June 6, 2024

Advice For Writing a Better Cookbook from All Under Heaven's Carolyn Phillips

Advice For Writing a Better Cookbook from All Under Heaven's Carolyn Phillips

 In this mini-episode of Chefs Without Restaurants, host Chris Spear is joined by the acclaimed author Carolyn Phillips to discuss the art of writing a successful cookbook. Known for her works such as At the Chinese Table, All Under Heaven, The Dim Sum Field Guide, and the upcoming The Art of Chinese Baking, Carolyn shares invaluable insights for aspiring cookbook authors.

With accolades including being a James Beard Award finalist and a nominee for the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, Carolyn’s expertise is unmatched. This episode is packed with tips on creating a high-quality cookbook, the importance of understanding the culture behind the cuisine, and the practicalities of publishing.


  • Carolyn’s advice to write about what you know deeply and to ensure that your cookbook offers something new and unique.
  • The importance of respecting and accurately representing the culture of the cuisine you are writing about.
  • Practical tips on using the metric system in recipes and why it’s essential for precision, especially in baking.
  • Insights into the publishing world, including the benefits of starting with magazine articles to build your confidence and credibility.

Resources Mentioned:

Carolyn's Website
Carolyn's Instagram and Threads
Carolyn's Guide to Chinese Soy Sauce - Eater

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