Rachel Vdolek had a stable, well-paying job as a chemist at Boeing. But the Sumner resident had a hunger to do something else with her career.
“I love writing, I love food, I have a food blog, so I thought, ‘Why not write a cookbook?’” the University of Washington graduate asked herself.
So Vdolek quit her job and decided to combine her two passions: cooking and writing. She’s transformed herself into full-time cookbook author and coach who helps others write and self-publish cookbooks.
Her first book, “The Spring Kitchen,” ultimately kicked off her career as an author.
“I just fell in love with it,” the 26-year-old Vdolek said. “It was so much fun. I got a huge response from it from everyone, so I wrote three more.”
After several painful rejections from big publishing companies, Vdolek eventually decided to start publishing her own books. The ability to set her own schedule and take all of her own photos seemed like a better option for her.
“It’s a lot harder that way because you don’t have a huge marketing department to work for you, but I’m learning the marketing tips and how to get my books out there,” she said.
In addition to writing and publishing her own cookbooks, Vdolek coaches others through self-publishing their first cookbook through her business, South Sound Kitchen.
“They go really well together,” she said about her two businesses.
The choice to write about an alternative following in the cooking world was an easy one. Vdolek was diagnosed in 2008 with an allergy to dairy and eggs. She didn’t end up removing her allergens completely from her diet until 2011 — after years of denial. She couldn’t take the toll on her body anymore and cut it out of her diet. She hasn’t looked back since.
Vdolek has tried to produce recipes containing ingredients she not only enjoyed, but could also eat without an adverse reaction. After talking with family members and social media connections, she concluded that there just aren’t any good recipes out there that don’t contain dairy and eggs. As a result, the self-proclaimed food lover has now started a dairy- and egg-free cookbook series.
“I started with soups; now I’m working on comfort foods and I’ll eventually get to breakfast foods, sandwiches, salads and all sorts of stuff,” she said.
After leaving her more financially-stable career as a chemist behind, Vdolek is now living her dream of working with food on a daily basis.
“It’s been scary, but it’s been fun because it motivates me to work really hard. I’m making my own money,” she said. “I like the fact that I can put my heart and soul into it and see something out of it.”
For more on Vdolek’s business, visit southsoundkitchen.com. To purchase one of her books, search for Rachel Vdolek on amazon.com.