April 5, 2022
For the past 40 years The Lisa Ekus Group has listened to the heartbeat of the culinary industry and adjusted to its changes, providing successful PR, Literary, Media Training, and Talent services. On its 40th anniversary the agency’s innovation is on display once more as it welcomes new leadership, a name change, and its newly created self-paced online cookbook writing course.
How to Write a Cookbook: a course on pitches, proposals, and publishing by The Ekus Group© pulls back the curtain on cookbook publishing and offers the definitive playbook on this niche area of publishing. It brings the agency’s 40 years of culinary expertise to those who have a passion for connecting with people through food.
“When we realized there were vastly more folks wanting to learn from us than hours in the day, we created both in-person and online workshops on cookbook publishing and increased the range of our consulting offerings,” said Lisa Ekus, founding partner.
“Over the years we hear the same questions and frustrations from people wanting to know how publishing works,” said Sally Ekus, co-owner and lead agent who created the course. “This course is the answer to the question ‘What do I need to do to become a cookbook author?’ Just because we don’t represent someone doesn’t mean we don’t want to offer our expertise and insight.”
The agency is committed to helping culinary talent navigate the ever-changing landscape of the industry with confidence. This dedication will continue to be realized as the agency evolves again to become The Ekus Group, a name change that signifies Sally’s stepping into the role of full partner and leading the company into the future.
“The landscape of the industry is continually changing, and I am excited to step into this role and rise to the challenge of meeting its demands,” said Sally. “We were built on Lisa’s innovation, a strong thread that has run through these past 40 years. I have no doubt we will continue to shift with the times in what we have to offer, while holding to our core values and staying a trusted resource.”
Lisa Ekus started the company in April of 1982 in a small New England town after leaving Manhattan. She booked multi-city national book tours and events for authors and chefs, essentially creating what we now know as culinary celebrities. In 2000 the business evolved from being the first and only specialized culinary book PR agency in the country to an exclusively focused culinary literary agency. This progression encompassed its media training program, talent agency, literary agency, and consulting services.
Lisa said, “If I had to sum up these 40 years with one word, I’d say innovation. I innovated a new company when women business owners were few and far between. I saw a need and a niche in focusing on cookbook authors and chefs early on. I listened when the producers and our authors needed guidance on how to promote their cookbooks in the media and publicize their brand. When corporations came our way to have their products represented by our authors and chefs, I built that opportunity into a Talent Agency, focusing on culinary, with a dash of health and wellness thrown in.”
Over the years the Ekus Group has worked with such luminaries as Emeril Lagasse, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, David Joachim, Meathead, Patricia Wells, Nava Atlas, Chef Todd Richards, Ronni Lundi, Toni Tipton-Martin, and Padma Lakshmi, among hundreds more. Corporate clients have included Unilever, Kraft, Campbell’s Soup, American Roland Foods, Al Forno Restaurant Group, and every major publisher in the US, and many abroad.
“Whether it’s through an official agenting capacity or via a one-time consultation, we strive to be a pillar of guidance and resources for those in the industry, working with others to achieve their goals,” Lisa said. “When people ask me what I do, I often say, ‘I make dreams come true.’”