Cookbooks History · Dave Kempf · Every Day Feasts

A NEW CHALLENGE: HOW DO YOU FOLLOW PERFECTION?


By Dave Kempf

When you’re looking for ideas on what to make for supper, you can’t go wrong with EveryDay Feasts. It has a ton of great ideas to get you out of a rut without a lot of fuss. These ladies did a great job as they took up where The Life of the Party left off, putting together a book that we always go back to.


Terrie Dodson was chosen to lead the second title in The Junior League of Tampa Culinary Collection. Since the first book had established the format and design this should be a “piece of cake”, right?  Think again. Following the blockbuster and wildly successful The Life of the Party just two years later proved to be a big challenge. The good news is that Terrie (and her committee) was up to the task.

This committee was more eclectic in nature than the original The Life of the Party team and this presented some decision-making challenges. I remember flying into Tampa on several occasions to meet with this group to serve as a “mediator” of sorts. I don’t mean to say that they didn’t get along, there were simply creative differences that, when all worked out, contributed to producing spectacular cookbook as well.

One of the great things about the Culinary Collection is that it has over 400 total recipes, menus and recipes for parties, everyday fare, all holidays and regional favorites of the Tampa area. EveryDay Feasts was the title chosen for book two and the idea was to share a collection of recipes that were general enough in nature to work for families, both large and small, every day of the year. They chose a pleasing green accent color and the “pineapple” as the icon for their book.

Each book in the series contains approximately 100 recipes; however the task for great recipes to choose from got tougher with each title beginning with EveryDay Feasts because most League members felt they had submitted their BEST recipe for Life of the Party. This proved not to be true as each title is chock full of great dishes.  Again, Kristie Salzer worked with the committee to oversee the food styling and they used the same photographer, Rob Adamo, for a consistent food look.

Another key success ingredient that has been a result of the Culinary Collection is the development of the League leadership through training of their volunteer members. In fact, several chairs of the actual new development or the marketing chair on in between years has moved to a leadership position within the League including several League Presidents.  The League commits 40 members each year to its marketing efforts in addition to an additional 8-10 during new title development years. You see, they treat this as any other special event and it pays off in funds developed and used to improve their community.

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