Ruby Tandoh Wants To Break This Cookbook Tradition

Fans of the "Great British Bake Off" will remember Ruby Tandoh from her appearance in 2013. While the fan-favorite was quite new to the baking world during her appearance, she honed her skills and made it to the finale (per Delish). Building on that success, Tandoh has written multiple cookbooks, writes for several food publications, and is considered a leading voice in the food community.

With her latest offering, "Breaking Eggs," an audiobook, Tandoh embarks on a new approach to cooking publications. In this case, she encourages listeners to step away from the written page and step into the total sensory experience. As shared on her Twitter account, Tandoh commented, "I'm trying to work beyond the usual cookbook parameters." Believing that people have "different styles of learning" and there are "many ways to cook/bake," this cookbook seems to encourage people to think beyond the traditional approaches.

Per the audiobook description, listeners are encouraged to "surrender to the experience." While there is a story woven into the instructions, the approach might be a way to skip the perfection expectations and appreciate the process. By focusing on the moment, the distractions fade. Each aroma can be heightened, the importance of the steps appreciated, and the final product might be even more enjoyable. In addition, one Twitter user commented on Tandoh's tweet, "wonderful company keeper and thought provoker for so many reasons."

If home cooks buy into this experience, could cookbook traditions be forever changed?

Could audiobooks change cookbook traditions?

With Ruby Tandoh's "Breaking Eggs" released exclusively in an audiobook format, some people are wondering if the traditional cookbook is starting to become a relic in the kitchen. Although some home cooks might have that battered and splattered red-and-white Betty Crocker cookbook that they received from grandma all those years ago, other home cooks have replaced paper with a screen. From YouTube videos to TikTok viral hacks, the screen holds a wealth of food knowledge and opportunity. As digital cooking resources become more popular could audio cookbooks be the future as well?

In a 2020 blog post, Audible shared several food-related audiobooks from popular culinary authorities. While these audiobooks are more memoir-forward, it does beg the question, does an audio recipe allow the home cook to become more immersed in the cooking experience? Whether cooking tells a story, shares a piece of history, or just offers a taste of comfort, the food on the plate can be an expression of the cook. By listening to the spoken word on an audiobook, an emotion can be conveyed through an inflection that just reading a description may not hold.

Whether or not Tandoh's "Breaking Eggs" has started a trend or is just an anomaly in the cooking world remains to be seen. Since cooking involves all of the senses, it might be time to cook with your ears as well as your eyes, tastes, smell, and touch.