Robert Rosenthal, author of Short Order Dad, is a stand-up comedian, a professionally-trained chef (and his two daughters’ personal chef), and an award-winning international advertising executive. The producer of fun cooking segments and guest on over 25 nationally syndicated radio shows, Robert writes for the Huffington Post and The Daily Meal.

Robert is one of the characters speaking at the #140conf/State of Now in Los Angeles on November 14, 2016. He’ll be presenting Redefining Fatherhood Through Food. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Robert Rosenthal talks about his inspiration for Short Order Dad, the importance of cooking and sharing meals with family, and the mashup of humor and culinary training that makes his book unique.

What inspired you to write Short Order Dad?

Not so much what, but who? My wife thought people would be interested in my experience from cooking virtually all of the family’s meals. And that blending my background as a standup comedian with my professional culinary degree provided a unique angle.

How did you go about writing it? Getting it published?

Slowly. Various iterations of the book spent some quality time in a drawer. Eventually, when I could put it off no longer, a literary agent thought she could find an interested publisher, and she did.

What was your favorite part of writing the book?

The best part was the cooking and the eating. Incorporating my sense of humor into it was fun.

The greatest challenge?

Writing a book is a challenge in and of itself that takes a lot of time, effort and work. The other real challenge is generating enough attention to get it sold and read. Never easy.

Why is cooking so important?

Cooking is an act of creation, caring and sharing. Ironically, in spite of our apparent obsession with food, we’re actually cooking less of it than ever before. Hundreds of studies demonstrate conclusively that home cooked meals shared with the family result in better adjusted kids with better health and better academic performance. And cooking can be fun.

Advice for those who want to write a food guide/cookbook?

Don’t bother UNLESS you have something truly different to bring to the table, a strong platform from which to promote it, and the patience and will to see it through to publication.

What makes your book unique?

The book’s conceit is that I went to cooking school so you don’t have to. So it’s an ideal guide for beginners to make great-tasting food at home. It explains how to shop for ingredients, what to stock in the pantry, the essential kitchen tools, and I teach the ten fundamental cooking techniques. The vast majority of my 100 recipes require only six ingredients or less. It features my user-friendly formula for getting “the most taste with the fewest ingredients and the least effort.” And I’m pretty sure that if Elton John read it, he would say, “it’s a little bit funny.”

What do you know now that you wish you knew before you wrote Short Order Dad?

I wish I knew that Amazon’s stock price would increase by $300 a share…

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