What inspired you to write your book?
I am a firefighter and chef. I come from a long line of chefs, although we did not call them that, and certainly they never used a cookbook as we know it. But my Southern heritage, which emphasizes a love of a place as well as food, is deeply ingrained in me. And seeing that same pride of location that Manhattan has, I was drawn to the food. Capturing that pride and that food was a natural extension. Whether the book is successful or not is not the concern as much as me saying “Thank you” for giving me a home here that I can identify with.
About your Book:
From the hidden treasures tucked away in Clinton to sweeping panoramic views overlooking the city, these are sights, tastes and stories of our favourite restaurants. Over 120 restaurant recipes and descriptions, and full page photographs make up this celebration of Place-Based Tastes. An homage in words and pictures, Signature Tastes of Manhattan captures the culinary essence of restaurants across New York City.
Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Sample Recipe or Food Advice
Clinton Street Baking Company-Buttermilk Biscuits
Chef Neil Kleinberg of the Clinton Street Baking Company prepare his…
8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
3 cups buttermilk
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together shortening and butter. Add flour mixture to shortening mixture and mix together until crumbly. Add buttermilk and stir until just incorporated.
Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet lightly with flour. Turn biscuit dough out onto a 13-by-9 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet and gently press dough to cover. Using a rolling pin, roll surface of dough until evenly distributed. Cover dough with plastic wrap and transfer to a refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes, or until ready to bake, up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut biscuit dough using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter and transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet, rerolling scraps one time, if necessary. Bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately.
What formats are your books in
How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
Oh this is infinitely easier, although not as fast (believe or not). You start with a theme, which helps define your borders. And then you just plug away. Tweaking recipes, the right photography, etc. is all a part of it, and that takes time. But at least you know when you have it done, and done well. Other genres, an author is taking such a bigger risk in investing themselves into a novel, that simply no one might like. Or worse, they don’t like and it becomes personal. No, thank you. I’ll take cookbooks.
What advice would you give to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
Do it. Start right now…don’t wait. Pick a theme to guide you. Start collecting recipes. Start picking layouts. Just start. You will learn the rest “on-the-job”. I am now a best-selling author of 13 books and growing. And all because I simply started. If you have questions, email me, call me, whatever…I will do what I can to help.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I decided to self-publish the first book, because I am impatient. All others after that we published as a bona-fide publisher. And I wanted the control of it, good or bad. So I went through Lightning Source. Now, what I did do in the beginning was lay a foundation for a publishing company; hence I could hopefully repeat the success I expected on that first book. Now, we have a dozen titles, with several authors we are publishing other than myself. I want to give a chance to other authors, who have the passion to see this through.
Steven W. Siler is a firefighter-cum-chef serving both in the Deep South and the Pacific Northwest. He is the best-selling author of the Signature Tastes cookbook series. Long marinated in the epicurean heritage of the Deep South, Steven has spent over 20 years in the much-vaulted restaurant industry from BOH to FOH to chef. In addition, he has served as an editor and contributing writer for several food publications. When not trying to shove food down his fellow firefighters’ gullets, he enjoys sailing and sampling the finest of scotches and wines, and has an irrational love affair with opera.
Your Social Media Links