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Aggie’s first cookbook sells out

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 23:02

Lee

Roger Zhang

Tai Lee, Class of 2002, released a cookbook for the restaurant he co-founded.

Chef Tai Lee, Class of 2002, held a signing party for friends, family and supporters on Thursday for his recently published “The Veritas Cookbook,” named after the local restaurant he co-founded.

Lee said the cookbook originated when he wanted to share his recipes with friends who enjoyed his cooking. It took him around six months to bring together the recipes and to portray them in a way that the general consumer could understand, he said.

The cookbook’s publication put little financial burden on Lee because the publishing company paid for the entire publishing process.

“Financially there was no downside to the publication,” Lee said. “Literally all I had to do was come up with my recipes, put them together, write the book and send it to the company. They did all the rest.”

The restaurant held 250 copies of the cookbook initially. Lee said since the publishing date, the copies have entirely sold out and only seven copies remain available on Amazon.

“It’s such a flattery,” Lee said. “I feel like I’m sharing a piece of me with the public and I couldn’t be happier about how everything is turning out.”

Lee said after the cookbook’s publication, a huge boost in sales occurred at his restaurant along with a boost in morale among employees.

“The cookbook had a hugely positive effect on business,” Lee said. “The mood of associates was so lighthearted and I saw a sense of pride in their work.”

The restaurant held 250 copies of the cookbook initially. Lee said since the publishing date, the copies have entirely sold out and only seven copies remain available on Amazon.

“It’s such a flattery,” Lee said. “I feel like I’m sharing a piece of me with the public and I couldn’t be happier about how everything is turning out.”

Lee’s favorite recipe in his book is the Mushroom Filet Mignon, which won first place in a culinary competition in association with Rudder High School in Bryan.

“I told my team, ‘In honor of you guys, I’m going to publish this recipe,’” Lee said. “The recipe definitely holds sentimental value to me.”

Several of Lee’s friends attended the signing, including Greg Deeter, notary culinary blogger for ‘Yelp!’ in the College Station area. Deeter said Lee has succeeded in a notoriously competitive career.

“The food industry is certainly a difficult industry to pursue, and it only becomes more difficult as you move up,” Deeter said. “But [Lee] has always had such a knack for it.”

Steve Smith, Brazos County judge, has been friends with Lee for several years. He said Lee’s drive to succeed is inspiring.

“[Lee] is extremely passionate about what he does,” Smith said. “He intends to be the best there is, and there’s no doubt in my mind he will be.”

Lee said “The Veritas Cookbook” marks the first fine dining cookbook to ever originate in College Station.

“I think my restaurant and this cookbook add glimmer to a city that so many people don’t view as a place of fine dining,” Lee said. “I’m so proud I’ve been able to put a positive view on this great city.”

 

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