Selected as a 2021 Best Cookbook of the Year by Bookshop staff:
As an amateur baker, I’ve oft dreamed of winning an American version of The Great British Baking Show. Now, imagine being the very first winner and…the show gets cancelled before anyone finds out. That’s what happened to Vallery Lomas, but it didn’t stop her from turning lemons into lemon chiffon cake. Drawing on her Southern roots, Lomas has written a cookbook for bakers of all stripes and levels. I particularly appreciated the small, surprising tips with each recipe (don’t twist the biscuit cutter!).
ONE OF THE TEN BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Boston Globe • ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Food Network,The Washington Post,Time Out,Glamour, Taste of Home, Southern Living,Library Journal
“As much about a collection of recipes that makes your mouth water and tugs at your heart with food memories as it is about the chronicles and life lessons of a true comeback kid.”—Carla Hall
Popular baking personality and lawyer turned baker Vallery Lomas debuts her first baking book celebrating more than 100 recipes for everything from Apple Cider Fritters to Lemon-Honey Madeleines and Crawfish Hand Pies to her Grandma’s Million Dollar Cake. Vallery shares heirloom family recipes from her native Louisiana, time spent in Paris, The Great American Baking Show (which she famously won!), and of course sweets and breads inspired by her adopted hometown, New York City. Vallery’s “when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd” philosophy will empower legions of bakers and fans to find their inner warrior and bake their best life.
“Life Is What You Bake It is not only a collection of recipes but also an empowering book that shows us there’s often more possible than we can even imagine.”—Julia Turshen, bestselling author of Simply Julia, host of Keep Calm and Cook On podcast, and founder of Equity at the Table
About the Author
Vallery Lomas is the winner of The Great American Baking Show and the first Black winner of the Great British Bake Off franchise. She hosts the digital show Vallery Bakes Your Questions on Food Network’s website and the Food Network Kitchen app. She has also appeared on CNN, the Today show, Live with Kelly & Ryan, the History Channel, and the Hallmark Channel. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Vallery attended college and law school in Los Angeles, practiced law in Washington D.C., and spent a gap year in Paris—where she perfected both her French and pastry skills—before settling in Harlem. She is a frequent columnist and recipe contributor to the New York Times.
“Life Is What You Bake It is at once deeply personal and eminently practical. Vallery weaves together evocative stories about honoring family, overcoming disappointment, and pushing through fear.”—Claire Saffitz, author of Dessert Person
“Brimming with fond memories, gorgeous full-page photography, and expert tips and tricks, Life Is What You Bake It is all about managing the unexpected twists thrown at you—while baking or otherwise.” —Michelle Baricevic, Food Network online editorial coordinator
“Lomas is an inspiration as a baker (have you seen Almost-Ate-the-Plate Carrot Cake?), a writer (headnote readers, you’re in for some beautiful storytelling), but also as a human being, pursuing her passion for baking and continuing it against seemingly impossible setbacks. We’re luckier for it.”—Deb Perelman, author of Smitten Kitchen Every Day
“I don’t know what’s more inspiring, Vallery’s incredible and deeply courageous story or her stunning, crave-worthy recipes. Life Is What You Bake It truly has it all: the kinds of stories that make you feel like you’re hanging out with a good friend, loads of tips that will help you become a better baker, and of course, baked goods that you’ll want to totally devour.”—Molly Yeh, Food Network host and cookbook author
“Chef Vallery’s story lets you know that if you can put your mind to it, you can achieve it. She also makes it clear that if you want delicious baked goods, you should take a page out of her book. From her simple nostalgic Strawberry Smash to her decadent bananas foster pancakes, there is a recipe in here for everyone!”—Kwame Onwuachi, author of Notes From a Young Black Chef, James Beard Rising Star Chef and judge on Top Chef
“[Vallery] will guide you with her endless charm and beautifully written recipes to bake like a champion.”—Zoë François, author of Zoë Bakes Cakes and TV host
“Vallery Lomas brings her trademark zest and enthusiasm to American classics and offers up a chapter of easy-to-master French pastries from her life in Paris. I can’t wait to bake my way through this delicious collection of recipes!”—David Lebovitz, author of Drinking French and My Paris Kitchen
“I LOVE IT! I felt immediately comforted and uplifted by Vallery’s writing, which is warm, engaging, and thoughtful. There’s something in the book for everybody, no matter their skill level or confidence.”—Ruby Tandoh, food writer and author of Eat Up!
“While the gorgeous photography and delicious recipes immediately drew me in, Vallery’s compelling journey and family history bring a depth and joy to each and every recipe.”—Sarah Kieffer, author of100 Cookies and The Vanilla BeanBlog
“The Great American Baking Show winner Lomas debuts with an inspiring collection that combines life lessons, family lore, and behind-the-scenes peeks at the reality show world, with more than 100 indulgent recipes.”—Publishers Weekly