Tamron Hall and her coauthor Lish Steiling will release ‘A Confident Cook' on Sept. 3
The host of daytime talk show Tamron Hall teamed up with the James Beard Award winner for her first-ever cookbook, A Confident Cook: Recipes for Joyous, No-Pressure Fun in the Kitchen, on sale this September. PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the cover, which features Hall and Steiling back to back in the kitchen.
“It's a story of two girls with the same haircut and the same dream,” Hall laughs to PEOPLE.
The talk show host wasn't always a "confident cook." Her interest in food was “inspired” by her father, who died shortly after she moved to New York and started working at the Today Show in 2014.
“He cooked and prepared every meal for us. And, after he passed away, we knew we would miss many, many things, but his cooking, and the tradition of the love, was just a cavernous hole,” she says.
Hall struggled to find her footing in the kitchen, despite having cooked alongside many chefs in cooking segments. “A two-minute cooking segment, or quick thing with a chef on a TV show, does not turn you, believe it or not, into a good cook at home,” she jokes.
This is where Steiling stepped in. “We met when I was still at the Today Show, and Lish was a part of the food styling team and the culinary team. And, I noticed that she had a tattoo of a radish and a carrot. And I thought, ‘Anyone bold enough to tattoo vegetables on their bodies got to know something about cooking,’” says Hall.
The pair first bonded over a love of working out (their first friend-date was a bootcamp exercise class in Central Park) but Steiling quickly became a supportive way for the veteran journalist to learn to cook. Hall would text and call her with any and all kitchen questions, she explains.
“This cooking by text, and me sending the pictures, gave me confidence. And, my friendship with Lish offered this great opportunity, with modern technology, to build my confidence,” she says.
The friends want readers to feel this kind of hands-on help in the pages of their new cookbook, which is available for pre-order now.
“One of the biggest compliments I received with friends testing recipes was when they would say, ‘I could hear you guys talking to me. I could feel you in the kitchen standing next to me,’” says Steiling.
“You can turn up the heat, you can turn down the heat, you can add more salt. There's so many things that people think you have to stick to the recipe, but so much of cooking is using all of your senses; and it's an emotion, it's a feeling. To know that you can follow that feeling and that instinct is empowering,” she continues.
They share recipes like Baked French Toast with Berries and Harissa Roasted Carrots with Queso Fresco, and have options for cooking for one or a whole crew. The cookbook also includes information on what pantry staples and kitchen tools the pair think are really necessary, since Hall struggled with that herself.
“Right when I started to get the courage to even explore cooking, I went out and truly bought so many items at Williams Sonoma five people had to help. I mean, it looked like the scene from Pretty Woman when she left with all of the bags,” Hall recalls with a laugh, explaining that Steiling offered advice on sorting through her kitchen drawers.
Now, Hall hopes her viewers can get to the place she is today.
“People say they want to hang out with me on my talk show," she says, "but I want the person reading the book to say, ‘I want to sit at that table with them. I want to have that breakfast sandwich with them. And, I want to make it for my friends or my family.’”
A Confident Cook will go on sale Sept. 3 and is available for pre-order now.
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