Consulting Services

My consulting services reflect skills I have 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. 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.

Customer Engagement for Seafood Retailers

I have come to believe that when it comes to helping home cooks become more confident and enthusiastic about cooking seafood, it’s at the point of purchase—across the seafood counter—where the most important connection is made. No number of cookbooks (mine included!), articles, social posts, newsletters, etc. can replace the trust and confidence built by knowledgeable retailers speaking with their customers and providing reliable, detailed information to help them make the most of their seafood.

To help retailers create the most positive customer engagement experiences for shoppers, I offer services that draw from 30 years of writing about seafood for home cooks, and from a survey I conducted to learn more about the habits, viewpoints, and frustrations people have related to seafood shopping.

Services I provide include:

  • review and audit of existing consumer-facing materials (non-recipe), after which I provide a report with suggested additions and improvements; these updates I could carry out myself, or I can provide guidance to your team for implementation
  • review and audit of existing recipes provided to customers (website, social media, newsletters, hand-outs, etc.), after which I provide a report with recommendations for ensuring that recipes are detailed and consistent, and that the overall collection is providing strong value to your seafood program; I can make the recommended edits or other adjustments to the recipe collections, or I can provide guidance to your team for implementation

Editorial Services

Recipe Audit

If you’re using recipes to build and maintain a loyal base of customers, it definitely pays to be sure those recipes do their job well. A positive experience with those recipes is positive brand engagement, and a negative experience can damage customer trust.  The ultimate goal is recipes that are clear, reliable, and detailed, sure to keep home cooks coming back for more. You can read more about what inspired this focus here.

To ensure that an existing recipe collection is providing maximum value for your brand or your project, I can perform an audit of the recipe collection. 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 Writing Workshops

For a company with an in-house editorial team 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 1- to 2-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.

Recipe Development

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.

Recipe Editing

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 required to get your recipes in shape.

Recipe Testing

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.

Cookbook Projects

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.

Content Development

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 content or any number of other themes.