NYT Recipe Bylines; Book Deals

Also, Ina Garten sells bajillions of copies, but you knew that.


Howdy cookbook fans!

SPN HQ UPDATES! Made a clean-out-the-fridge mixed greens gratin that was kind of a flop last night (too watery) but the call to put miso in it was a good one. Will try again. Last week my grocery order swapped tart cherries instead of the sweet ones I put in smoothies, so I GUESS I HAVE TO MAKE A PIE this weekend. Bummer. The garden continues apace, mostly waiting for last weekend’s seeds to pop up. Could use some rain. Next week: recipe testing!

TEXAS! Monday is the last day to register to vote in the November election. Check your registration status here, even if you’re sure. Even if you’re sure you’re sure.

Okay on to the news.


I am the first one to admit that I am not an excellent chef. The last time I was allowed into the kitchens at The Passage they very sensibly kept me in the role of sous-chef (aka carrot-chopper). On that occasion I 'made' a spaghetti bolognaise. The dish smelt amazing – probably because I didn't cook it. 

Prince William did not let being a terrible cook stop him from writing the foreword to a charity cookbook. [Daily Mail]


NYT Food Announces Change to Recipe Bylines Policy

This week, NYT Food Editor Sam Sifton announced that recipes from cookbooks, chefs, and other outside sources will be credited to their developer. Prior to this announcement, recipes on the NYT Cooking website were credited to the reporter who wrote the story in which the recipe was originally featured, not the cookbook author or chef or whoever actually developed and wrote the recipe. It was, as Sifton writes, “not just confusing. It’s unfair.”

So you can see the new method above. This recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt and Chile-Cilantro Sauce from Diana Henry’s 2016 cookbook Simple was featured in a profile of Henry written by Times writer and recipe developer Melissa Clark. Over on NYT Cooking, Henry gets “Recipe from” credit, while Clark is listed as “Adapted by.”

I think the word “adapted” here might surprise some people. Below is Sifton’s elaboration on how recipes are adapted for NYT Cooking, stemming from a variety of sources:

Our reporters find recipes in restaurant kitchens, learn them from home cooks, read about them in cookbooks, and then interview the people responsible for them. They dig into the history of the recipe, chase down its evolution. They ask a lot of questions and record the answers: How you do this particular technique and why. Then they cook the recipes, have them tested, make them possible to cook in a home kitchen rather than a professional one. 

I can’t speak for the Times, but here’s what I know about using the word “adapted” in relation to running cookbook recipes in publications: Sometimes “adapted” can be a journalismism thing of just covering one’s behind by being like “this recipe does not appear here EXACTLY how it does in the book.” Publications will also edit recipes to conform to their style guide. I have also encountered a few instances—none involving the Times—where publications will actually test and change cookbook recipes prior to publication. I’m not super fond of this practice, as theoretically recipes in cookbooks were tested prior to publication, and if they weren’t…why are you giving the cookbook press?

Anyway, for what it’s worth: when I run recipes in SPN, I change the formatting to flow well in an email, change “tsp” to “teaspoon” (and etc.), and…that’s about it! Glad to see this change come to NYT Cooking.


One cabbage is three pounds…You’re not going to be very satisfied with a small jar. Now, my readers make 20, 30, 40 pounds.

—When Korean cooking queen Emily Kim (AKA Maangchi) suggests you make more kimchi, you make more kimchi. [LAT]


Coming Attractions

  • I joked in an interview with Taste earlier this year that Chicago restaurants might be the next big thing in cookbooks, and, well? This is the third one I’ve seen since. Psychic?! Probably: Julia Momose of Chicago Japanese-style cocktail bar Bar Kumiko will write The Way of the Cocktail, a look at the cocktails of Japan. The book will be organized “by the 24 microseasons that define the ebb and flow of life in Japan.” (!) Clarkson Potter, pub date tbd. [PM]

  • Blogger Maurizio Leo will write The Perfect Loaf based on his baking adventures on his blog of the same name, also for Clarkson Potter. Bread books! Hooray. [PM]

  • Famous Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes is writing a cookbook with his wife Jane and since it’s behind a paywall that’s literally all I can tell you about that! [West Australian]

  • Not really sure how this counts as an exclusive since the book is out in the UK in a few weeks, but anyway: Nigella Lawson’s latest book Cook, Eat, Repeat will be out in the US in April. According to People, the book “goes in-depth on Lawson's kitchen rituals with over 100 recipes that feature some of her favorite ingredients. Dishes include Burnt Onion and Eggplant Dip, Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce, and Beef Cheeks with Port and Chestnuts.” [People]


All 11 of her previous cookbooks remain in print; in total, there are well over 6 million copies in circulation, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks print sales. (The publisher says the full number is significantly higher, but doesn’t comment on sales.)

All hail Ina Garten. [The Cut]



Pals that’s it! Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Tuesday.