Friday, September 16, 2011

Writing a cookbook part 10: the book launch, first book reviews and appearances.

From top left clockwise: Sugar decorations hanging from the staircase, setting up the central table and the display stands, cupcake trays ready to leave home for the launch, putting up curtains and ribbons, goodie bags.
Photos  by Alessandra Zecchini © 

Last night we had the book launch for Party Food for Girls. I was too busy to take photos myself, so above there are only some photos of the preparations for the central table, the cupcakes stands, and the decorations and goodie bags. We were in the third floor of an art gallery, and dozens of meringues and sugar and chocolate hearts where hanging with ribbons from the staircase (yes, all the three floors). More sugar decorations and lots of ribbons and curtains were everywhere, and although there was lots of savoury food passed around in trays and at the bar, the centre table and display stalls were entirely dedicated to cupcakes, biscuits, sweets and berries, which disappeared com-ple-te-ly as soon as the speeches were over. Claire helped me all day long with the canapes and Harriet arrived to the launch earlier to help too, while Amanda the publicist, got the job of putting up the curtains and ribbons with the Lopdell House staff (I am sure that it was a new experience for them). Arantxa's girlfriends helped her carry around trays full of pizzette and finger food (all home-made, of course) while Max and his friends guarded the main table very seriously so that it wouldn't be touched until it was time for dessert. Lots of people took photos, if you want to see a couple of Shaun's photos please check out what the king of NZ book blogs, Graham Beattie, posted in the Beattie's Book Blog. The post, entitled 

‘New Holland’s youngest author launches her first book, ‘Party Food for Girls

gives a description of the book launch: 

"...Meringue wreaths and pink sugar hearts adorned the spiral stair case, with billowing white curtains  greeting guests as they walked into the top room of the Lopdell House – complete with stunning views over the Manukau Harbour – the room was definitely decked out to have the ‘wow’ factor – essential for any fabulous girls tea party!..."

and also offer an extract from the book: the recipe for these Teapot Biscuits

photo by Shaun Cato-Symonds

For the recipe and step by step decoration instructions please click here and scroll down. 

Good Magazine was also there at the launch, they will feature two recipes in their next issue. It was great event and Arantxa spoke so well! Other speakers before Arantxa and myself were the Lopdell House Director Lesley Smith, NHP Publishing Manager Christine Thomson, and the Italian honorary Consul for Auckland Mario Magaraggia, who knows Arantxa since she was a baby :-).

Books reviews are now coming in, I just read a lovely one in Taste Magazine by Rachael McKinnon, all writers get nervous about book reviews, it is normal, and part of the process, but when you read a positive review it really helps, especially when you are so busy running around and working extra hours to promote your book. In fact I better be off now to get my 'traveling cupcake kit' ready: tomorrow morning (Saturday 17)  Arantxa and I are going to Taste Matakana in Warkworth, if you are in the area come and see us from 11am to 1pm we will be making sugar flowers and decorating cupcakes (Taste Matakana, 2 Neville Street, Warkworth).

And of course if you are a blogger don't forget your chance to win the book here! In the next few days I will post more about magazines, recipes and giveaways.

Photo Shaun Cato-Symonds, from Party Food for Girls


  1. Che meraviglia...chissà che emozione e che profumi zuccherosi!!!!

  2. Sounds like the launch went well, good luck Diane

  3. Congratulations on your positive reviews, must be such a thrill :)

  4. Your description really gives the picture of your wonderful and delicious food. What to say of the teapot biscuits? They're MARVELLOUS!!!! The details of the teapot resembles an arabasque.
    Good luck! you and Arantxa deserve the best reviews ever

  5. Complimenti!!!!
    Deve essere davvero una grandissima soddisfazione: brava!

  6. complimenti a tutte e due, una presentazione da fiaba!
    e poi, ammiratissima!!! avete fatto voi tutti quei cupcakes e quelle decorazioni?!?!?!

    wow! (proprio l'esclamazione che deve suscitare una festa di ragazzine, no?)

  7. Ciao Gaia, si fatto tutto noi, e tutto mangiato in pochi minuti!

  8. Yay! So glad it went well and you are getting good reviews, I knew it!

  9. bellissima questa presentazione, fa venire voglia di mangiare anche le scale e ancora di più di non mangiare nulla per "timore" di sciupare tanto meraviglioso lavoro.....

    sembra l'ambientazione di Alice in Wonderland [che amo letteralmente]....non trovo le parole adeguate.
    brave brave bravissimissimissime!!!!!!

  10. Grazie Bibi, sei sempre troppo gentile :-).

  11. Congratulations! All the best! Btw, they are selling the book here at Angus and Robertson's (A&R) online and in the shops. :)

  12. Thanks for letting me know Annabanana :-)!!


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