First-year UC Santa Barbara student Elaine Skiadas isn’t so much precocious as she is creative and hungry. When the pandemic hit, the Glencoe, Illinois, native took to Instagram to post recipes. “I could just make stuff up and put it on the Internet,” she recalls. Her Wandering Chickpea persona grew in popularity, gave birth to a blog, and even gave her motivation to buy a better camera.
Two years into the project, she got an email out of the blue from Page Street Publishing asking if she might be interested in writing a cookbook. “I thought, ‘This has to be a joke — I’m 17,’” she says. In a Zoom call, the publisher made an offer and gave her a week to decide. She got back in touch in two hours. She admits, “In my head, a book was a goal that was 10 years out.” On April 11, she will become the 18-year-old author of Fantastic Vegan Recipes for the Teen Cook.
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