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I’m either in the kitchen or the garden…

Anne Byrn | The Cake Mix Doctor | Nashville, TN

I’m Anne Byrn, food writer and author. I love chocolate cake, garden tomatoes, a good story, and dinner on the porch. I love dogs, Nashville, traveling, reading, and asking a lot of questions.

I write cookbooks that tell stories. The kind of book you can read like a novel if you want to - never even setting foot in the kitchen. But hopefully I make you hungry and you want to heat the oven, crack the eggs, and start cooking. I’m fortunate to have worked my entire life in the food world - a place that feeds, sustains, and constantly amuses.

Anne Byrn | The Cake Mix Doctor | Nashville, TN

Decades ago, I pulled up a stool in my mother’s kitchen and watched her fry chicken and stir chocolate fudge icing on top of the stove. I was the child who smelled cinnamon rolls baking and couldn’t get to the breakfast table fast enough. I flipped through cookbooks while my friends read teen magazines. I volunteered to cook dinner for my sisters when our parents went out, and I worked for my hometown newspaper in high school and college as an intern. One day I wanted to write about food.

That day came when I got the job at the Atlanta Journal, a place where I grew up and learned that to excel at food writing you must understand what the reader needs to know. And you’ve got to be able to cook! So I took a leave of absence to study classic French cooking in Paris - yes!, it’s true - and then I returned to the newspaper to write restaurant reviews in a city that was absolutely exploding with growth. I married. I had three children. And then I got an idea for a book that wasn’t gourmet at all, but it appealed to me at my stage in life.

I had secretly been hoarding cake mixes in my Nashville pantry for those last-minute desserts, and this book would be full of creative ways to bake cakes that begin with a mix but are slathered with homemade frosting and presented so beautifully no one would doubt they were made from scratch - The Cake Mix Doctor.

The irony is that The Cake Mix Doctor success and travel came in the midst of raising children and my parents becoming ill. It was a time in my life that was both bitter and sweet. I adored traveling on book tour, appearing on morning TV and QVC, and meeting all of you. But even more, I loved returning home to my young family at the end of the week.

What I’ve learned as a writer, wife, cook, mother, sister, friend, and daughter is all in my cookbooks, woven in prose between blackened snapper, vegetable soup, and brownie recipes. You might think these books are just recipes, but really, they are about creating a rich, wonderful, and delicious life.


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Recipe Index

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