By: Brittany Biggs, Editorial Assistant at Moody Publishers. Watch for a post from Brittany each month, in her “From Reading to Eating” series!
People who have known me for the past ten years are amazed when I tell them I work in publishing. I had what I like to call “commitment issues” when it came to college. I started in athletic training, moved to speech language pathology, and then decided I was meant to be in the world of the culinary arts.
It was my dad that got me started in the kitchen. He was always cooking and baking, trying new recipes, and learning the newest techniques. The kitchen was and still is a great place to spend time with him. He makes a phenomenal German chocolate cake from scratch every year for my mother’s birthday.
I graduated from the Iowa Culinary Institute with my AS (Associates of Science) degree in 2007. Culinary School was as exciting as you would imagine. I took baking classes where I learned to decorate cakes, prepare buttery chocolate croissants, and make fantastic, flavorful, and chewy focaccia bread. I took a gourmet dinner class where ten of us would prepare an ethnically themed seven-course meal for fifty guests. There was always a waiting list to get into those dinners. I got to prepare and taste some rare delicacies and cook with ingredients that I haven’t seen or been able to afford since then such as truffles from France, exotic seafood, Kobe beef, and some of the best foreign cheeses. We also ran a restaurant on campus. We created our own menu, ordered the ingredients, prepared the food, and took turns serving it. I mastered quiche, flank steak, and homemade ice cream. I love everything that I learned. I can still probably name where every cut of beef comes from on a cow, section a whole chicken, blind taste-test cheese, and can pull together a menu for most any occasion.
I graduated from ICI and continued working for the corporate catering company I had been with while in school. It was one of the few culinary jobs available that didn’t require night and weekend hours. That job (and my then boyfriend, now husband) brought me to Chicago. My final semester of Culinary School I was given the opportunity to edit recipes for a website that is a branch of Better Homes and Garden. I still do freelance work for www.betterrecipes.com where anyone can submit a recipe and it is my job to review, edit, and rate said recipe. I check the ingredients and measurements, make sure the directions make sense, and then write a three to four sentence description of each recipe.
Recipe-editing helped me understand that I prefer the recipe side of things and planning as opposed to actual production. I enjoy cooking, but prefer to do it at home as opposed to the back of a kitchen in a restaurant. After a year and a half in the food service offices at Moody Bible Institute, I found my way to Moody Publishers. My work editing recipes left me feeling very comfortable in making the transition into the publishing world. I have learned so much.
My favorite part of being the Editorial Assistant and Author Relations contact is that I have my hand in everything from contracts, to payment, to endorsements, to helping title books, to reading fiction manuscripts. The other thing I love is that my kitchen is now a happening place when I get home at night. Because I don’t cook for my job anymore, I cook more at home than I ever have. I do make a mean manicotti, beef stroganoff, and turkey chili. I will be posting monthly here on Inside Pages to keep you updated on the latest recipes that I am mastering at home. I will fill you in on the trials and errors, take pictures, and provide unbiased feedback from coworkers who sample some of my work. I am excited to have another reason to continue cooking and to challenge myself by putting it into words for you.