Friends...this whole cookbook thing is becoming very, very real. We are just weeks away from shipping off the book to the printer and I couldn't be more excited!! The recipes are done, the testing is done, the photos are done, the initial designs are done, the text is done, the wine pairings are done, and at this point we're madly editing photos and recipes and text so we can get everything laid out hopefully next week. Then we'll have PDF's to work from and it will become even more real. (Woo hoo!) We've got our slot held with the printer, and they're sending us a printed cover to preview, plus a dummy book (a blank book built to my exact specs) in the next few days. Yep, this is definitely happening!

Though this cookbook is a total dream come true for me, it is only possible because a team of insanely talented collaborators – who I'll introduce in a moment – as well as 50+ amazing volunteer recipe testers, 1083 Kickstarter contributers, and the myriads of collaborators (brands, bloggers, photographers, stylists, friends, and family) who made my #cookbookroadtrip dinner parties possible. I am beyond humbled at the outpouring of support from all of you, and feel so incredibly blessed to have such an incredible book team.


With no further ado, here are my AWESOME collaborators. This book wouldn't be possible without out them, their talents, their generosity and passion, and their willingness to put up with my not-always-organized way of working. My level of love for these people is off-the-charts. (Pictures above go clockwise L-R)

1) Brandon Carl. Chief Advisor. I'm a little biased, given that this handsome man is my husband, but I can firmly say that Brandon is the smartest and most multi-talented person I know. He's also incredibly generous, which has been evident in the way he's poured his time and skills into this project from Day 1. Not only would this book (or blog) not be possible without his 110% support, encouragement, and technical wizardry, but he helped me put a framework to my dreaming, and actually create and commit to a plan. I'm not sure how I won the husband lottery, but I definitely did.

2) Signe Birck. Food Photographer. Aside from Brandon, Signe's been my partner-in-crime on this cookbook. Signe's food photography is stunning, and without her incredible talent and enthusiasm for the project, this book would never have happened. We started dreaming about doing a book together 3 years ago, so it's really exciting to see our dream actually come to life. Signe worked with me in the trenches from October through May, shooting this book in my walk-up apartment, in the most hilariously cramped circumstances. But we had a blast, and I think the photos will speak for themselves.

3) Elise Inman. Assistant. My amazing intern Elise (also a Nashville gal!) came into my life at the perfect moment, just as I launched The Cookbook Diaries and desperately needed some help to pull off the project. She worked with me from October through April, assisting on photo shoots and events, snapping behind-the-scenes photos, and helping me haul endless bags of props and groceries – and flooring samples – up my 6 flights of stairs. Elise also drove cross-country with me in June, and helped me pull of 6 of the 8 #cookbookroadtrip dinner parties. So incredibly grateful for her help (and sense of humor)!!

4) Katie King Rumford. Cookbook Designer. I just can't say enough about Katie, from her mad design skills, to her incredible creativity, to her passion for both fonts AND food (two very important things in a cookbook designer!). I found her when I posted this picture on Instagram, and my friend Sara (of Sprouted Kitchen) recommended Katie. She was living in India at the time, but after one phone conversation – and looking at her killer portfolio – I knew she was the one for the job. Her designs and illustrations in this book are going to blow you out of the water...stay tuned!

5) Eric Ryan Anderson. Photographer. Eric is not only a good friend, but an unbelievably talented photographer. I love his ability to capture the essence of people – just check out these incredibly black and white portraits he shot (these will be in the book as well). I remember a year ago telling him my idea for this cookbook, and asking if he'd shoot a video introducing The Cookbook Diaries, and he said yes immediately. (Check out the video here!) He shot several dinner parties around the yellow table, and I am beyond thrilled to share some of his work in the book.

6) Dana Tanamachi. Logo Designer. I'm not sure how I lucked out in getting Dana involved in this project, but somehow I did! Dana's not only one of my all-time favorite designers, but she's a genuinely lovely person. I had the privilege of spending a few days with her up in the Catskills several years ago, and we've been friends ever since. Dana designed logos for both The Yellow Table and The Cookbook Diaries - on her first attempt - and I am completely in love. Her Yellow Table logo sets the tone for both the blog and the book.

7) Jean-Luc le Du. Sommelier. It was a happy coincidence that Jean-Luc got involved with this book. We were having dinner at a friends house last fall and I was talking about the cookbook. Jean-Luc – who's both a James Beard Award-winning sommelier and the owner of Le Du's Wines (one of NYC's top wine stores) – asked if he could do the wine pairings for the book. I about choked on my food when he said that, but of course my answer was a resounding yes! Working with him has been a pleasure, and I want to try every single wine he recommended in the book.

8) Lauren Salkeld. Editor. Lauren's involvement in the book was another happy coincidence. We met through our mutual friend Carolina, and happened to meet for coffee on a day where she happened to be looking for freelance work and I happened to be looking for an editor. As it turns out, she's a cook, recipe-tester, developer, editor, and writer, with nearly 10 years of experience working at Epicurious, and several cookbooks under her belt. I am SO grateful for Lauren's amazing editing skills, food knowledge, and organization. I don't know what I'd do without her - she's managed all of the recipe testers, kept me on schedule, and has whipped my recipes into tip-top shape.


9) Me. Cookbook Author. (That feels exciting to write those words!) You all know about me. So I'll move on to...

10) Nate Poekert. Photographer. Nate is another great friend who has been a huge supporter of this project from Day 1. He's a talented photographer (among many other things) and he's one of the few people who I feel comfortable taking my picture. We've done several fun shoots together over the past years (here and here), so for the book I asked him to take some shots of me in my kitchen cooking and around my neighborhood. I'm so honored to have him as a part of this book. (Nate wasn't here the night we were shooting these portraits, so I included an older photo of him - from our wedding actually! - also shot by Eric.)

So there you have it. It takes a village. And I happen to really, really to love my village.

(Photos by Eric Ryan Anderson)