I am writing a cookbook. Technically, there has been no writing involved yet. It is just in the dream phase at the moment, but that’s the way all my goals start out. Peter and I have been talking about writing a cookbook for our restaurant for the past couple of years. Which would not only enable me to check it off my bucket list, but also undoubtedly be an asset to our restaurant and customers.

When we mention our writing a cookbook desire to friends and acquaintances it is almost always met by the same response, “that should be really easy, you have all the recipes already.”

Not so much.

Sugo Cookbook Cover

Yes, we do have quite a few cookbook worthy recipes, like the Pistachio Crusted Salmon with Red Pepper Agrodolce and Rotisserie Chicken Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms.

But, not nearly the hundred solid ones that it takes to fill a cookbook.

And the usable ones that we do have are made for commercial cooking using industrial equipment, for dozens of people, not the home cook. So, unless everyone out there has a Hobart meat slicer, 750 watt immersion blender, a 20-inch sauté pan and serves a football team for every meal, we need to alter a few things.
Resaurant Flame

Plus, writing a cookbook isn’t as easy as it may sound. There are so many things to think about. For example, how will we determine the writing style of the cooking instructions? Some are numbered, some bulleted and others simply in paragraph form. Which is the best technique?

What will be the overall theme? Our restaurant serves Italian food, but with the hundreds of Italian cookbooks on the market it will truly have to be something unique to get noticed.

Just another plain Italian cookbook telling people how to make grandmas lasagna isn’t going to cut it.

How many times should we test each recipe? Should recipes serve 4 or 6 or 8? Who will take the professional photographs? How many recipes should be included? Agh!
Bruschetta Trio

Not to mention that personal stories, recipe headers and biographies all have to be written.

I am also well aware that finding a publisher is bound to be difficult when you are creating a restaurant cookbook. So, there will have to be a balance between pleasing our restaurants customers as well as the general cookbook reader. Just add that to the “things to do” list too.

Most importantly, there needs to be time.

And since Summer is approaching, quitting season in the restaurant business has begun. Apparently, some employees would rather be at the beach than washing dishes, which means I may be spending more time washing dishes instead of writing a cookbook. Plus, of course, I must always squeeze in some traveling into my busy life and so far that means spending time in the next few months in Kentucky, Idaho, Tokyo, Micronesia and Louisiana.

It is all okay though, because I realize that some goals take longer than others. I suspect this entire cookbook will take about a year to complete. But, much of experiences in life are about the journey and I plan on documenting this journey, writing about the triumphs, failures and process along the way. Maybe even sharing a few of the recipes pre-publish date.

Step 1 was the Dream.

Next is Step 2, breaking this goal into a few dozen little ones, so I don’t get overwhelmed, pull my hair out and end up crying like a baby in the fetal position.

Is writing a cookbook on your bucket list?