DK gobbles up cookery influencer Gao’s début in five-way auction



DK has snapped up Have You Eaten? Deliciously Simple Asian Cooking for Every Mood, content creator and influencer Verna Gao’s début cookbook.

Publisher Katie Cowan and DK LIfe editorial director Cara Armstrong acquired world rights from Kemi Ogunsanwo at the Good Literary Agency after a five-way auction. The book will be published on 7th September.

Gao is a London-based content creator and influencer, known as @vernahungrybanana to her more than half a million followers across Instagram and TikTok. She was born in Shanghai but moved to London in 2003 after her parents’ divorce to live with her father and stepmother. She used cooking to stay connected to her Chinese heritage.

In Have You Eaten?, Gao “makes Chinese home cooking accessible to everyone,” said the publisher. “More than just a recipe book, itis a personal journey back in time as Verna shares memories of a Shanghai childhood spent with her mother and grandma in the kitchen, stories of backpacking around the street food hotspots of East Asia, and how moving from China to Britain has shaped her identity and love of cooking, offering a personal insight into the British-Chinese experience.”

Gao called the book “the biggest and most incredible project of my life”. She added: “I hope this insight into my story around food connects with others in ways that go beyond just the recipes themselves [to] the emotions and feelings that great food can bring about.”

Armstrong described the title as “an enticingly exciting debut”, saying that “Each page brims with the flavour, personality and authenticity she is so celebrated for,” she said.

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