Accurate. On Time. Experienced.
My name is Zachary R. Townsend. I go by "Zach." I am a freelance French to English translator of fifteen books (eleven cookbooks) and counting. I am also a proofreader, recipe tester, and ingredient conversion expert. In short, I'm all about the nitty-gritty of your manuscript—and I love it! I help food editors perfect their manuscripts and gain peace of mind by meeting their goals.
I love books, the arts, language, and food. I am also a professional baker and chocolatier, teaching others about the amazing world of chocolate, and this practical experience offers unique expertise for your manuscripts.
Expertise in Language
My knack for language developed early. My formal education included an undergraduate minor in French, an international MBA with an emphasis in French language and culture, and enrollment in an École Supérieur de Commerce in Paris. After my formal education was complete, I worked in France for a Fortune 500 company. Language constantly evolves, so as a language professional I study it constantly. I obtained the D.E.L.F. (2nd Degré) certification in French in 2003. For my clients, I follow The Chicago Manual of Style or The AP Stylebook in conjunction with their in-house style guides.
Expertise in Food + Drink/Cookbooks/Wine
My family has been in food businesses since 1903, and each of us has an area of cooking expertise. I began my professional path in culinary arts while I was in business school in Paris where I befriended the Jambon family, founders of Jeff de Bruges chocolate company, and thus began my particular focus in chocolate and pastry. I have traveled throughout France multiple times for hands-on learning (once while writing my own book on the soups of France) to discover and learn the complex details of its cuisine, both home cooking and haute cuisine. I am owner of two chocolate-focused companies: Pure Chocolate Desserts by Zach and Dallas Chocolate Classes (recognized by Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine as a fun activity across the nation for food enthusiasts). I have worked with Rose Levy Beranbaum, IACP award-winning author of The Cake Bible (HMH), as recipe tester and contributor for her second IACP Cookbook of the Year Rose's Heavenly Cakes, in which I also have a featured recipe. I have a recipe featured in the beautiful cookbook Flavorful (HMH) by Tish Boyle, and I have written several articles for Dessert Professional magazine. One of the most enjoyable parts of my culinary career is serving as Texas State Fair chocolate dessert judge, a prestigious honor. I also serve as judge for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ProStart program and volunteer as a presenter for cooking merit badge classes for the Boy Scouts of America. My diverse culinary background resulted in an invitation to serve as a contributor to The New York Times microblog on cake. I also worked for a brief time at La Petite Rose pâtisserie in Paris. In 2009 I was asked to serve one of my chocolate cakes to former President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
My cookbook writing and editing experiences range from home cooking recipes to the recipes for an MOF and Michelin three-star chef. I study food, cookbooks, and food news constantly, and I dine out constantly, observing menus and food trends while befriending chefs and mixologists, learning about their latest methods and use of ingredients in savory and pastry. I maintain my culinary skills by cooking each day and with occasional formal classes, such as at the French Pastry School in Chicago and the Cordon Bleu in Paris. Just like language, food culture is always evolving, and always fascinating.
Expertise in providing service
As a consummate professional, you'll find my communication style proactive and detailed. I am a certified project manager (PMP) by the Project Management Institute, so I understand organization and time management, and I believe in "white-glove" service for all of my clients, sharing their sense of passion, urgency, and commitment to their manuscripts. I respond to all inquiries within four hours. Because of my experience and reputation, I have had the honor of working with some of the best editors and authors in the world.
Oh, I've translated in other topics, too . . .
Art overlaps. So although I specialize in gastronomy, I've translated amazing titles covering the topics of architecture and fashion.
For a full list of my titles, please inquire . . .