Consulting Services

Mon Appétit

Consulting Services

After more than two decades of writing and editing cookbooks, writing magazine articles, editing magazines, developing recipes for myself and for clients, working on a vast array of projects as a consultant — it’s my pleasure to now provide a formalized set of editorial services in the culinary realm. I gain incredible satisfaction in helping others achieve their goals through consulting projects, and look forward to helping you with yours. Below you’ll find some specific areas in which I have proven expertise, but don’t hesitate to contact me about a project that doesn’t necessarily fit one of these categories. I will always do my best to help you meet objectives, and do so within your budget. For information about my background, please see this books page as well as the pages that recap other projects I’ve worked on over the years.

Recipe Development

Recipe development refers to creation of new, original recipes that are written  for a specific editorial project (such as a magazine article or cookbook) or product brand (web site content, product positioning, other marketing objectives). Original recipe development includes a recipe introduction, or headnote, in addition to the ingredient list and detailed recipe method. Clients have complete ownership of the developed recipe and may use it however they see fit. In addition, my exacting testing process and consumer-friendly editorial style will give the end user a high probability of success in their home kitchen.

Fee structure:
The per-recipe fee varies with the type and scope of the project. I offer per-recipe price breaks relative to the overall number of recipes being created. We’ll talk through what you need in order to come up with a price for your project. You will also be billed for actual costs of ingredients and other materials needed for the testing of the recipes.

Recipe Transcription/Editing

In contrast to original recipe development, recipe transcription/editing relates to polishing and modifying a recipe that you supply to me. The modifications will be made to meet your specific objectives, including recipe yield, streamlined methodology, consumer-friendly language, ingredient substitution, or any other required elements. I am particularly adept at translating  restaurant recipes to be reproducible in a home kitchen. The source recipe must include both an ingredient list and at least some basic preparation methods. If a recipe begins in a too-rudimentary form, I may consider it to be “development” rather than “editing.” This process does not inherently include recipe testing, which I may recommend as a follow-up step.

Fee structure:
This work is billed at an hourly rate due to the unpredictable nature of recipes I’ll be working from and unpredictable aspects of how much time it will take to polish them up.

Recipe Testing

Recipe testing is the practical assessment of a written recipe,  a very detailed process during which every element–from ingredient measurements to oven temperatures–is carefully scrutinized, leading to edits or changes in the recipe to achieve the best, most delicious results. I’ve testing over a thousand third-party recipes, most of them from restaurants and other commercial operations. I take recipe testing very seriously to ensure that the end user will have the highest likelihood of success in their home kitchen. It is common for a recipe to require multiple tests to confidently assure its reliability.

Fee Structure:
Depending on the number of recipes and how complex the recipes are, the per-recipe fee may vary. I’ll consult with you about the scope of your recipe testing needs to determine a base fee for your project. You will also be billed for actual costs of ingredients and other materials needed for the testing of the recipes.

Original Content Development/Writing

This is a broad category of editorial work that touches on any non-recipe text that you need written, whether it’s copy for your web site, chef profiles, a cookbook proposal, ingredient descriptions, narrative content for a cookbook, article, or any number of written platforms. This process generally requires time doing research, conducting interviews and/or other efforts to gain the information needed to meet the content objectives.

Fee Structure:
Because this is such a broad category, there is no single structure for fees. I’ll talk through your needs and determine a payment structure, whether it’s a flat fee for a very clearly determined scope, or an hourly rate for a larger or more complex project. Should there be any expenses related to the project, I will bill you for actual costs I incur.

Developmental Editing

This refers to editorial work, most often associated with cookbooks, that is more involved than simply honing existing text (though that is part of the job too). It’s important to understand that this editorial process should ideally be conducted by someone different than the person creating the content; writers (along with any content creators) benefit from objective eyes reviewing their work to polish  and troubleshoot. Developmental editing can start in the earliest brainstorming stages for a project, and go on to include scoping out overall content, scheming chapter organization, and determining general goals and focus of the text. It will also touch on fine-tuning the flow of text, consistency of language, and troubleshooting any potential concerns about clarity of message and personality of the project.

Fee Structure:
Because the size and scope of these editorial projects can vary so much, I’ll consult with you about your needs to determine the fee base and cost structure. I often charge such projects at an hourly rate, but for clearly-defined and/or smaller projects I may propose a flat fee.

Other Consulting Services

Other areas of expertise for which I’ll be more than happy to help navigate options and direct you toward specialized resources include layout and design, web development, food photography and styling, and proofreading, among others. Depending on the circumstances of your project, I can serve as project manager and work with these other resources to streamline your project outcomes.

Also, in the case of book projects, I can help steer you in the direction of publishing options that are likely to make the most sense for you, from working with a traditional publishing house to taking advantage of one of the growing menu of options for custom- or self-publishing.