©Copyright Sandra A. Gutierrez; All Rights Reserved.
When my friend Joe Yonan invited me to participate in this fun Blog Hop, called "THE NEXT BIG THING", I was thrilled to accept. A blog hop is like a game of tag, in which authors are invited to talk about their upcoming projects and then proceed to tag other authors to do the same. You are all encouraged to hop through our blogs to find out what we're all writing next.
To you, my virtual friends, I say: here is the exclusive news on my next cookbook! And to my cookbook author friends mentioned below: TAG! YOU'RE IT!
What is the title of your upcoming book?
Latin American STREET FOOD: The best flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina
Who is publising your book and what is the expected release date?
I'm happy to announce that it will be released in September. My publisher is The University of North Carolina Press , which also published my first book The New Southern-Latino Table, also available through amazon
How long did it take you to research and write this book?
It took me 3 years to write this book, although I must confess to having done a lot of the tasting and research for this book over many years. I know, it's a hard sacrifice to make--eating and tasting all of these wonderful street food of Latin America--but somebody had to do it. Let's just say that if you like tacos you'll want this book, and that if you want to go beyond tacos, you'll love this book!
What inspired you to write this book?
Curiously, I wasn't near Latin America when I thought of writing this book. I was actually visiting Portland, Oregon, marveling at the amazing spectrum of street food vendors in the city. Dear friends of mine--also cookbook authors--and I attempted to eat our way through a whole park filled with street foods from around the world (of course, we didn't make it to all of the carts, but we surely tried)! We each bought several dishes to sample and then shared them. The only thing missing for me, were the flavors of Latin America, which were limited. I was in street food nirvana, when it occurred to me that an entire book about Latin American street food would be loads of fun to write. After all, what better way to introduce the exciting and most varied cuisines of more than a dozen countries, than in a book that delves into some of the most fun dishes in the world?
What is your favorite aspect of writing a cookbook?
How long do we have? The entire journey, from the shaping of the concept, to writing the stories that will make up each chapter, to watching the book take shape until you get to hold it in your hands, is addictive. Then, of course, there is the matter of the recipes: writing them, testing them, and (oh yes!), eating them. I get to play with my food every day. And the recipes in this book are so colorful, fresh, and exciting! Talk about having fun with food!
What is the hardest aspect of writing a cookbook?
Having the patience to go through the entire process is the hardest part for me. There is a lot of gratification in writing a cookbook but there's just nothing instant about it. It takes a long time from the moment you sign a contract until you're able to hold that beautifully bound, fresh-from-the-printer baby in your hands. But like they say, it's a labor of love, and if you've ever had a baby and been through labor (I've done it twice!), you'll understand when I say that the moment you hold that book in your hands, you've forgotten the pain and all you want to do is to do it all over again!
What interesting things would we find in your refrigerator right now if we were to open it?
Because I'm always testing recipes, my refrigerator is always full of random ingredients. Today, you'd find bunches of cilantro, piles of tomatillos, a jar of Peruvian aji amarillos (peppers), a bottle of Sriracha, a half-dozen roasted poblano peppers, European butter, Latin American butter (a.k.a. lard--ha!), mayonnaise, lots of eggs, and freshly made crema.
What is your favorite sound in the kitchen?
Eggs cracking! It goes way back to when I was a little girl growing up in Guatemala, and we used to save egg shells during the weeks preceding "Carnaval". We'd be very careful when we cracked them open, making sure to just break a tiny lid at the top of each egg to preserve their shape. We'd wash and sun-dry them. Then my brothers and I would paint them with water colors, and fill them with paper confetti, called "pica-pica", before gluing the opening shut with colored paper. On Fat Tuesday, all of the kids would go to school with bags filled with these eggs, and during recess, we were allowed to break the eggs on each other's heads, sending confetti all over the place! Crack, crack, the egg shells would go. I bet sales of shampoo went through the roof that day every year! Even now, I smile each time I crack an egg in the kitchen.
Eggs (it goes without saying), olive oil, salt.
So, do you have an agent?
Yes! I do have the most wonderful agents, Lisa Ekus and Sally Ekus from The Lisa Ekus Group who have believed in my work from the onset and are my biggest cheerleaders through this process. I wouldn't dream of navigating this crazy world of cookbooks without them and their amazing team by my side.
Which actors would you chose to place your main characters in the rendition of this book?
Hello...it's a cookbook...you did notice that...but if I had my choice of someone to play me, I'd say Sofia Vergara, of course! Not the she and I look ANYTHING alike (not with that perfect body of hers) but then again, like we say in Spanish: "Nena, me gustaria que me prestaras tu cuerpo aunque sea para un dia domingo" (Girl, I'd love to borrow your body at least so I could wear it on a Sunday)!
Are you a food writer interested in a review copy or in more information about my upcoming book? Send us an email to: LatinStreetFood@aol.com and we'll try our best to make it happen.
And if you'd like to find out about "THE NEXT BIG THING", keep hopping along and find out what my friends have in store for you, from their shelves to yours!
My friend Tara Mataraza Desmond is the fabulous author of the equally fabulous Almost Meatless
My friend Robin Asbell is one of the most prolific authors I know and writes about vegan and vegetarian themes. She's the author of Sweet and Easy Vegan
My buddy Ivy Manning is an amazing food writer from Portland, Oregon and author of From Farm to Table
My friend Charmian Christie is a talented Canadian food writer and blogger about to publish her first book.
And last but not least, my beautiful friend Holly Herrick is the author of five cookbooks, including Tart Love .
I can't wait to see what they're up to!