Celebrity Chefs Find Ghostwriters For Their Cookbooks!
Ever wondered how the busiest of chefs are able to author dozens of cookbooks despite their grueling schedules with alacrity? Well, if a certain young woman is to be believed, it is because they hire recipes-developers, ghostwriters to be precise, to write books for them. At the look of it, it seems to be a huge scam because the cookbooks are sold under the names of the celebrity chefs but come to think of it, there is nothing unholy about the whole process. It has been a longstanding practice to employ the services of writers and recipe developers to write cookbooks for chefs. To know more about it, read on:-
1) Shadowing Chefs & Cookbooks
Julia Moskin is the name of the woman who claims she has ghostwritten nine cookbooks so far for famous foodies, who don’t even bother to read the final product. Ouch! Sounds too callous, doesn’t it? Moskin reveals, in a recent write-up, that there is a team of writers behind most of the celebrity cookbooks that boast of stylish recipes. Besides the nine cookbooks, she has also worked on other culinary projects as well, where she has worked anonymously. She calls herself “one of the ink-stained (and grease-covered) wretches” who are the main producers of the “words that are attributed to chefs in cookbooks and food magazines…” She is not alone in claiming that. Wes Martin, a chef himself, has admitted to developing recipes for Rachael Ray, the celebrity chef whom you see so often on Television, as well as for others too. Martin says, “The team behind the face is invaluable. How many times can one person invent a new quick pasta dish?”
2) Two Souls in One Body
Martin throws some more light on this aspect of cookbook writing as he says, “It’s like an out-of-body experience. I know who I am as a chef, and I know who Rachael is, and those two are totally separate parts of my brain.” Weird, but that is how these ghostwriters have to work. They need to be good with cooking, modest (because they are not going to get any credit for their fruits of labor), and ventriloquist, though not literally, because they need to write in the voices of the celebrity. Although, the chefs are not alone in hiring a ghostwriter, the same holds true even for business leaders, sports figures, as well as movie stars. However, the chefs’ cookbooks have to acquire a more intimate tone, that is why, the work of ghostwriters is the most difficult in case of cookbooks. That is why, perhaps, the job of the celebrity chefs is even more difficult as Andrew Friedman, currently writing for Chefs Michael White and Paul Liebrandt, says, “I’ve had chefs tear up reading the introduction to their own books. The job is to get them to the point where they verbalize their philosophy about food – even the ones who say they don’t have one.”
3) Content Driven Cookbooks
World, especially the media space, is content-driven today. It doesn’t matter that you are a hoi-polloi chef in a high-end restaurant, churning out innovative, original, and awesomely delicious recipes day after day. It is also important that you announce it to the world in printed form. That is why, every other chef these days is announcing a new cookbook every other month. You must certainly have read about Jamie Oliver’s cookbook fight with Nigella Lawson on ifood.tv a few weeks back. That is the kind of rivalry being talked about. This high pressure environment makes it necessary for celebrity chefs to hire a professional writer to write for them. Well, the covers of the cookbooks don’t give any credit to the original writers, but then, that is a different story altogether.
4) It is Nice to Admit
Never mind the fact that it is peer pressure that drives celebrities to hire ghostwriters for their cookbooks, it is a scam nevertheless. But things may not be that bad too because there are celebrity chefs who are quick to admit to it. Like Bobby Flay, who has hired writers in the past. Flay is quick to admit, “It’s not easy to find a good one (ghostwriter). They have to put their ego in their pockets.” He further claims, “I consider myself an ‘author,’ in quotes, but not a writer. I have skills in the kitchen, but the writers keep the project on track, meet the deadlines, make the editor happy.” He also spills the beans, “I know a lot of chefs who write their first book themselves. Then they say ‘I’ll never do that again.’ It’s just not worth it.”
Writing a book is never an easy task. With their lives already full of so many tasks, it is only natural that the celebrity chefs do not find themselves up to the task of writing cookbooks too. However, all would have been forgiven were these chefs as forthcoming about the truth behind their prolific cookbooks as Flay is. Nevertheless, if you are aware of any such ghostwriter, do share the secret with ifood.tv. We promise, we will only publish it!