Winter Study ’98 produces publishing deal for students

Publishing Deal? Booksigning Party? Publicist? Press Release?

If you would never have associated these words with Winter Study, think again. Three Williams students are about to prove you wrong.

Alexandra Nimetz ’99, Jason Stanley ’00, and Emeline Starr ’98 are the stars at a booksigning to take place Friday. Their claim to fame: authoring The Healthy College Cookbook.

It all started when Nimetz, Stanley, and Starr took a Winter Study course in January ’98 entitled “The Basics of Book Publishing.” Vermont-based publisher Storey Books, who sponsored the class, took the three up on their hypothetical book when the class ended. Now, a full 16 months later, the book is finally in print.

According to the Storey Books’ Press Release, the cookbook is “geared towards college students who are tight on cash, time, and cooking experience.”

The cookbook offers directions on making breakfast, lunch and dinner, and includes some recipes for snacks, side dishes and sauces. It has a complete chapter on vegetarian entrees, and explains food substitutions for healthier eating. The authors explain which cookware is indispensable, and which kitchen staples are usually assets. Advice on cost- and time-efficient grocery shopping and meal preparation is also a feature of the cookbook.

Neither Nimetz nor Stanley thought that the book was a reflection on the quality of food at dining halls. “I think that the dining hall options here are great,” said Stanley. “Anyone who complains needs to be kicked out on their own for a night.”

“It’s all about being resourceful,” Nimetz added. “The dining hall offers a lot of choices; it just takes a little creativity to pull together a satisfying meal.”

Both also agreed that they did not see publishing as facets of their futures. “I’d love to write for a living,” explained Stanley, “but wouldn’t we all?” Both commented that they would continue cooking, but solely for its enjoyment value.

As far as drawbacks go, the two could not come up with much. “Spending weeks on end, day after day, cooking and testing and writing and editing often left us exhausted at day’s end, but all three of us came out of it better cooks and better friends,” said Stanley.

Nimetz estimated that the trio tested about 220 recipes, and they chose about 200 for the book, after careful alterations were made to many of them. Friends and family members were the primary donors of recipes.

Nimetz concluded, “I really don’t think that there is much I would change if I had to do it again. I enjoyed writing, testing, and working with our editors at Storey and it seemed that things always went pretty smoothly.”

Added Stanley, “If I were to do it again, I’d have been a little crazier in the kitchen. Letting loose with a frying pan is something that everyone should try.”

The booksigning will take place on Baxter Lawn on Friday, May 7, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and will include Stoney staff and owners. Water Street Books will be selling the cookbooks for $14.95 each, and food selections -from the cookbook, of course – will be available.