My name is Cynthia Nims and I’m a cookbook author and freelance writer focused on food, wine, travel, the good things in life. I’ve authored (on my own, or as a co-author) over a dozen cookbooks, and have edited or otherwise contributed to dozens of other cookbooks in the past couple of decades. I’ve worked on everything from Seafood Cooking for Dummies(for which I was a technical editor) to Château Cuisine (recipe and food styling work while I was living and working at La Varenne’s Château du Feÿ in Burgundy) to Arabella Boxer’s Herb and Spice Handbook (one of many Australian or English publications I “Americanized” for a US printing).
But as a happy native Northwesterner, I’ve focused much of my writing on the food traditions and regional products of the Northwest. It was a thrill to contribute the Northwest chapter to the great tome of American cooking, Culinaria: The United States. But with limited space for the many subjects covered there, I was frustrated to not be able to go into more depth with individual subjects. Out of that grew my Northwest Homegrown Cookbook Series, four titles that included Crab, Stone Fruit, Wild Mushrooms and Salmon. You’ll find a complete list of my book projects here.
My most recent cookbook is quite a departure from all the projects I’ve worked on to date. And in many ways it’s the most personal as well. Gourmet Game Night reflects how I like to entertain and spend time with family and friends when I’m off the clock. We go to the “game closet” (the hallway linen closet converted to game storage) and grab something t play, then sit down to enjoy a delicious dinner party while playing games. Recipes in the book are all super game-friendly eats, fingers never get greasy, hands don’t get dirty, so the playing pieces, cards and dice all stay clean. And you’ll never have to put down your poker cards to pick up a knife and fork to eat. It’s fun games and great food in perfect harmony.
In the world of magazines, I contribute regularly to Cooking Light, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines magazines and Seattle Magazine (where I was the food editor for 6+ years). My work also appears in publications such as Gastronomica, Sunset, Coastal Living and others. I was a contributing editor for years at Cheers magazine, which helped develop my love of cocktails (gin in particular, about which I write and speak with the greatest passion of all spirits).
I’m a lifelong Seattleite and much of my writing relates to food, travel, beverages and personalities of the Northwest. But I’ve also written about tequila at the Cuervo Family distillery in Mexico, French spa cuisine and won a Society of Professional Journalists award for my profile of Mario Batali in Alaska Airlines a few years ago. Many and varied interests help assure a work life that never is dull.
My longest stretch away from home was a 2 1/2 year stint in France studying, and later working, at the venerable La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, under the direction of Anne Willan. Seattle will always be home, and Paris and Burgundy will always my homes-away-from home.