On being a cookbook ghost writer

Fall 2009 — Here I was, at Ô Chalet Restaurant near Montreal’s CBC tower, celebrating with a good friend and colleague the launch of 100 recettes, 100 vedettes Centraide, my third collective cookbook as a ghost writer.

From Cercles de Fermières’ Qu’est-ce qu’on mange ? cookbook to TV show Des kiwis et des hommes’ culinary journal, behind-the-scenes has become second nature to me. Secretly creative, often rewarding, but short on accolades, let’s face it.

So this was a party for two, my book editor and me, elbows on table, wine glass in hand, chewing the fat about everything, nothing…and a book project maybe. “How would you like to work on a cookbook featuring Quebec’s agro-touristic regions with recipes from chefs all over?” she asked. Guess the answer.

In all, must-see food attractions in 16 Quebec regions are featured, including Montreal’s famous Little Italy neighbourhood and its crowning jewel: Jean-Talon Market.


Flashforward to Fall 2010, the book is already here after a mind-boggling sprint, especially over the last few months. During this amazing past year, I have toured Quebec’s food scene virtually, bringing together top chefs and rising stars, combing the countryside to seek out the best local products, the most diverse gourmet routes. Eighty chefs in all, from châteaux to bistros to countryside inns, agreed to partake. And to share the casual, i.e. à la bonne franquette, dishes they cherish most.

This fourth book is a favourite, I must confess. I like that it spans cooking from foie gras to Cheez Whiz, Charlevoix lamb to Carnation milk, and grandma’s beans to chipotle mayonnaise. What a mouth-watering portrait of our homegrown cuisine this is, deliberately simple, occasionally worldbeat, bringing together easy weeknight meals and Saturday night show stoppers.

Owners of multiple Quebec restaurants, Laurent Godbout graciously gave us his recipe for Bacon and Truffle Oil Mac’n Cheese. Need I say more?

Because cookbooks are an invitation to share one’s love of food, I invite you to come back over the next few weeks as I treat a lucky reader, in a little “Foodie and Franquette” contest. What’s the prize, do you think?.

As in her own recently-published cookbook, Marie-Fleur St-Pierre enchants with her original take on tapas.


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2 Responses to On being a cookbook ghost writer

  1. Annie 14 Oct 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Félicitations Lynne!
    Ce livre a l’air tout simplement su-per-be! Je suis curieuse de le voir en vrai… et de me le procurer bien sur!

    Grâce à ce blogue, twitter et facebook, tu peux enfin sortir de l’ombre et collecter les accolades que tu mérites!

    Bravo encore,
    Annie x

    • Lynne 15 Oct 2010 at 10:14 am #

      Merci, Annie, c’est tellement gentil de ta part 🙂 Pour en avoir produit quelques-uns, celui-ci est mon préféré. Quant aux amis Facebook et Twitter, ils ont été super généreux avec moi… Ça déboulonne bien des mythes sur les réseaux sociaux…

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