When Chef Ben Ford opened Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, CA in 2006, it was the first gastropub on the West Coast and one of the only restaurants in the neighborhood. Introducing the greater Los Angeles area to his adventurous snout-to-tail cooking style and cooking with only the best local ingredients available, Ben’s presence helped to revitalize the community and make Culver City a thriving culinary and business destination. After receiving significant media attention in the mid-2000s for his progressive menu and involvement in the slow food movement, Ben solidified his role as one of the most distinguished chefs in Los Angeles, but his name was not widely recognized on a national scene. After years in the kitchen Ford’s Filling Station, Ben saw a gap in the market for a cookbook that celebrated whole animal cooking and large-scale home entertaining—two of his personal passions. In May 2014, Ben prepared to launch his first cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, and enlisted The Brooks Group to handle both his personal representation and to support his cookbook launch to amplify media coverage on a local and national level.
With just one month to prepare, we hit the ground running to coordinate a cookbook launch party in Los Angeles which was attended by more than two dozen media including PopSugar, Los Angeles Weekly, Playboy, Grubstreet and West Coast freelance writers for Travel + Leisure and Refinery29 and resulted in substantial top tier media coverage. Following the launch, we sustained momentum by generating strategic placements in top tier national media including a multi-recipe Thanksgiving feature in Popular Mechanics, several features in People and Tailgater Monthly, and regional newspaper placements including Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
In June 2014, we secured an opportunity for Ben to visit Meredith Corporation’s Test Kitchen where he cooked one half dozen recipes from his cookbook for editors from Every Day with Rachael Ray, Parents, Family Circle and more, and hosted a Q&A following the demo.
To further increase Ben’s visibility on a national level, we executed outreach to top-tier broadcast outlets, additional print publication and a selection of digital media outlets.
As a result of Ben’s demo in the Meredith Test Kitchen, Rachael Ray Every Day did an 8 page DIY clambake feature in the January issue and we secured a 12 page barbeque recipe and entertaining feature in the July issue of Family Circle. We secured cooking segments with The Today Show, CBS ‘The Dish,’ Access Hollywood Live and The Talk. Significant press coverage for Ben and his cookbook across various media ultimately led to increased cookbook sales and help drive further acclaim for his overall brand.