3 months since the last cookbook update – so much to share!!
In the last cookbook update, I chirpily reported that the recipes had been created, the manuscript written, and I’d made a good dent in photographing the recipes.
That’s pretty much the cookbook done, things should be slowing down, right?
If anything the last 2 1/2 months have been the hardest in this cookbook making process. Take a peek in my camera roll to see what’s been going on!
Lights, camera, action!
See behind the scenes video on Instagram.
I do NOT like to be on the other side of the camera! But my publisher Pan Macmillan put their foot down and said I’d need to be in the cookbook too. And apparently the usual selfies I share here on my website wouldn’t cut it.
Honestly, why they think selfies like this aren’t good enough for a printed book is beyond me……. 😂😂😂
So we had a series of shoot days lined up with a professional photographer and even with “H&M”, which I initially thought was in reference to the chain clothing store H&M (what’s wrong with my clothes?? I huffily thought.)
Turns out, “H&M” stands for “hair and make up”. 😂
We even brought in a stylist for a big shoot day. Someone to make sure I looked respectable, and who was there to tell me to pull my shoulders back and suck my gut in…… 😂
That’s Sally Bruce, a Sydney stylist. We brought her in to help choose outfits for me and my team so that we’d look like, well, a team. Instead of worrying about some people (ahem, mum, I’m looking at YOU) turning up in hot pink.
Here we are in our shot – mum and I. Just what you picture for a mother-daughter photo, right? 😂 Well, at least she’s wearing on-brand colours. No hot pink in sight – he he!
These shoot days were BIG. Lots of people in my house, high levels of energy. And, not surprisingly, LOTS of food! The photo below is from the biggest food-shoot-day which involved a table laden with food and my entire team in a shot.
I can’t show you THE photo because it will be a spoiler! Also, because I didn’t take that photo, I need to respect the copyright of the photographer.
And in case you’re wondering, Dozer got his share of the limelight. See today’s Life of Dozer section below for an update!
Ripping up the cookbook…. then stitching it together again
There’s a little behind the scenes video – watch it here on Instagram!
In late April, I worked out of my publisher’s office to do some ruthless strategising about the contents of the cookbook which involved slashing recipes and chapters I’d spent many, many hours on.
This was a tough process. I might be smiling in the photo above, but inside I was crying.
OK OK I’m being a bit dramatic. 😂 I didn’t actually shed tears.
These days were productive, important milestones in the cookbook process as we weighed up key decisions that would affect how many pages the book would have, the quality of the paper (glossier = thicker = more expensive and heavier), the material of the book cover and therefore, ultimately, all of this leading to the quality and price of the book.
I actually enjoyed the strategic thinking behind this part of the project. Here I am with my publisher, Ingrid from Pan Macmillan, with a photo of all the recipes up on a wall as we went through what I described as “ripping up then stitching the cookbook back together again”!
And here I am with some of the casualties.
But every cloud has a silver lining, right?? So ditching these recipes from the cookbook means they’ll end up on this website!
Proof reading torture.
I’m not gonna lie. I hate proof reading.
I am not built for the detail oriented concentration and discipline required to proof read.
And it’s a task that takes So. Much. Time.
I am not talking one or two days. I am talking hundreds of hours. In fact, my team and I have spent (in aggregate) over 250 hours on proof reading over the past couple of months. AGGGGHHH!!!! 😩
I find food helps me through it. Here I am on a proof reading day at Pan Macmillan with cheesecake to push me through the day.
As much as I don’t enjoy proof reading, I know how important this process is to ensure the accuracy and quality of the end result. So I pushed through, checking and re-reading from front to back, over and over and again. Late nights….
…..through Dozer’s attempts to sabotage the process….
…..and even through blackouts. YES THIS REALLY HAPPENED just last week. I was on a critical absolutely-no-buffer-left-in-the-timetable deadline and BOOM! Black out.
So I simply worked on into the night using candles and my head torch. 😂
As I’m bashing away on the keyboard writing this post, the cookbook files are being prepared to send to the printers. Which means – IT IS SO CLOSE! I don’t want to celebrate until the printing actually starts because things can change right up to the last minute.
You might think I’m being dramatic but I kid you not, the hero photo of me in the cookbook was just re-shot yesterday. Talk about last minute dramas!!!
But the good thing about last minute?
No one to do my hair.
No one to do my make up.
No clothing stylist.
It was me, my Revlon, and my K-mart t shirt.
Don’t worry, that’s not the shot! We had a professional photographer do it – and he even had a proper camera 😂.
Back to regular new recipes! My first goal is to get back to sharing new recipes regularly on my website! It honestly surprised me, how much I’ve missed it. I’d come on here as a “treat” to see what you guys are making, read and respond to questions, and think about new recipes to share.
In fact, the moment I had a couple of days spare last week, I used it to create, test, photograph and film the Teriyaki Salmon Noodles I shared last Thursday! Plus we made a little Behind The Scenes video – watch it on Instagram.
Cookbook marketing phase – This will be interesting! But also daunting, thinking about the prospect of doing book signings (what if no one shows up!! 😭) or cooking demos (what if I muck up!! 😭) and the idea of doing interviews with magazines (the camera puts on 10 pounds!! 😭). Hopefully with Dozer. I think I’m going to have a blanket policy – no Dozer, no interview! 😈
Speaking of Dozer. It’s his turn in the spotlight now! Though I expect some of you already skipped down to read Life of Dozer before coming back to read about ME. And you know I secretly love that. 😉
More updates coming soon – we have some fun events coming up I’m looking forward to sharing with you.
And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your unconditional support. Your messages lifted me on the toughest days throughout what has been the hardest project of my career. I feel so very fortunate. – Nagi x
Life of Dozer
Oh Dozer! What an incredible couple of months it’s been for you!
Big shoot days with professionals…. so much expensive gear to squeeze yourself under, so many people cooing over you….
Then there was that exciting day when you went into a professional photography studio – we even made a video of it!
Honestly, you were a natural, totally at home in front of the camera.
Well, with the help of a little chicken. 😂
And boy did we get some epic shots!!!
I’m pleased to see that this endless rain in Sydney isn’t bothering you in the slightest and you’re enjoying your daily belly-mud-mask. In fact, you apply it yourself. Well done! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
However, we still need to discuss your understanding of boundaries.
When I say that you’re not allowed into the shoot area, that means no part of you is allowed in. Just because only 10% (your head) is breaching the barrier, it doesn’t mean you are 90% obeying the rules. Life doesn’t work like that, Dozer.
But, I just can’t get mad at you. You’re too darn cute!