I’m posting this way ahead of time because I’m assuming that on a Saturday after exams after St. Patrick’s Day, the last thing I will want to do is write blog posts. It’s just something I wanted to note because it seems to fit in with the theme of the post. After a little over a week of this once-a-day posting thing, I’ve already found myself going “Gee, I could sure use a blog ghostwriter!”
Anyhow, the NYTimes published this article about a celebrity chef ghostwriter which is oodles of fun to read. Choice bites:
Ghostwriting is common among business leaders, sports figures and celebrities. But the domesticity and intimacy of cooking make readers want to believe that the food they make has been personally created and tested — or at least tasted — by the face on the cover. And that isn’t always the case, especially for restaurant chefs.
Food ghostwriters come in many different flavors, including the researchers who might spend days testing every possible method of cooking beans for Bobby Flay, the aproned assistants at the Food Network who frantically document everything that the “talent” does on camera in order to produce recipes for the Web site, and the (slightly) more literary work of writers who attempt to document a chef’s ideas, memories and vision in glossy cookbooks.
The rank beginners might be thanked in the acknowledgments of a book; the next step is being credited on the title page; at the very top of the profession, their names appear on the book’s cover. But getting up that pole can be a slippery business.
In most cases, the job of a ghostwriter is to produce a credible book from the thin air of a chef’s mind and menu — to cajole and probe, to elicit ideas and anecdotes by any means necessary.
J. J. Goode, who wrote the just-released “A Girl and Her Pig” with April Bloomfield, describes the process as “25 percent writing and 75 percent dating.”
Oddly, one of the best qualifications for the job is ignorance: the tricky steps and specialized skills that a chef will teach the ghostwriter as they work together are the same ones the writer will have to teach to a home cook in the text of the book. The best ghosts are the ones who anticipate the reader’s questions.
“It actually helps to be an idiot,” Ms. Turshen said. “A hungry one.”
It’s cute how this article keeps on saying ghostwriting for cooks sucks, and then goes back to be like “But it’s so rewarding and there are SOME perks!” Almost feels like when you encounter someone who’s in an abusive relationship and they’re like “he calls me worthless all the time and gives me a slap every now and then… but I’d leave if I really wanted to! Besides, the other day he took me to a movie I wanted to see so that shows he really cares for me!”
*considers cookbook ghostwriting*