“I love what I do and there aren't many people who do what I do. I certainly feel like I'm a harbinger in this business.” That's JoAnn Cianciulli, cookbook writer and food television producer who's created an interesting niche for herself in the food world.
The recent publication of her 1st solo cookbook L.A. Original Farmers Market Cookbook is proof of that. But the path to the books creation took about 10 years.
That's when she began working as a producer on a start up Food Network show, Food 911.
“When I started in this industry nobody knew what to call me. I created the term culinary producer and now it's ubiquitous.”
Working closely with host and chef Tyler Florence to develop and test all the recipes for the show, he eventually brought her on to collaborate on his first cookbook, Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen.
From there, Cianciulli took an unusual path jockeying back and forth between print work and television. “The same people who are reading cookbooks and Bon Appetit are watching cooking shows. It made sense to do it all because one thing feeds the other.”
She's collaborated on several cookbooks since then working with the likes of Michael Mina, and Dan Silverman of Lever House. In between books she produced some high profile television shows like Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef “I feel like my stamp is all over food television.”
Eventually she decided to channel her energies into her own book. “There were chef's on TV who were creating their own books, it seemed like a natural thing. So why not me?”
After a couple of rejections, she got a book deal and began putting together L.A.'s Original Farmer's Market Cookbook. From interviewing and writing up the bios for each vendor, to food styling and writing recipes the book was a labor of love, “I call my book a food lovers story book – it's far more than weights and measures of recipes.”
The duality of her career has put her in the unique position of having a foot in to two very different aspects of an ever changing and rapidly growing food culture and with several new projects going Cianciulli says “I feel like I'm ready to break out.”