Do you ever wonder how today's superstar chefs keep up their hectic pace? How they manage to cook at two or three restaurants a night, be consultants to a slew of others, appear on the "Today" show and write cookbooks while most of us mortals, holding down one measly job, can barely drag ourselves home and dial takeout?
Simple. Like all good executives, they delegate.
Here is how the typical chef's cookbook gets written: First, the big-name chef, usually owner of a hot restaurant, finds a publisher who is willing to take a flier on a book representing a restaurant that may or may not be around in the time it takes to publish a book--two to three years.
Once that book has an editor, he or she usually suggests that the chef find a writer. Cookbook writing is an arduous, painstaking process that the busy chef may not have time for. Many chefs, however, ignore that advice, perhaps because they truly believe they will somehow find the time to do one more thing. If progress isn't made in about six months, the chef will usually remember his editor's sage advice and find a ghostwriter--quickly.
Since each collaboration is unique, the job of the ghostwriter varies from project to project. In the case of "City Cuisine," the book I ghosted, the division of labor was clear. The chefs did the cooking and I did the writing.