• Tommy Centola

Recap of my first year of Blogging

One year ago today, I started my blog. Here is that first post:

Welcome to my Blog. At least once a week, I will post a new recipe from my

collection.  I hope one day to publish a cookbook.  I have gladly shared my

recipes with all who have asked for them. My first recipe will be posted

on Jan. 1, 2011.  I hope to share my love of cooking with all who wish

to join in.  I encourage request as well as suggestions to make this blog

better for all to enjoy. 

Little did I know what 2011 had in store for me. After a few months of posting

suggested recipes, I worked up the courage to start shopping for a publisher for

my cookbook. In late March, I send a letter to Pelican Publishing in Gretna, La. to

see if they were interested in my book. On April 4th, they expressed interest. We

sent a few letters back and forth sharing information.  On April 26th, they asked

me to send an outline and the first three chapters of the book.  Thinking that my

book was on its way to publication, I started getting excited. My association with

Pelican Publishing was not meant to be. On June 8th, I received a rejection letter

from my first choice of publishers. They did not wish to pursue my book. So on

June 8th, I took to the internet to research other publishers. On June 9th, I

submitted my first three chapters to Publish America. On June 16th, Publish

America accepted my book and I signed their contract.  This started what would

be one of the best half year’s of my life. On June 20th, I moved my blog to my

website, www.creolecajunchef.com.  While finishing up my book, I continued to

update my blog with my soon to be published recipes. The official release date of  

my cookbook, You can’t keep New Orleans out of the cook, was August 26th.  I

cannot thank enough my wife Peggy, for her editing of the book, my niece Amber

McCann, for designing my heart and fleur de lis logo, and Bill Lottner, for taking

the photo that appears on the back cover of my book.  I had the pleasure of being

interviewed on WGSO radio by a true friend, Jeff Crouere on October 28th. The

next day, I had my first book signing at Common Grounds in Gretna, La. I can’t

describe my feelings on that day. I had family and friends come out to help me

celebrate my accomplishment. On November 25th, I was back in New Orleans to

realize my dream of seeing my cookbook on the shelf in a book store. It was with

great pride that I had my picture taken in Barnes and Noble in Harvey, La.

with my cookbook on the same shelves as Emeril, Paul Prudhomme, and all of

the great restaurant cookbooks. The next day, I had my first book store signing

at Barnes and Noble. It was great to have people I have not seen in years coming

in to have me sign my book. 

As the year comes to an end, I will now try to make 2012 an even better year.

I will be doing more book signings. I will also start posting videos on my website,

demonstrating recipes. If you have any favorites let me know.

 I can’t wait for next year.

Enjoy!!!

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