Updated: Apr 15
Writer Name: Sian Rose
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Years of Experience: 6+
Available for writing projects: Yes
Niche/Beat/Genre: Caribbean cuisine + culture, food photography
Website: Sian's Cooking
Favorite food: White rice with cheese. Chips and salsa
Writing tip for fellow writers: Everybody eats. Tailor your writing to reflect the foods and things that you love.
Sian Rose is a chef and food writer based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She owns and operates Sian's Caribbean Kitchen, where she serves authentic and inspired Caribbean cuisines.
In addition to sharing recipes and insights on her blog Sianscooking.com, Sian published a cookbook in 2014 called Nyammings: 88 Authentic Caribbean Recipes.
Tell us a little about why you started writing.
My daughter’s penchant for texting and emailing what she wanted me to cook motivated me to write my own recipes. That eventually led to my moonlighting as a caterer.
An opportunity to appear on The Food Network prompted me to translate my blog into my first cookbook.
Other writing and cooking opportunities followed, and Sian’s Cooking was born.
Tell us more about your experience with The Food Network.
In 2014, I applied online and was selected to appear on Cutthroat Kitchen. I didn’t win, but being able to credibly put Food Network on my resume definitely opened a lot of doors.
A weekly Food & Lifestyle column for the Miami Times and contributions to other publications came about as a direct result of my appearance on the show.
What are your favorite topics to write about?
Besides food, culture and travel.
What has been your biggest achievement as a chef and/or writer?
Accepting that I had more to learn and finally going to culinary school after 20+ years in the kitchen. I earned my certification in June 2020 and ordered my kitchen as I sat in my virtual graduation.
How is your relationship with food affected by you being a writer, or vice versa?
Writing about food has given me a deeper appreciation for how the cultural influences and the preparation can impact the flavor of any food.
Do you have any favorite books that you would recommend?
The 2000 edition of The Encyclopedia of Cooking Skills & Techniques has followed me across two countries and three states in 20 years.
Any favorite kitchen products?
I cannot function without a sharp chef’s knife, a Dutch oven and a good pot with a heavy bottom. My KitchenAid mixer though has become my favorite accessory.
Favorite food writers or food-related TV shows/movies?
Ratatouille has all the elements of a great movie and the graphics were amazing. Chef’s Table introduced me to Francis Mallmann and Nancy Silverton. Somewhere South convinced me that Vivian Howard is my chef alter ego. Her love for Southern culture inspires me.
Are there chefs or bloggers who inspire you?
Do you have plans for more books?
My second book is a 5-year-old work in progress. After self-publishing the first cookbook, I found so many faults that I become paralyzed with fear at the thought of a second book. I do have two drafts that I keep editing with the intent of sending it to the editor. In the meantime, I keep busy peddling food from my kitchen at 1202 Market Street in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
What do you feel would need to be "right" or "perfect" before you're able to move forward with another book?
I would like the recipes in the next book to represent the entire Caribbean region. The selection process, and how to tell each island’s story, has been a challenge. Caribbean folks are very passionate about their heritage. We have also done a very good job of preserving our food culture across the region. The last thing I would want to do is dilute that. I also need to find a good editor so I can avoid the grammatical and formatting errors I made in the first book.