After self-publishing three of my own books, and a few for others too, I decided to partner with a publisher for the fourth book, JHP Gourmet Guide™. This time I would be going back to my roots, having studied food and nutrition many, many years ago, and instead of managing all aspects of writing and producing a book, this time I would merely be responsible for my area of speciality which is words, brand and performance. Not just a book, this time it is a collection of other professionals who are as passionate about their craft as I am about mine.
After arduous investigation, research and benchmarking of global restaurant ratings, it is time for SA to shine. This guide travels the reader, on their taste buds, around the beautiful country of ours, from fine dining to fabulous food. A team of professional gourmets graded the restaurants, impartially, and I had the pleasure of doing the last (announced) visit in order to meet the chef and interrogate him or her on their approach to seasonality, sustainability, longevity and their philosophy in the kitchen – from produce to producing the next generation of talent. I was then able to tap into my joy of writing, to document the details. Map Studio had the task of compiling and producing the books with maps, QR codes and detailed GPS directions, of course, as I have no sense of direction at all!
A lot goes into self-publishing after the writing – editing, proofreading, layout and design, listing with retailers, distribution, costing, production and printing, marketing and many other aspects too. Partnering with a professional company means that they are managing all those headaches, I simply had to come up with the concept, perfect it, and again, put a professional team in place.
If you consider yourself a professional on whatever rung of the career ladder you may be on, then consider carefully what you do really well, and what could be done better by someone else. Carve your niche as a specialist. Become known as someone who instead of trying to do everything that is asked of you does fewer things really well.
I will be immensely proud congratulating some of the top 21 chefs who have been ‘plated’ in the guide – consummate professionals who have risen to the top of their game. This will be done at the Good Food & Wine Show on Friday 27 May, between 10h00 and 16h00. Hope to see you there!