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We Find Comfort in Cookbooks as Well as Food

An interview with Daisy Martinez, author of Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night and is the star of Viva Daisy!

By Marcela Landres
Published on LatinoLA: November 3, 2010

We Find Comfort in Cookbooks as Well as Food

We find comfort in cookbooks as well as food. According to Nielsen BookScan, sales of books in the cooking/entertaining category were up 4% in the first four months of 2010 over the same period last year, while the sales of adult nonfiction overall sank 9%. With the holidays approaching, cookbooks are not only inexpensive gifts, they are sources of inspiration to those of us who want to entertain on a budget.

One example is Daisy's Holiday Cooking: Delicious Latin Recipes for Effortless Entertaining by Daisy Martinez.

Daisy Martinez is the author of Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night and is the star of Viva Daisy!, which debuted on the Food Network in January 2009. She launched her career with the PBS series Daisy Cooks!, and her cookbook based on the show was awarded the title of Best Latino Cuisine Cookbook in the World by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Daisy is also a regular columnist for Every Day with Rachel Ray and is involved with such philanthropic endeavors as The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families and the American Cancer Society. A dedicated mother of four fantastic children, Daisy and her family reside in Brooklyn, New York. For more information, visit

Q: What are your favorite cookbooks, and why?

A: This might be like asking me which of my children I love the best! I have a prolific culinary library, but if I were to pick my top three, I would say:
"Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child
"The Professional Chef" by the Culinary Institute of America
Anything by Rose Levy Beranbaum, and Dorie Greenspan

Q: Publishing a cookbook is a labor-intensive endeavor--what is the most challenging part of the process?

A: The editing part . . . the rest is cake. I have been in the position where I say to myself, "If I have to even glance at this manuscript one more time, I'll explode!"

Q: What is the most rewarding part of publishing a cookbook?

A: For me personally, the most rewarding aspect of publishing a cookbook is getting feedback from people who weren't able to master the recipe or technique before, but have conquered it through your recipe!

Q: Moms are the best cookbook authors because they create recipes that can be executed on a weekday night without a kitchen staff. How has motherhood influenced your cookbook writing in particular and your culinary career in general?

A: It's funny you should say that, because I always say that my "mom" hat is way bigger than my chef's toque. Cooking is a practical art, and being a mom is the genius of practicality, so I learned that using fresh ingredients (fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins) is the key to serving user friendly, tasty, nutritious meals. I realized that there are many women just like me who have to juggle marriage, children, and careers, who are not willing to compromise healthy meals on their tables.

Q: You've published three cookbooks and hosted two television cooking shows--what advice could you offer to people, especially Latinos, who aspire to be the next food star?

A: All of those elements in my career have been an opportunity to share something that I am very passionate about: the joy of preparing food that I have emotional memories and connections to. When you are true to your passions, sharing them is exciting, and that excitement is contagious.

We as Latinos have a lot to be passionate about, because Latin America is made up of so very many countries, and people are just being introduced to the diversity and plethora of choices within each particular country. That makes this point in time the perfect opportunity for each of us to share our passions with the rest of the world!

(Reprinted with permission from the Latinidad e-zine)

About Marcela Landres:
Marcela Landres is the author of the e-book How Editors Think. She is an Editorial Consultant who specializes in helping Latinos get published and was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster.
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