Avatar the Last Airbender Official Cookbook: Q&A
A few months ago I announced that I will be writing the official Avatar the Last Airbender cookbook! I was super excited when Insight Editions, the publisher, approached me about this project because I am a big Avatar fan (I watched it years ago, then re-binged it over quarantine + watched Legend of Korra too). This cookbook is officially sanctioned from Nickelodeon, making it "the" book of recipes from the show, spanning foods from all across the four nations (Earth, Water, Air, Fire). Recently, I even woke up to my own page on the Avatar fandom, which made me chuckle.
While the world of Avatar is a fictional universe, it is also a comic series clearly based on a mix of Asian cultures - from martial art technique to calligraphy to dress to cuisine. As such, I have been taking this recipe development and writing process pretty seriously because I want to properly represent & respect the original sources of inspiration. For example, the Water Nation is heavily based on Inuit culture, of which I'm very unfamiliar. I wanted to make sure the recipes I made for the Water Nation were respectful of Inuit tradition, and realistic as to what would feasibly be made in the Arctic tundra; so, focusing on game and fish, not using tons of dairy products or vegetables that only grow in the sub-tropics, utilizing cooking and preserving methods common for that cuisine, etc.
I've been sharing some sneak peeks of the book on my Instagram and Twitter, and have received some really excellent questions about my approach, what recipes to expect, how spicy the foods of the Fire Nation will be (lol), so I decided to host a short Instagram Live Q&A about all these questions. You can watch the video above, some of the questions I answer are below:
How did you approach the Water Nation / Air Nation foods? (Water Nation is based on Inuit culture, Air Nation draws on Tibetan culture.)
What was the hardest recipes to make?
What is your favorite recipe so far?
What's the process for doing a book like this? How involved is Nick?
Will there be possum chicken or turtle duck in the book?
Who will be narrating the book? (As in, what POV is the book written from.)
Will there be recipes from the cabbage merchant?
Will there be vegetarian / vegan recipes? (I didn't get to this in the Q&A, but yes - all the Air Nation foods are vegetarian.)
How many recipes will there be?
Will there be tea recipes?
Are all the dishes from the series?
If you have more questions, feel free to email me, or DM me, and I'll be sure to answer them on my IG!!