Aran Goyoaga, acclaimed pastry chef, photographer, food stylist, and James Beard Award-nominated blogger at Cannelle et Vanille, will release her first cookbook, titled Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family's Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, on October 23.
She is widely recognized for her remarkable talents in food photography and styling. The cookbook will feature 120 recipes that she created, styled, and photographed.
Balancing the blog and the cookbook wasn't easy, though, especially considering the high demands of developing content for two simultaneous projects. Also, writing a book is a process that varies extensively from her previous experience with the blog.
"In a blog, you have immediate feedback. It's so interactive and fast-paced," she says. Writing a cookbook not only takes longer to develop but it also takes longer to present to readers.
The book's content is focused primarily on Goyoaga's life and family. "It's a narrative, with my stories, my memories, and my current life. It's about the food that my family eats and what inspires me," she notes. "It's influenced by what I've come to love."
Readers of her blog already know that Goyoaga and her family eat gluten-free. In fact, her family's diet is based mostly on legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables. But recipes featuring animal protein will also be included. "We do eat meats, but it's not the bulk of our meals," she explains.
Her photographs and recipes also emphasize the importance of fresh ingredients. The cookbook is divided into seasons, according to how she remembers them from her childhood in the Basque Country.
Goyoaga attended culinary school in Florida and worked in pastry at The Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach. She now resides in Jupiter, which means winter tomatoes and strawberries -- a bit different from the rest of the country. Also, as Goyoaga puts it, "Here, we have a rainy season and a not-rainy season."
So she was lucky to be working on the cookbook development during the winter, when South Florida's farmers' markets feature a variety of fresh, local produce. "I started working on the cookbook in December, so I had the whole season in South Florida ahead of me," she explains.
The book will also include some tips on making food look as beautiful as it tastes. The importance of Goyoaga's food styling talents had to be addressed, and it's surely something that readers are looking to learn more about.
This year, she was also nominated for a James Beard Award for Individual Food Blog. Goyoaga is grateful for the recognition and, when queried whether this nomination increased her readership, she responds, "I'm not one to read statistics. It was just such an honor, and I loved being at the awards ceremony."
Stay tuned tomorrow for a sneak peak into the cookbook, featuring the recipe on the cover: gluten-free, hazelnut butter toffee-chocolate chip cookies.
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