Wicked Healthy Bros Derek and Chad Sarno Sign with The Lisa Ekus Group

Wicked Healthy Bros Derek and Chad Sarno Sign with The Lisa Ekus Group

For Literary Inquiries, Contact:
Sally Ekus
The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC

HATFIELD, MA – July 1, 2015- The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC is pleased to announce that the agency will now represent Derek and Chad Sarno of Wicked Healthy Food. The brothers are currently working on their first cookbook.

Derek and Chad Sarno are brothers, chefs, and plant pushers. Their brand, Wicked Healthy, centers around the “Wicked Healthy Equation,” which states that you should “shoot for 80% healthy, 20% wicked, to be 100% sexy.” The duo urges their readers to drop their diet plans, buy some vegetables, and get back on the track to wellness.

Coming from two different professional backgrounds, Derek and Chad (more commonly known as the Sarno Bros) have found common ground in the wicked healthy culinary arts. Initially started as an outlet to share their culinary journey, Wicked Healthy has grown into a thriving plant-passionate community. The Sarno Bros’ brotherly banter, genius, plant-based recipes, and infectious personalities have made Wicked Healthy Food a hilarious and quirky, yet essential resource in the health-food community.

Derek Sarno’s experience includes many years as chef/consultant for an international Tibetan Buddhist monastery, restaurateur, vegan organic farmer, food designer, consultant, food writer and educator of vegan, vegetarian and animal-based cuisines. He joined Whole Foods Market in 2009 as a Global Healthy Eating Chef  and culinary educator to support the company’s Health Starts Here™ program and is currently the company’s Senior Global Executive Chef of RnD and product development.  He has owned several restaurants and catering businesses in the Northeast.

Chad Sarno has brought his unique culinary style to a vast array of projects throughout his career before joining Rouxbe Online Culinary School as VP of Plant Based Wellness.  His mission of health inspired plant-based eating has reached all corners of the globe. Chad has been contributing chef to numerous recipe books and featured in many national publications. He has been a guest on dozens of morning shows and food-focused programs on television and radio internationally over the years. In 2012, Chad teamed up with best-selling author, Kris Carr to write the New York Times Best Seller, Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Through the intersection of clean food and culinary education, Chad continues to share his passion for helping others achieve their health goals, starting in the kitchen.

Welcome, Derek and Chad!

For more information about the Sarno Bros, please visit their website, Facebook, or Instagram.

For more information about The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC, please visit: http://www.lisaekus.com


Media Mania: Recent Press from TLEG Talent

Bloomberg Business chats with Meathead, our favorite “barbecue whisperer” – though whispering is hardly his style.

The San Diego Union-Tribune shows Sandra Gutierrez some empanada love.

Kathy Moore  and Roxanne Wyss offer tips and advice for newlyweds.

The New York Times highlights Jennifer Justus, Erin Byers Murray and Cindy Wall’s “Dirty Pages” exhibit.

Phoebe Lapine was named one of 100 Women to Watch in Wellness.

Creative Loafing puts the spotlight on Atlanta chefs Kevin Gillespie, Virginia Willis and Ford Fry.

Dan Whalen wows Mass Appeal hosts with his instant ice cream.

The Pimento Cheese Cookbook impresses yet another casual cheese consumer.

Ronni Lundy celebrates the culture of cooking with sweet, southern sorghum.

Bon Appétit talks about how Kevin Gillespie can bring more Pure Pork Awesomeness into your life.

Paula Shoyer chats about The New Passover Menu.

Make a $20 dinner with Virginia Willis.

Nathan Ashker funded his Kickstarter for his new book #AsiatoAmerica.

Ronnie Woo’s new show premieres in August on Logo TV.

Breakfast on a stick? Find out how with Deanna Cook.

Anne Willan offers insider tips from La Varenne Cooking School.

Philly.com talks all about Mastering Pasta.

Publisher’s Weekly showcases the playful side of baking in their review of Judith Fertig’s Bake Happy.

Cooks and Books talks all about BBQ Bistro by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig.

Chef Virginia Willis to Offer Local Cooking Classes, Book Signings, and More

The Lisa Ekus Group
57 North St.
Hatfield, MA 01038
Contact: Samantha Marsh

Ten Speed Press
March 2015
ISBN: 978-1607745730

May 26, 2015 | For Immediate Release

We are excited to announce that Chef Virginia Willis (author of Lighten Up Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes made Healthy and Wholesome) will visit the Pioneer Valley this summer to share her lightened up down-home comfort recipes, her newest cookbook, and sweet southern charm with Western Massachusetts.

See below for where and when Virginia will be teaching, cooking, and speaking in the upcoming months.

June 7-12, 2015: 21st Annual Chef Culinary Conference: Future of Food, Power of the Chef at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst .

“The 2015 Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference will feature 11 general sessions, 12 culinary demonstrations, 25 workshops, 2 panel discussions, 2 chef competitions and will include 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 evening receptions, 1 clambake and 1 final dinner.

For the 21st consecutive year, the 2015 Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference will take place June 7 – 12th in the heart of the picturesque University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. This year, the Chef Culinary Conference will aim to accelerate foodservice concepts into the next generation – one that embraces health, sustainability, and food ethics, to meet the increasing diversity of consumer preferences. The 2015 conference will feature unique sessions hosted by the nation’s leading experts and innovators in their respective fields and, as always, will provide numerous presentations & workshops led by a variety of accomplished chefs.”

Virginia will give a brief presentation on Monday, June 8th between 9:50am and 11:30am about the future of Southern food. She will also teach two hands-on workshops and cooking classes on Monday at 1:30pm and Tuesday, June 9th at 2:00pm.

For more information: http://www.chefculinaryconference.com/

Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00pm: Lighten Up, Y’all Book Signing and Demo at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA

Join Virginia at the Odyssey Bookshop to see her sample some of her beloved lightened up Southern recipes, and get a signed copy of her latest cookbook! 

For more information: http://www.odysseybks.com/event/virginia-willis-lighten-yall

Tuesday, August 18th from 6:15pm-8:45pm: Down Home Comfort with Guest Chef Virginia Willis at Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Northampton, MA

Virginia’s non-traditional take on Southern cuisine showcases her freedom of spirit and admiration of home.  In this class she’ll highlight some dishes from her newest book, Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome.

For more information: http://www.differentdrummerskitchen.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=11489 

About Virginia Willis:

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has cooked Lapin Normandie with Julia Child in France, prepared lunch for President Clinton, catered a bowling party for Jane Fonda, and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. As a popular Southern food authority and writer, she is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’allBasic to Brilliant, Y’all, and Lighten Up, Y’all, among others. She is also a frequent blogger on Food Network.com, as well as her own popular blog at virginiawillis.com.  Named by the Chicago Tribune as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know,” her fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home comfort feel and remaining Southern favorites. She’s a contributing editor for Southern Living and writes for Eating Well, Fine Cooking, and All-Recipes.



Perre Magness’s Pimento Cheese Cookbook Named a Finalist for 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Association Book Award


Samantha Marsh
The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC

For Immediate Release, April 29, 2015:

Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook, by Perre Coleman Magness, has been nominated for a 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) Book Award, in the cooking category. Nominees are from several categories including fiction, nonfiction, children’s, and young adult, and must be set in the South.  Finalists were selected on March 31, 2015, and winners will be announced on July 4, 2015. For more information about the SIBA Book Awards: http://sibaweb.com/siba-book-award.

About Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook:

Pimento Cheese offers recipes for spicing up the basic, no-frills version, but also ones that incorporate those brilliant flavors into dishes for every time of day. With over 50 recipes in all, and full color photographs throughout the cookbook, readers can start with a breakfast of Pimento Cheese Popovers stuffed with scrambled eggs, or plan a nice brunch served with Pimento Cheese Waffles with Pimento Syrup and Bacon. Invite the neighbors over for Pimento Shrimp and Cheddar Grits or Cheddar Gnudi with Pimento Romesco. And serve it all with some Pimento Cheese Green Beans on the side. Authoritative, creative, and fun, and peppered with anecdotes and useful tips, this cookbook explores the myriad ways to prepare a humble–and essential–Southern staple.

About the Author:

Perre Coleman Magness is the cook and writer behind the website The Runaway Spoon, which focuses on creative recipes with a Southern slant. Perre Coleman has studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study in London, Morocco, Thailand, and Mexico. Her kitchen of choice is at home in Memphis, TN, cooking like most people and experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

Try your hand at Perre’s shrimp and grits recipe below, and stay tuned for the SIBA award results on July 4th!

Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

Serves 4
The classic “Shrimp and Grits” originated in the South Carolina low country, but the concept has spread throughout the South, with as many variations as there are cooks who make it.

2 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup stone-ground grits
2 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
Several grinds of black pepper
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón)
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
A few grinds of black Pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I prefer fresh Gulf shrimp or frozen wild American shrimp)
6 bacon slices, cut into small pieces
One 4-ounce jar sliced pimentos, with their liquid
3⁄4 cup chopped scallions, white, light green, and a little dark green (from a big bunch)
One 14.5-ounce can diced
about 1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
A quarter of a large lemon
Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Cook the Grits: In a deep-sided large pan (grits tend to spatter) over medium-high heat, stir together the broth, cream, and butter until the butter has melted and all the ingredients have come to a low boil. Stir in the grits, salt, and black pepper and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. The grits should be tender and the liquid absorbed. You may add a bit more broth if needed. Stir in the grated cheese, a handful at a time, until it has melted and is smooth before adding the next handful.

When cooked, the grits can be kept, covered, for an hour or so, then slowly reheated over low heat, stirring in a little extra broth as needed.

Cook the Shrimp: Mix together the paprika, mustard, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place on a plate. Sprinkle the spice mix liberally over both sides of the shrimp, turning them over to make sure they get a good coating. Place the plate of shrimp in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

When the shrimp are ready, sauté the bacon pieces in a wide skillet over medium-high until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Carefully pour the bacon grease into a small bowl. Spoon 2 tablespoons of grease back into the skillet and heat over medium-high. Add the shrimp and sear briefly—just a few seconds per side—to seal in the spice mixture; you do not want to cook the shrimp through. Transfer the shrimp to a clean plate, or you can scoot the bacon to one side and use the same plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add more bacon grease to the skillet so that you have about 4 tablespoons, then drop in the pimentos and the scallions. Sauté until the pimentos and scallions are soft. As they release some liquid, you can scrape the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

While the vegetables are cooking, drain most of the juice from the tomatoes into a measuring cup. You can just hold the top of the can askew and drain out what you can—no need to dirty a strainer. Add enough chicken broth to the tomato liquid to make 1 cup and set aside.

When the vegetables are soft, add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook until the tomatoes are heated through and start to soften, breaking up any large pieces. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. There should not be any white flour visible. Pour in the tomato liquid and broth mixture and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat a little and let the liquid bubble away until it is nice and thick, stirring to avoid scorching. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon quarter, making sure you’ve removed seeds, and stir in. Add the shrimp to the skillet, cover, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. You can add a bit more broth if you would like a saucier version.

Spoon the grits into four shallow bowls and spoon over the shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle over the crispy bacon pieces and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

This recipe may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipe from Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook by Perre Magness. (St. Martin’s Griffin; October 2014; $21.99/Hardcover; ISBN-13; 978-1250047298). http://us.macmillan.com/publishers/st-martins-press

Lumière’s Chef Michael Leviton Signs with The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC


For Literary Inquiries, Contact:
Lisa Ekus
The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC

For Talent Inquiries, Contact:
Jaimee Constantine
The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Erin Kilmer
Marlo Marketing
38 Chauncy Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02111

HATFIELD, MA – April 15, 2015- The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC is pleased to announce that the agency will now represent James Beard 2015 Outstanding Restaurateur semi-finalist, Chef/Owner of Boston’s Lumière Restaurant Michael Leviton‘s literary deals. Michael is currently working on his first cookbook.

An eight-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee, recipient of awards from Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Gourmet and Saveur, National Board Chair of the Chefs Collaborative and featured thought-leader in Boston magazine’s 2014 Power of Ideas issue, Michael Leviton is a chef dedicated to the simple and pure preparation of local and sustainable ingredients in harmony with the seasons.

A celebrated neighborhood bistro, Lumière quickly became known as one of the best restaurants in the Boston area. In Lumière’s first two years in business, the restaurant was recognized as one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit, and Leviton was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine.

Michael is committed to education around the importance of creating a sustainable food system that will benefit chefs and diners alike.

Welcome, Michael!

For more information about Chef Michael Leviton, please visit: http://www.lumiererestaurant.com

For more information about The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC, please visit: http://www.lisaekus.com


Author John Verlinden to Speak at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley

The Odyssey Bookshop
9 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
(413) 534-7307

March 30,  2015 | For Immediate Release

EVENT: John Verlinden, TO COOK IS TO LOVE: Nuevo Cuban: Lighter, Healthier Latin Recipes
Book Signing, Talk, and Tasting

WHEN: Thursday, April 9th, 7:00 pm

WHERE: The Odyssey Bookshop

Come join Author John Verlinden at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on April 9th to sample delicious Cuban cuisine and explore Cuban culture through food and stories. The event will be followed by a book signing of Verlinden’s cookbook TO COOK IS TO LOVE: Nuevo Cuban: Lighter, Healthier Latin Recipes.

The menu for the evening will include samples of traditional Cuban fare such as mojitos, tropical vegetable chips with mango salsa, beef empanadas and bacalaitos (salt cod fritters).

John “Chef Johnny” Verlinden was the co-owner of Mucho Gusto Café & Collectibles®, the first Cuban-American restaurant in the heart of Boston, which received numerous awards during its lifetime, including the “Best of Boston” by Boston Magazine, “Boston’s Best” by Improper Bostonian, and “Top 50 Hispanic Restaurants in the U.S.” by Hispanic Magazine. John now works as a personal chef, writer and educator. When he isn’t cooking, writing about, or teaching children, adults and health professionals how to make his healthier Nuevo Cuban cuisine, he’s engaged in one of his other passions – consulting with businesses, advocating for humanitarian, health, and political issues in his community, or bringing friendship and material goods from the U.S. to the people of Cuba.  John resides in Brookline, Massachusetts with his husband of 28 years.

About TO COOK IS TO LOVE: Nuevo Cuban: Lighter, Healthier Latin Recipes:

To Cook Is to Love is a multigenerational cultural tapestry of Cuban history, life, food, wine, and music told through the heartwarming experiences of Mami Aida who immigrated to the United States and raised her family. It is the must-have modern Latin cookbook for today’s health-conscious home chef. Chef and author John Verlinden introduces readers to Nuevo Cuban cuisine, a lighter, healthier, more stylized version of traditional Latin cooking that infuses gusto, soul, beauty and love into everyday meals. Traditional dishes like Arroz con Pollo, Ropa Vieja, and Pierna de Puerco Asada, are reinterpreted with attention to nutrition while never sacrificing that traditionalsabor. To Cook Is to Love makes Latin food accessible to chefs of all levels, with 200 easy-to-follow recipes that are accompanied by information boxes about the ingredients, cooking methods and presentation. The book retails for $21.99/trade paperback.


Eat Right for Your Sight Book Signing and Demo

Eat Right for Your Sight Cover small

The Odyssey Bookshop
9 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
(413) 534-7307

March 3,  2015 | For Immediate Release

EVENT: Jennifer Trainer Thompson and the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR SIGHT: Simple, Tasty Recipes that Help Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration
Book Signing, Talk, and Tasting

WHEN: Wednesday, March 18th, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm

WHERE: The Odyssey Bookshop

Come join author Jennifer Trainer Thompson and the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on March 18th to sample delicious, healthy foods that benefit your vision.

Samples include spiced almonds,kale chips, spicy udon noodles, and an orange/strawberry smoothie. Members of AMDF will be on hand to answer any questions about macular degeneration and three times James Beard award nominated cookbook author Jennifer Trainer Thompson will be there to talk all about the recipes.

The event will be followed by a book signing of EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR SIGHT: Simple, Tasty Recipes that Help Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration


“This isn’t just a cookbook for eye health, it’s a blueprint for healthy eating in general. I love all the nutrition tips: combine spinach and strawberries to maximize your iron absorption; add roasted squash to hummus puree to boost your vitamin A intake. And it really should be called ‘Eat Right Tonight’. There are so many dishes I want to make right now. Grilled Oysters. Pumpkin Pappardelle. Pear and Raspberry Galette. If this is health food, I want to see the light!”
David Joachim, author of Cooking Light Global Kitchen and collaborator on more than 40 other cookbooks

More than 10 million Americans suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—many unable to drive, read, or recognize their children’s faces. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60, and we don’t yet have a cure. But it is possible to protect yourself—and it’s never too early to start.

Research shows that a diet rich in good nutrients for eye health (such as beta-carotene, lutein, Zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C) may delay the onset and progression of AMD. EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR SIGHTa collaboration between the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, cookbook author Jennifer Trainer Thompson, and noted ophthalmologist Dr. Johanna M. Seddon—harnesses the power of these key nutrients with 85 inspiring, creative recipes for every meal.

Set in large, accessible print, EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR SIGHT is an invaluable resource for anyone concerned about their eyesight. Guarding your eye health is easier—and tastier—than ever!



Chef Ford Fry Signs with The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC for Literary Representation


For Literary Inquiries, Contact:
Lisa Ekus
The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC

For Talent Inquiries, Contact:
Jaimee Constantine
The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Ashlyn Stallings
PR Manager/Ford Fry

HATFIELD, MA – February 25, 2015- The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC is pleased to announce that the agency will now represent Atlanta’s James Beard 2015 Restaurateur of the Year semi-finalist Chef Ford Fry’s literary deals. Ford is currently working on his first cookbook.

Fry’s Atlanta restaurants include JCT. Kitchen & Bar, no. 246, The Optimist, King + Duke, St. Cecilia, The El Felix, and Superica.  Plans to open State of Grace in Houston, Texas, from where he hails, and a sister restaurant to The Optimist in Atlanta are in the works.

Fry and his restaurants have been included in numerous national and local publications, such as Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Chicago Tribune, Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Esquire, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, Sky, Southern Living , the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Welcome, Ford!

For more information about Chef Ford Fry, please visit: http://www.fordfry.com/ 

For more information about The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC, please visit: http://www.lisaekus.com


Announcing Our Spring 2015 Releases

Here at the Lisa Ekus Group, there is one New Year’s resolution that we repeat to ourselves every January—cook more! Lucky for us (and you!) there are many wonderful cookbooks debuting in the next few months. Head on over to our Titles page to see this season’s newest culinary masterpieces. Bon Appétit!

To whet your appetite, here is a little preview of what to expect. Attention media: if you would like to request a copy of one of our titles for review, please contact the publicist for each book directly (contact information is listed under the “Request a Copy” tab in each entry).

Bakers, rejoice! Judith Fertig’s newest cookbook is devoted to colorful, fun baking recipes to make all year long, while this biscotti cookbook will have you baking like the Italians in no time.

With the new year upon us, we are gearing up for all sorts of celebrations. Getting married this year? Attending a wedding and in search of the perfect gift? This Newlywed Cookbook is for you! Passover will be here before we know it, and Paula Shoyer has you covered with recipes for your most delicious holiday yet.

Kids of all ages will fall in love with this fun, interactive cooking class book.

Health on your mind? The American Macular Degeneration Foundation has written a book to help those of you suffering with macular degeneration eat right for your sight, while Virginia Willis’ Lighten Up, Y’all slims down traditional Southern comfort food.

Take yourself on an international tour with recipes for empanadas, homemade pasta, and pizza, or learn how to make homemade vegan pantry staples.

Chef Kevin Gillespie immerses us in one of our favorite meats, pork, while Ronni Lundy shows us the art of savoring sorghum.

Bring the charm of the French bistro into your own backyard and learn the basics of French cooking with Anne Willan’s edition of Secrets from La Varenne Kitchen.

Craving a new beauty routine? We can’t wait to try out recipes for homemade lotions, bars and balms from this new natural beauty book.

Cheers to a healthy, happy, and delicious new year!

The Lisa Ekus Group

testimonial-Maggie Battista

“The Lisa Ekus Group has always been respectful of my personal journey, supportive at every opportunity and motivated to help me achieve my goals. They focus on both the hard and the soft skills, ever ready to talk business details or just lend an empathetic ear at the last minute. Their perspective is invaluable as a first-time author navigating the world of cookbook publishing.”

-Maggie Battista, Founder, Eat Boutique

testimonial-Rebecca Carlisle

“Our experience working with The Lisa Ekus Group was extraordinary. I would work with her again in a heartbeat.”

–Rebecca Carlisle, Senior Pr & Marketing Manager Union Square Hospitality Group

testimonial-David Joachim

“TLEG has agented more than 15 of my cookbooks and connected me with various clients for other writing and recipe development work. It’s been a fruitful partnership and a wonderful friendship.”

–David Joachim, author, editor and collaborator on more than 40 cookbooks

testimonial-Kevin Gillespie

“I have been with the Lisa Ekus group for 5 years and they have always gone above and beyond to ensure my success. The personal attention that you receive is second to none and makes you feel like a well loved family member, not just a client.”

–Chef Kevin Gillespie, Executive Chef & Owner, Gunshow, Cookbook Author

testimonial – Allyson Kramer

“From multiple cookbook contracts to countless networking opportunities, they truly are the best team to have in your corner. I couldn’t imagine my career without TLEG!”

–Allyson Kramer, Cookbook Author

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Winner of “So You Want to Write a Cookbook?” announced!

The Lisa Ekus Group
March 28, 2013

Contact:  Sally Ekus
The Lisa Ekus Group
Sally@lisaekus.com / @SallyEkus

Winner of the ‘So You Want to Write a Cookbook?’ Contest:
Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine

Culinary Agency Signs New Talent via Twitter

Hatfield, MA – Can a cookbook author be chosen based only on a series of tweets? Is there untapped talent amid the seemingly wild chaos of Twitter?

The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC, a 31-year-old literary agency based in Hatfield, Massachusetts that focuses on promoting a world of culinary talent, launched a Twitter contest to sign a new cookbook author.

The “So You Want to Write a Cookbook” contest (#signmesal) was inspired by the March Madness basketball tournament, and was conceived and orchestrated by Literary Agent Sally Ekus. Participants were asked to pitch their best culinary non-fiction ideas to the agency via Twitter and the contest was judged by the entire agency staff. Literary agent Sally Ekus believes, “The Tweet is the new elevator pitch. As social media has changed the way companies, especially publishers, look to conduct business and identify new talent, it made perfect sense to identify potential new writers through this medium.”

Over 100 contestants were narrowed down to sixteen, then eight, four, and two, before choosing one winner who was signed by Sally Ekus at The Lisa Ekus Group on March 27, 2013 at 4 pm.  “The Twitter contest was a huge success,” said Sally Ekus on Wednesday. “Not only did it challenge the participants to pitch quickly and effectively, it helped The Lisa Ekus Group take a fresh look at how we review projects. The conversations were lively and occasionally heated. In the end, we were all 100% in agreement on the winner. Publishers are already expressing interest in the project,” said Sally Ekus.

The winner, twenty-five year old Ashley Blom of Greenfield, Massachusetts, writes and manages the blog Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, cooking and blogging after her day job as a Marketing Assistant at The Sandri Companies. She has been blogging on and off since age thirteen and her cookbook concept was “life advice for lost twenty-somethings with recipes designed to save your sanity while you’re trying to figure it all out.” The book will discuss which recipes are best for breakups, layoffs, and zero bank account balances.  Ashley’s ideas included recipes like crappy liquor upgrades (vodka infusions), bad lay mac’n’cheese, got-the-job chocolate cake, breakup nachos, and fancy-on-the-cheap party appetizers.

“We feel confident that in Ashley’s voice and vision we have found emerging talent. I am super excited to see her concept develop, from tweet to proposal to published book. Ashley’s sense of humor and her young, hip self-awareness is a natural fit for my generation of cooks and writers,” said Sally Ekus.


The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC is a full-service culinary agency. We provide media training, strategic public relations planning, consulting, and literary agency services to the world of culinary talent. It is our belief that a vibrant culinary industry is the result of many voices, and so we strive to support and promote chefs, cookbook authors, food writers, and photographers.




So you want to write a cookbook?

The Lisa Ekus Group
February 2013

Contact:  Sally Ekus
The Lisa Ekus Group
Sally@lisaekus.com / @SallyEkus

So You Want to Write a Cookbook?

Culinary Agency Seeks to Sign New Talent via Twitter


Hatfield, MA – So you want to write a cookbook? Do you have a food blog and dream of being published? Have you ever been standing over a big pot of stew at the stove and had the perfect idea for a cookbook pop into your head? Now is your chance.

The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC a culinary agency that recently celebrated 31 years in business, is seeking new talent through a Twitter contest. Inspired by the March Madness basketball tournament, the contest will ask anyone who wants to write a cookbook to pitch their best culinary non-fiction ideas to @SallyEkus via 140-character (or less) tweets to #SignMeSal from March 11 -13, 2013. On March 14th, 2013, the finalists will be chosen to participate in the playoffs and entries will be whittled down in subsequent days. Like the March Madness basketball tournament, 16 finalists will enter the playoffs. Remaining participants will then be asked to round out their proposals with further tweets that cover standard proposal elements, such as the book’s point of differentiation, the author’s promotional ideas, and the author’s credentials. The last two finalists will join Literary Agent Sally Ekus in a Twitter chat on March 25, 2013 to discuss their ideas as well as ask questions about agency representation and cookbook publishing in general. Contestants, who were previously eliminated, as well as the greater Twitter community, will be encouraged to join the Twitter chat to ask questions of the final two contenders. A single winner will be chosen and then work with agent Sally Ekus to develop a fleshed out proposal to pitch to editors at publishing houses.


The contest calendar is as follows:

March 11th-13th, 2013: Tweet your cookbook concept to #SignMeSal

March 14th, 2013: @SallyEkus will tweet the 16 cookbook concept playoff contenders

March 15th, 2013: The winning 16 will tweet once what their Point of Differentiation (How is this concept different from what already exists in the market?) is to #SignMeSal

March 18th, 2013: 8 winners will be announced by @SallyEkus and will proceed to the next round

March 19th, 2013: The 8 winners of the last round will tweet 3 promotional ideas for how they intend to promote their book once it is published.

March 20th, 2013: 4 winners from the promotional idea round will be announced by @SallyEkus

March 21st, 2013: The 4 winners of the promotional idea round will tweet their answer to the final question, “Why me? Why am I the person to write this book?” in up to three tweets to #SignMeSal

March 22nd, 2013: Two finalists will be announced by @SallyEkus

March 25th, 2013: @SallyEkus will host a Twitter chat from 1-2pm EST to ask the finalists questions about their concepts and backgrounds. This will also be a chance for the two finalists to ask questions about agent representation and The Lisa Ekus Group, as well as a time for people following the contest to weigh in with their own questions. The finalists should come to the chat prepared to answer questions such as “What does platform mean to me?” and “I want to write this book because…”

March 27th, 2013: One winner will be announced by @SallyEkus

Interested parties should pitch any idea related to food, health, wellness, and cooking. You may be previously published, but you may not be currently represented by another literary agency. The Lisa Ekus Group is looking for fresh voices, new ideas, and untapped talent. “I am looking for someone who can get their ideas across succinctly, in 140 characters or less,” said Sally Ekus. “The Tweet is the new elevator pitch.”



The Lisa Ekus Group is a full-service culinary agency. We provide media training, strategic public relations planning, consulting, and literary agency services to the world of culinary talent. It is our belief that a vibrant culinary industry is the result of many voices, and so we strive to support and promote chefs, cookbook authors, food writers, and photographers.