There’s been a lot of buzz (nearly 400 comments over the past week) since we’ve posted our new moderation policy, which invites professional voices to contribute to CHOW Conversations, and though it may take a bit more time to find the right balance, we’re excited to welcome new voices to the Community, sharing the inside scoop on their corners of the industry.

Andrea Nguyen, celebrated food writer and cookbook author, is one of the first industry professionals to jump in, giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process of writing her most recent cookbook, The Banh Mi Handbook. Nguyen, who has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Sunset, Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, and Saveur (to name just a few), opens herself up to the CHOW Community in her photo story “How I Wrote an Entire Book on Banh Mi.” It’s a personalized look at her writing process, from recipe development to reviewing design proofs, starting with why she decided to focus on banh mi in the first place:

“Surveying the situation, I wondered this: Could I tell the story and inspire the future of Vietnamese food in America via banh mi? Sandwiches are universal and easy for people to wrap their heads around. Since banh mi’s popularity was on the rise, there was an opportunity for nudging Vietnamese food from its ethnic margin closer to the mainstream center.”

Nguyen’s backstory on the making of her book is an exciting example of what’s to come in this new stage of the CHOW Community.

Also on the topic of cookbooks, a popular discussion on CHOW’s Home Cooking board has been the thread on this month’s Cookbook of the Month (actually, multiple cookbooks this time around, because it’s Diana Henry Month). People are sharing their favorite recipes from Henry’s Pure Simple Cooking, photos of the dishes they’ve made, and answers to questions about tricky methods in a few of the book’s recipes.

Lastly, the Q&A that caught our eye this week was abfan105’s post about “Underrated Cuisines?” asking, “Do any of you know of any world cuisines that are highly underrated?” CHOW’s editorial team chimed in suggesting that the more delicate Filipino dishes such as polvoron, silvanas, and kinilaw are often overlooked. The community seems to agree that Ethiopian, Russian, and Utahan Mormon fare also deserve more attention. Do you agree? Share your answers to abfan105’s Q&A!

Images from the The Banh Mi Handbook by Paige Green; cover image of Diana Henry: Pure Simple Cooking from Amazon.

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