We spoke to Jamaal about his incredible cookbook Recipes from a Young Brother. When asked about his inspiration for his cookbook, he let us know that this has been a work in progress for over a decade.
"Originally, the thought process of this book started back in 2008 - 2009 when a classmate (we both went to the same Culinary Training school) brought up the idea that we should collaborate and work on something, but she ended up moving out of state to further her culinary career/education. Then the idea came back to me in about 2011 to about maybe 2016 by Carolyn and Marilyn Jackson, but they are way above my league. Then on Thanksgiving in 2019, the idea came back up from my parents Leo and Dawn Meadows (but I wasn't trying to hear it). Then after letting it go for a year, my friends and family would always come to me and say 'How do you manage to do that?' and 'I'm scared to be in the kitchen because I keep getting burns, scrapes, cuts'." That's when Jamaal knew it was time to start his cookbook journey.
"I started typing in March once the pandemic started. I already had 2 food blog websites in the stash, but I wanted to expand because if you really look at it, people need to start reading nowadays (just being honest) and learn how to make meals in a tight time like this. In the beginning of the year, I took time to go over the recipes that I had already, and then in the process, I started discovering new recipes that randomly just came ticking in my head over...and over...and over again. You want to know what's the worst part about that? It always happened while I was at work, which resulted in me having to go to the grocery store almost EVERY WEEK. By the time that this book was about 3/4 complete, I woke up and realized that I had nearly about a million and five (I am NOT exaggerating this number by the way) chicken recipes. So I started using the creativity that I gained, gathered a group of guinea pigs to come to my apartment (sadly used them as test subjects... and they enjoyed it), got their opinion and that's how it came about...the love of a hobby, the help of some friends, some peer pressure from family and A LOT of dedication."
Jamaal says the inspiration for his recipes comes from his family and friends. "I think about the recipes that other people would like. So for example, when you see the cover and you see the angel hair pasta and the 'Big Booties' (nickname for shrimp) and the tomatoes, that is a representation of my mother and I (I swear, I feel like were Italian because we LOVE some pasta). When you look at the 'Fatty McFastahs' (nickname for my grilled burgers), that is a representation for Carolyn and Marilyn Jackson because we are some EVIL burger fanatics."
But sometimes, Jamaal just likes to see what he can come up with when he's allowed time for free thinking. "I just test the creativity of my mind. The base of some of my recipes come from cookbooks and then I make the recipe my own. That is the purpose of cooking (or at least being a HOME COOK). You get to OWN your kitchen, MANAGE your own time, REMIX things that you think taste great and put them into your own. If you were to ask me what my favorite recipes are, it would have to be: 1. Angel Hair Pasta with the Grilled Shrimp & Tomatoes, 2. Detroit Style Pizza with Pepperoni and Mushrooms 3. Cornflake "Chrone - Chay" Chicken Tenders 4. Fruit Kabob Platter and 5. Honey Soy Sesame Chicken & Mushrooms, and just for fun... The Cinnamon Sugah Pretzels."
Jamaal's book is currently for sale, and you can grab your own copy here: https://createmycookbook.com/products/306417_321525_R.
We're so proud of you, Jamaal, and we know your family and friends are as well!
Looking to put up your own cookbook for sale? We make it super simple! Once you've set up your seller listing (check out: Listing Your Cookbook For Sale), you can update your reseller listing anytime by clicking the “Edit Listing” button under your reseller portal.
Then edit your desired profit amount and click the “Update Book Listing”.
Ta-da! You're all set! It's really that easy!Next: Recipe of the Week | Tapioca Pudding