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The Recipe Writer's Handbook, Revised and Expanded

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Praise for The Recipe Writer's Handbook
Revised and Expanded

"Barbara Ostmann and Jane Baker are experienced food editors who know their stuff. To achieve success, a recipe must be written with impeccable accuracy and unambiguous clarity. The Recipe Writer's Handbook achieves both objectives in full measure."-Irena Chalmers, author and professional food writing lecturer at T
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 30th 2001 by Mariner Books
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Tara Brabazon
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a delightfully odd book. I am not a recipe writer. I am interested in writing about food. But it makes me very happy that two people - Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker - hold so much experience and expertise in recipe writing that an entire book can be written on the topic.

Recipe writing is discussed as a genre, but with incredibly detailed information about typography, headings, grammar and rules with regards to measurements, weights and utensils used for cooking.

Fascinatingly, there i
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
A poorly-written recipe is a major annoyance. Many types of errors can mar an otherwise good recipe: ingredients out of order, use of brand names, vague or omitted instructions, procedures out of order, failure to indicate yield. The co-authors of this book are professional recipe writers and editors who know whereof they write. In an exhaustive treatment, they lead the neophyte writer of recipes through the steps necessary to turn out a quality recipe: short yet complete, brief yet interesting, ...more
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-writing
After exchanging so many badly-written recipes with people, I've decided that this book is for everyone. Just the simple techniques presented in one chapter will make your recipes stand out for ease of use and logic of procedure. This was a great addition to my foodie library. ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
An amazing resource for those interested in the technical aspects of writing recipes.
Kay Schrock
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book for anyone who write recipes for the public.
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
If you want to tighten up your recipe writing skills, this book is fine, but it's also not what I expected. The author stresses great things like being consistent and making sure a recipe describes what is going on when you're cooking/baking. But it's definitely a handbook, so there's lots and lots of lists of commonly misspelled food words, metrics & conversions. Useful for anyone serious about writing a good, standardized recipe, but not the book I was looking for. ...more
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
2.5 stars

I should have read the title more carefully... this is definitely a handbook and not a how-to book. Most of it is dedicated to stylesheet type things like how to spell common recipe words. This book is suited for people who are currently writing recipes and not people who want to learn how to write good recipes.
Anne Stephenson
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
The definitive style guide for anyone writing about food. Lots of great information organized into easily accessible chapters. I will definitely be using this as a reference tool as I write recipes. I can only imagine the time involved to compile the authors' vast knowledge into one guide. Thanks! ...more
Liz De Coster
Oct 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, hobbies
Very technical, as the title implies, but for readers who use a lot of different resources for their cooking, I think it gives valuable insight into how a recipe is constructed and tested from the other end.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it

A little bit too much handbook for me... Useful to flip through, but not to sit down and actually read.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for food writers.
A. Gulden
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
One of the best books written on food writing. The style sheets are incredibly helpful and the whole book is well-organised.
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