$9,661
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backers
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, March 24 2017 12:28 PM UTC +00:00
Chef-Alina EisenhauerBy Chef-Alina Eisenhauer
First created
Chef-Alina EisenhauerBy Chef-Alina Eisenhauer
First created
$9,661
pledged of $85,000pledged of $85,000 goal
137
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, March 24 2017 12:28 PM UTC +00:00

About

Some know me as the chef and owner of Sweet Kitchen & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts. Some have seen me on TV Food shows like Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, and as the winner of Sweet Genius, season one. Some just know me as the mom who always brings cupcakes to my kid’s class. 

Now I want all of you to know me as one thing I have never been but long wanted to be: cookbook author. 

The Cooking from Memory cover - in hardcover!
The Cooking from Memory cover - in hardcover!

This is will be a hardcover book as nice as any you've seen: Click here to see a flip book of sample pages

I have known what I wanted Cooking from Memory to be for years: A recipe book about the way I and we all connect to food. I have always said that the biggest compliment people can give me is to say something I made is as good as their mom’s. When I am on TV food shows, the dishes I made that got the best responses were often the ones that reminded the judges of something that their grandmothers made. It didn’t matter if the dish was nothing like their mother’s or grandmother’s. The point was the connection – the memory my dish evoked. I know I could capture this in a book.

What I didn’t know when I decided to pursue my cookbook was that I wanted to crowdfund it and create it myself with a great team behind me.

WHY CROWDFUND? I thought I wanted to go a more traditional route. But people in the know quickly convinced me that even if a traditional publisher knew me, understood my wonderful city that stands tall in Boston’s long shadow, bought my concept, and decided to acquire my book, it would take years to get it printed. That’s on top of the months my agent would spend trying to get me a deal. Then that publisher would probably want me to buy back thousands of books as part of that deal.

All that time and money and no control over my book’s destiny. 

No guarantee the book would look and feel like I wanted.

No guarantee that the publisher would understand the connection I wanted to capture through these stories and recipes to my family and friends, Worcester, chef community, staff, and customers. Especially to my mom – this is dedicated to her!

No guarantee I would be able to include the mixture of flavors and recipes – familiar and new – that I want to fill the pages and start our memories. 

So why not do it myself? Now I knew I wouldn't be able to guarantee this either if I didn't have a terrific team behind me (see below). And as you can see from the sample pages, we have already given our book a clear direction, amazing design, and fantastic photography and writing to make Cooking from Memory a reality better than I imagined. 

Chocolate Cream Tart Recipe Spread
Chocolate Cream Tart Recipe Spread

What's clear is we have all connected behind a cookbook that is about connection. Food connects us all as it transports us back to our earliest childhood experiences and forward again as we recall pieces of who we are, where we came from, and how we lived. It doesn’t matter if my cultural food history is Russian, Italian, English, and Jewish and yours is German, Irish, Vietnamese, Mexican, Greek, Ghanaian, Puerto Rican, Albanian, Brazilian... We all borrow and take from other cultures because that is what this country is and should always be. We should welcome it. And taste it.

WHY NEW AMERICAN? I call Cooking from Memory a “New American” cookbook because I want it to capture the mosaic of flavors that reflect who we are and connect us all. America can be anything and our food should be too.

That’s why every dish in Cooking from Memory first connects to ... memories: yours, mine, and ours. I then take those memories and turn them into my versions of those dishes or new recipes inspired by them. Be it brunch, a casserole, sandwiches, main courses, veggies, pickles, bread, or dessert -- the book is filled with sweet and savory recipes to bring the people you love to the table and think about how you and we all connect to one another.

Preliminary Cooking from Memory Recipe List
Preliminary Cooking from Memory Recipe List

CONNECT AND GIVE BACK. I also want this connection to our childhood and where we come from to give back, which is why every dollar I raise here will fund the production of this book but every book I sell once it is produced will give back at least $1 to my favorite charity: Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. With one in five kids facing hunger this year, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget.

And really, that’s why I do what I do: This book may be about the past but it is about our future too. I want these recipes to inspire you to help create some of that future.

Me as a kid: Cooking from Memory Intro
Me as a kid: Cooking from Memory Intro

The stories and recipes will be ones you can easily follow but also blueprints for dishes you can connect to and insert yourself into – to find that common bond around your table. This is a book inspired by people and about our universal experience so it seems fitting we all can be tied to its creation. 

In fact, some of the rewards allow you to be an actual part of the book! All but the smallest one includes a copy of the book as soon as it arrives and the biggest ones include meals and more!

On that note, I turn directly to you: my customers, friends, family, colleagues, social media contacts and strangers who want to share this experience and are looking for the connection Cooking from Memory offers.

My funding goal is the minimum I need, less fees, to lock in the publishing process and start the work to print at least 5,000 copies of a high-quality hardcover full color cookbook this year. 

My ultimate goal is $100,000 to cover all printing and design, photography, writing, recipe testing and conversion, copyediting, and proofreading without worrying about generating more pre-sales. But since team members have agreed to delay payment if we only meet our initial goal, we can proceed with the minimum. After that, I need slightly more to cover my costs prepping the food for the photos but I promise to make it worth everyone's while with great stretch rewards if we get there! 

So what do you say? Let’s make some new memories together! 

Thank you for your support!

Writer Jim Eber, Donna from Erb Photography, and Sophia from Dolce Vittoria Design join me at the cover shoot (photo by Scott Erb)
Writer Jim Eber, Donna from Erb Photography, and Sophia from Dolce Vittoria Design join me at the cover shoot (photo by Scott Erb)

 

Risks and challenges

There are no risks and challenges when it comes to my team: My publishing, design, photography, writing, and recipe testing team is experienced, locked in, and ready to roll.

Aside from any unexpected delays on the back end with customs or shipping, the only real challenge is me.

While my team is experienced in what they do, this is my first cookbook and I want to get it right. I want to make sure every recipe works, every food picture looks like the recipe, and every ingredient and direction is clear and precise. I have most of the recipes for the book identified and have written many but many of them were created for my restaurant's kitchen and must be translated for home cooks. I have built in what I know as of now is enough time to do this but the life of a small business owner, chef, and mom who is involved in her community is always crazy.

Still, falling behind will NOT affect the book's quality, but it could result in some delays past the November delivery date.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You're Sweet!

    Thanks for helping out! We'll send you a special recipe spread from the book when it comes out.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Sweet Spot – Inscribed for YOU!

    Be one of the first 100 to pledge at this amount and you'll not only get Cooking from Memory as soon as it arrives, Alina will personalize your copy any way you want! Pledge includes FREE Shipping in the US.

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    The Sweet Spot

    An autographed copy of Cooking from Memory! Pledge includes FREE Shipping in the US.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    The Sweet Spot x2

    Two autographed copies of Cooking from Memory as soon as it arrives. Pledge includes FREE shipping.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Sweet Memories Dinner for Two!

    A customized multiple-course dinner based on Cooking from Memory for TWO people at Sweet including and two personalized copies of Cooking from Memory.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Sweet Memories Dinner for Four!

    A customized multiple-course dinner based on Cooking from Memory for FOUR people at Sweet including and four personalized copies of the book.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Make YOUR Memories Sweeter!

    Your chance not just to own a personalized copy of Cooking from Memory but to make YOUR food memory PART of it. Alina will take your memory and transform it into a recipe INCLUDED in the book with a photo of the dish and headnote with your name.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Super Sweet Ultimate Cooking Experience!

    Alina will come to your house and cook and eat a dinner based on COOKING FROM MEMORY with you and seven of your closest friends and family along with personalized copies of the book for everyone.

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Funding period

- (30 days)