Introducing Capture the Coast

by Laurie Ann Burton

Laurie Ann has led the New Cookbook Development Committee for more than 2 years, from the early days before the new cookbook even had a name through the final proofing process. There is no better guide to the trials and tribulations that led to Capture the Coast.

Creating a cookbook is an incredible task.  It is so multifaceted, that it takes a team of dedicated individuals with vastly differing skill sets to pull off.  The key to this effort is the “dedication.”  The Capture the Coast development committee was a committee of only 10 volunteers, myself included.  Developing a book is a very big job, which meant everyone who was a part of it was volunteering hundreds of hours (even vacation days) whether they were testing/tasting recipes, creating the photographs or writing the accompanying text.  Each person was responsible for their piece of the puzzle and in the end, all the pieces would need to fit together.  Luckily, we had a wonderful group of women who love the League, love to cook and have the creativity, energy and drive that was necessary to bring this book to fruition.

I hope to give you a brief overview of what goes on “behind the scenes” of making a cookbook, and that the next time you pick up a cookbook, you look closely at it and realize it is not just a book of recipes but a work of art!

Creating a cookbook is a somewhat linear process, there is a very specific ordering of tasks.  That isn’t to say there isn’t loads of creativity along the way, because there definitely is.  I am a linear thinker, so I really appreciate time lines and spreadsheets – the more the better.  Luckily for me, as chair, I spent most of my time on processes.  It is only when I started assisting with photo shoots that I was dragged into the vortex of creativity, which was thrilling and heart- stopping at the same time.

Our concept is summed up in the title: Capture the Coast, a local cookbook that is reflective of life on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  This concept is the banner that is held up by three pillars: the recipes, the non-recipe text and the photographs.  Each pillar had its own team.  The recipe team included: Carolyn Piper, Jenn Hunt, Lisl Unterholzner and Leah Wooten.  The writing team was Patricia Brawley, Ashley Carl, and Jodi Rivera.  The photo team was Veronica Kruchten and Stacey Waters.

The book’s general sequence of events:

Concept and Title Selection

1)      Recipe Collection (solicit, review and rate)

2)      Rounds of Testing (1st and 2nd rounds of general testing)

3)      Recipe Selection (review testing feedback – committee testing and tweaking)

4)      Menu Shaping and development of  non-recipe text

5)      Final Selections for Submission

6)      Creation of photographs

7)      Final Selections for Layout & Proof

We’ll look at each of these steps in the posts to come, and give the back story to how Capture the Coast came to be.


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