Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grabbing a Slice of The Pie...Some Cookbook Perspective

In the last week I have had the chance to visit a BUNCH of different markets here in MA and I have had the pleasure to see some amazing farms as well as meeting bunches of great people who prepare some of the finest foods around. Whether it is real maple syrup, fresh made organic spices, just picked peaches or garden fresh green beans...I have seen more than I ever could have hoped!! Now with summer hitting somewhat of a halfway point I am branching out with my thinking in terms of my books structure and development.

My focus was originally on the menus and recipes that I have had floating around my head for well over 20 years. When you decide to choose being a Chef as a career, it isn't something that just happens. Food is something that everyone eats and for a few of us...food is part of our very existence, we live and breathe every aspect of it!! I remember how it felt growing up and discovering my love of all that is food. My grandmother would take me to lunch every chance she got and sometimes I would end up 'sick', not being able go to off to school. I would then end up healthy and active twenty minutes later, which was timed perfectly to when she would show up at the house. On these days we would head out and visit any number of different restaurants. I learned about what tastes could be paired together and what good service was all about. I made my first menu by the time I was finished with the 6th grade!

My years at college only made me appreciate food even more. I was exposed to all sorts of things that before I only dreamed of. I would write recipes down on index cards for classes and sometimes would draw little pictures on them because I had this goal of creating a special book with all these cards for quick and easy access. Now that I am all grown up, my vision for a cookbook was straight forward and direct. It would have recipes, fully tested and ready to go...which would have made a pretty boring book!!

So here we are with pieces of my dream falling into place and a cookbook that seems to have a life all its own. This is the part I love the most, not only are the foods and recipes designed around real food and real people...but now the book is following its own path of creative fun. The outline is still straight forward and I will make sure that all of those recipes I learned sitting beside my grandmother are included. The book will also include stories of farms and farmers, wine, micro breweries, photos
and I am sure by the time I finish even more!!

Here is what I see as a narration of my vision broken down into a more manageable form. I will often times talk about what I see inside my head and that vision doesn't always translate well from the brain to the mouth. Perhaps typing it out will allow me to better explain where I am at.

How We Grow It, Cook It, Eat It
Sean Pike

18 Seperate Menus- Each menu featuring flavors and ingredients that are tied into the New England seasons. These will be grouped together and each selection will also be searchable through a recipe index as well.

4 Additional Menus- Based on holidays and special/party events.

Wine and Food Pairings-  Based on each of the 22 menus, each one is paired with a wine. This will feature an extensive list with several pairings geared towards area wineries. This will also feature complete winery profiles for readers.

Kitchen Terms-  A section of terms and definitions along with measurement conversions for easy access

Table Extras-  A collection of recipes designed to be part of a meal, but not a centerpiece of the plate. This will include breads. rolls, oils, special beverages and other items that can be added to a menu

Photos-  One picture can speak a thousand words...then what does a collection of more say? The middle of the book will contain photos of the food, farms, people and ideas that helped to shape and inspire the book. Each photo will have a caption and will only be used in this unique section.

Stories-  Each visit to a Farmers Market and each person I meet has a story that makes them unique and special. I have made some great friends during this and rather then giving someone just a few lines inside of the recipes, I have decided that I want to tell a more complete story...from the beginning and share that experience with everyone.

That's what I see inside of my head....recipes combined with stories and photos. A book which can show someone how to cook and show them how we are as a community. REAL Food and REAL People!!

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you around The Kitchen!!

Makes sure to stop by the Facebook Page to check out more great book ideas and even some of the tempting recipes that are part of my dream!!

Want to help out with making the book more than just a dream? I have a Kickstarter Project that is being used to help raise money for the book. People can pledge as little or as much as they want and then I only receive the funds if the project reaches its full goal. If we don't hit the goal, then nobody has to actually pay!! So please click that link above and check it out.

-Chef Sean Pike