Book designer Betsy Stromberg at Ten Speed Press has worked nearly all of my cookbooks. She’s the quiet type but fierce in her creativity. She’s craft-oriented too. Over the years, Betsy has asked me a couple of questions about char siu bao, steamed Cantonese buns filled with barbecue pork. Their a personal favorite, she’s told me.
As a book designer, Betsy examines an author’s manuscript and figures out how to present it in a manner that informs and inspires. She has to pay attention to the recipe details themselves because she goes into the files and manipulates design elements to help things stand out. We collaborate on art direction and she’s present at the photo shoots. She goes the extra mile for me too. For The Banh Mi Handbook, Besty stayed up late on work nights to make the illustrations for the chapter openers. In other words, hers design efforts help me communicate my ideas well to cooks.