Lowcountry Chefs Launch Cookbook-Writing School

If you asked your favorite chef whether he or she works at a restaurant or at home, or if they would like to write their own cookbook, you would probably be told yes. However, many of these cooks don't because it can be a daunting task to write any book, much less one that requires a lot of instruction and pictures. After ten years of writing their own very successful cookbooks, our next guest and his brother decided to teach others how to do it within a two-day intensive workshop.

Matt Lee, co-founder of Cookbook Boot Camp, was raised in Charleston. In 2000, he and his brother started writing about food and travel. The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook came out in 2006.

According to Lee, many people wanted to “pick his brain” on what all went into writing a cookbook. This led to the creation of the Cookbook Boot Camp, a two-day intensive workshop for professional chefs and others eager to publish cookbooks of quality. Lee says books have to have an identity. Who you are and how you describe yourself has a lot to do with the cookbook.

“A cookbook is typically sold on a cookbook proposal, which could be no more than a few paragraphs. An average cookbook proposal is about 30 pages, but that’s the type of project you could complete in a couple weeks.”

According to Lee, knowing a little marketing never hurts. “The one thing that publishers do bring to the table, most expertly, that is very hard for privately published books to do is the distribution thing.”

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