Having a hobby that turns into a successful career is something dreams are made of, but for Barry C. Parsons, author of the wildly popular Rock Recipes: The Best Food From My Newfoundland Kitchen, success is a result of much more than just love. It takes non-stop dedication and an unwavering work ethic.
God knows it’s paid off for Parsons. Released in November of 2014, Rock Recipes is now in its 4th printing, over 10,000 copies have been sold and it’s still going strong. Rebecca Rose, President of Breakwater Books had this to say about its success, “The demand for the title is so unanimous that Barry has already begun compiling a sequel due out in fall 2015! A self-professed non-chef, Barry has been a much loved and well-established food blogger for almost a decade. His extraordinarily devoted fan base has made him a social media dynamo.” True story. Even Oprah tweeted about him. Well, OWN did, Oprah’s network, but it’s all the same right? The Rock Recipes website immediately saw a 15,000-person bump in visits.
Parsons remains humble. He’s too busy working to really think about it. “With two books written, a website redesign and relaunch, book promotion, and new freelance work, all in the past year alone, I haven’t really paused to think about it. It’s hard to get perspective on change when change is always happening. Most people would see my blog as well established but I honestly see my blog as still growing with a lot of work to be done to improve it. I do have a bad habit of downplaying my successes but I will say that it didn’t happen without a lot of work. Even before I left my day job, I treated my blog like a job and felt responsible to do that job as well as I could. People are somewhat envious of folks like me who get to set their own schedules and work from home. I always say that it might be in my sweats and a t-shirt with my hair uncombed and a coffee cup in hand, but I got up this morning and went to work. I’ll do the same tomorrow morning.”
Parsons’ next book will have brand new recipes “firmly footed in family-centered home cooking plus simple food ideas for entertaining.” Future projects will likely include a baking book, a Christmas cookbook, and possibly some food product development.
During the interview I put Parsons on the spot and asked him to describe the perfect three course meal from Rock Recipes. With difficulty he outlined an appetizer of Scallop Lemongrass Soup for its simple flavours (he personally loves seafood appetizers), Dijon Chicken Linguine with Crimini Mushrooms and Toasted Almonds for the main, and Sticky Toffee Pudding to finish because it’s a warm, memorable dessert. Quoting his spouse, he says, “Ya gotta love warm carbs!” I’m sure there are tons of Rock Recipes fans out there who wholeheartedly agree.