbook, co-authored with a French chef and tested recipes for a global equipment brand. Many of the books I’ve worked on are listed here.
Any facet of content that will help you achieve a strategic goal, I will do my best to help you meet that goal. This could be web site copy, chef profiles, ingredient descriptions, general narrative content, B2B or B2C marketing copy or any number of other themes.