While Lonely Planet has published titles on food in the past, such as The Food Book, The Food Lover's Guide to the World, this fall, the company will be stepping into new culinary territory with the launch of From the Source, a cookbook series that explores dishes and traveling by locale. The first titles in the series, From the Source: Italy and From the Source: Thailand, go on sale September 1.
“We're the experts at sending people around the world to discover and enjoy authentic local experiences,” said associate publisher Robin Barton, who also edited the new book on Italy. “The From the Source concept marries that Lonely Planet ethos with a beautifully illustrated cookbook to introduce classic recipes as shared with the series' authors by local cooks, whether they're Michelin-starred chefs or owners of much-loved local eateries.”
Because the stories behind the dishes are presented by locals, the books offer “regional restaurant recommendations and a vivid account of how and why these dishes came about,” said Barton.
For each of the new titles, the publisher sent a food photographers and writers around each country for nine months. Lonely Planet asked local food experts, including chefs, for tips in order to discover “hidden gems,” said Barton, and the publisher strived to incorporate dishes that reflected the regions in which they're found.
To promote the books, Lonely Planet created videos in Thailand with writer Mark Wiens, which feature a recipe from the book and interviews with the chefs behind them (like this video, on Khao lam, sticky rice roasted in bamboo). The publisher’s social media team will also be sharing photos and recipes from the book across all its social channels, asking its community of travelers where they have found their favorite quintessential Italian and Thai dishes, and then running a coinciding article on the Lonely Planet website, using digital platform Storify.
Up next in the series are books on Spain and Japan, which will be published in August 2016.