Chad Thilborger turned his love of food in a phenomenal cookbook, A Whole Heap of Goodness. I experienced the magic of the cookbook firsthand through my brother Howard who had been raving to me about Chad’s book. Howard had successfully…
Chad Thilborger turned his love of food in a phenomenal cookbook, A Whole Heap of Goodness. I experienced the magic of the cookbook firsthand through my brother Howard who had been raving to me about Chad’s book. Howard had successfully made two recipes from it so far and I got to taste one of them—the Chicken Chili—and was hooked. I needed to know the story behind A Whole Heap of Goodness, so I went straight to the source to get the scoop.
HOTSPOTS MAGAZINE: When did you come up with the idea to do a cookbook?
CHAD THILBORGER: I came up with the idea of the cookbook when I realized how many recipes I had worked on while growing up. I had been sharing some of these recipes with family and friends and telling the stories of each dish. Finally friends and family began suggesting I compile everything and create the cookbook.
Was it hard to come up with the title for it?
The title grew out of common sayings of the South. The book is filled with short stories and parts of my family history and heritage. The foods make me happy and bring out the best in me and hence the Whole Heap of Goodness grew out of who I am and who I want to be for others.
I read that you went home and recreated old family recipes with your mom. Can you tell me about that time?
Any time I can spend in a kitchen cooking for those I care about — both friends and family — is time beautifully spent. While putting the book together I got to go home and cook with Mom and while shooting the photos for the book Mom came to Fort Lauderdale and we got to cook even more together. Cooking with and for those you love is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
Can you tell me more about your family’s involvement?
My family and friends have all been involved in the process of this book. I got to cook for so many people while going through this process. To be able to have photos of my family to create a food memoir has been wonderful and I am looking forward to the second and third books!
Have you always loved to cook?
You asked if I have always loved to cook…the answer is best said this way: I have ALWAYS LOVED to EAT!!! I realized very soon after leaving New Orleans that if I wanted my favorite foods, I needed to learn how to cook them. The more I cooked the better I got. The better I got at it the more I realized how happy food could make people and I began sharing the stories and influences of food in my life. My love of cooking continues to grow with every meal I prepare.
I see that you grew up in Louisiana (I didn’t know that about you!) — tell me how that influenced you taste-wise and with your cooking?
Louisiana has so many different flavors. I grew up in the New Orleans area and yet my Mom’s family is from Southwestern Louisiana. Louisiana and New Orleans have so many different influences that it makes food fun.
When did you move to Fort Lauderdale?
LOL, I moved here the year of Hurricanes Charlie, Jean, and Francis.
Tell me about the moment when you realized your dream of publishing A Whole Heap was going to come true?
I think the first time I held a printed copy of the book layout I knew it was going to happen. Before that moment it felt as if the book was some sort of Electronic or Virtual project.
How have you enjoyed your book openings?
The book launch and signings have been amazing! The initial launch was held at the Atlantic Hotel here in Fort Lauderdale. So many people have asked me why I launched in Fort Lauderdale and not New Orleans. The answer is simple — My extended family. I am happy here in Fort Lauderdale and it has become my home. My Mom was able to come down for the launch and it made it perfect. Over 150 people came to the launch. I have held two other signings in Fort Lauderdale and am planning Louisiana and Mississippi signings.
I heard that your book is doing great! Please tell us more about your success (it’s so great to know someone whose dream has become a reality!)
The book has been a great starting point. I have also filmed four news segments about cooking and I am finding out how much I love sharing my passion.
I see that A Whole Heap is a lifestyle. Please expand on that/future plans etc.
There are two more books in the works. One is all entertaining ideas and party ideas with recipes. The other is a collection of dessert recipes. There is also a home linen line that should be debuting later this year.
Local wise– since you have great taste and know your food, what is YOUR favorite South Florida restaurant?
My NEWEST favorite is Sea in Lauderdale by the Sea. For a night downtown or breakfast, OB House is excellent.
And where would one purchase A Whole Heap of Goodness?
A Whole Heap of Goodness Demo & Signing
March 23, noon to 3 p.m.
Williams Sonoma at the Galleria, Fort Lauderdale