Getting paid to compile and/or edit recipes

2,486
492
Joined Oct 9, 2008
So I saw a job listing recently. According to the ad copy, a professional chef wants someone to turn his rough recipes into clean recipe-style prose. He doesn't assume that the writer will test the recipes, just render them into something that looks like a modern cookbook.

Fine, but then he says what he's going to pay.

Now editing and such varies widely, but I've never heard of an editing job paying less than about $10/hour, and usually it's $25+, depending on the field and the editor's qualifications. The "hour" is scaled to number of words, or pages, or something like that.

By my rough calculations, this chef expects to pay something on the order of $2.50/hour, though he's estimating based on an entirely opaque per-recipe scale.

Has anyone ever done work like this? Any idea what it pays? I'm sure I don't want this job, that's easy, but I'm wondering where the price range ought to be.
 
3,317
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Joined May 5, 2010
How are you going to take a "rough recipe" and turn it into a usable form without testing it?

Who is going to pay for the ingredients to that effect?

I would take another look at this and ask some questions....
 
1,489
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Joined Jan 31, 2012
The internet is full of untested, and in many cases, non
workable recipes.
All written up into "clean recipe-style prose".
Sounds like this "chef" just wants to make himself a
name and some money writing yet another cookbook
by doing as litle work...and as little expense, as possible.
Probably not the writing type, so he wants to pay someone
peanuts to make him some money.
If he doesnt want to publish, maybe hes simply out to
record his work for posterity. Either way, a few minutes
on the phone with the guy would speak volumes.
A fellow chef who can write might have fun testing these
things out with him, but the chef might feel threatened by that,
depending on his intentions.
 
Last edited:
2,486
492
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Sounds like this "chef" just wants to make himself a
name and some money writing yet another cookbook
by doing as litle work...and as little expense, as possible.
Probably not the writing type, so he wants to pay someone
peanuts to make him some money.
If he doesnt want to publish, maybe hes simply out to
record his work for posterity. Either way, a few minutes
on the phone with the guy would speak volumes.
Very much my reading, yes.
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I dunno... Lets just play devils advocate for a minute.

This is my idea if a "rough recipie":

600 sugar
400 butter
200 egg

1000 flour

This is a recipie for sweet dough that I've been using for over 30 years, Ive scaled it up as much as 6 times, and down by 1/4. I assume everyone I give it too understands that the sugar and butter are creamed, the eggs added one by one, vanilla and salt are added, and the flour sifted.

That being said, in the past when I have applied for a restaurant business license, one of the health dept. requirements are that all recipies have to be formatted using the haccp protocol before even inspections can take place. I've also been in the position where I step into a new kitchen where there are NO recipies, and I have to generate idiot proof recipies for the entire kitchen as fast as possible.

Then again what you and many others read into that advertisement may also be very true. One thing about the cookbook biz is that glossy pictures rule, the recipies are a distant second......
 
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Joined Dec 2, 2016
I was paid $25/hour to edit recipes I was reimbursed for the ingredients because part of the job was to test the recipe as well. I was also reimburse mileage for shopping for the ingredients. Many of the recipes required substantial rewriting to make the instructions so that a home cook could reproduce the recipe. I had a lot of fun editing and testing recipes and would love to do it again!
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Yup.

Biggest mixer I've ever used was a 80 qt, but I don't think a thousand pounds of flour would fit in that one....
 
2,486
492
Joined Oct 9, 2008
 
I was paid $25/hour to edit recipes I was reimbursed for the ingredients because part of the job was to test the recipe as well. I was also reimburse mileage for shopping for the ingredients. Many of the recipes required substantial rewriting to make the instructions so that a home cook could reproduce the recipe. I had a lot of fun editing and testing recipes and would love to do it again!
Thank you. Exactly the info I was looking for.
 

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