🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now
Alison Roman Courtesy: Alison Roman
Make Me Smart Question

Alison Roman gives some food for thought on writing a cookbook

Shara Morris Oct 28, 2019
Alison Roman Courtesy: Alison Roman

Every week on Make Me Smart, we ask an expert, celebrity, author or other prominent person: “What’s something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about?” It’s called the Make Me Smart Question.

Alison Roman is a food columnist for the New York Times and Bon Appétit. Her latest cookbook, “Nothing Fancy,” just came out last week, and she came on Make Me Smart earlier this summer. Her answer has been lightly edited for clarity and length:

“Something I thought I knew a lot about was how to write a cookbook. And turns out, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. When you’re writing and you’re editing, it’s a very lonely and isolating process. And your editor’s really the only one reading your words for so long that this book becomes a secret. And it can be a really lonely process. And I definitely did not know that. I am used to a more communal atmosphere, in a more conversational process and so that was actually really challenging. But, you know, I think coping … it was interesting. You know I live alone, and I don’t go into an office, so I spend a lot of time alone, and I think to counter that, I just started having people over more often and having dinner parties, and that’s kind of led actually to the second book. I just realized that I was … that’s how I was eating. I was using it as a way to socialize.”

You can listen to Alison’s answer below:

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.