Meet cookbook author Max Miller this week at the One Book One Community celebration

Max Miller says the history bug bit him young—so when he grew up, he created a book that would allow everyone to take a bite of history. 

Miller is the mind behind Tasting History: Explore the Past Through 4,000 Years of Recipes. The New York Times Best Seller is this year’s pick for the One Book One Community program organized by the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. And this Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m., the Main Library at Goodwood is hosting a a meet-and-greet event with the Los Angeles-based author and creator of the Tasting History with Max Miller channel on YouTube.

Miller’s book is the 18th pick for One Book One Community, an annual spring program that was initially inspired by the Washington Center for the Book’s program in 1998. That program spread to cities across the country, encouraging local readers to read a selected book and gather for themed events and discussions about literature. 

Miller has been chronicling history since his childhood, when he recalls writing historical plays as a third grader. He later became enthralled with baking after watching The Great British Bake Off. He especially enjoyed how the show would weave in food history.

While later working for The Walt Disney Studios, he says he yearned to create content of his own. After leaving Disney, he began recording videos for YouTube. He’s since posted more than 300 videos and amassed about 2.3 million subscribers.

Author Max Miller

After only a few months on YouTube, Miller says he was approached by a Simon & Schuster editor about writing a cookbook. He worked with a seasoned recipe writer Ann Volkwein to help turn his recipes into something people could easily follow and reproduce at home. The actual writing of the book took about two years, Miller says, since he was simultaneously hosting his YouTube series. 

“I don’t even want to say I wanted to write a cookbook—it wanted to be written. … There is history in absolutely everything,” Miller says. “I think that if you can just find your entry point into history, it’s so fascinating. There’s so much out there, and it tells us so much about ourselves now.”

Now, he is excited to meet Baton Rouge fans through the One Book One Community event. During the visit, he says he is hoping to learn more about the city’s culinary history. 

“I’m only there for a day, but I’m hoping to pack in not only this event, but some good food and some history,” Miller says. 

Saturday’s event will include a moderated discussion and Q&A with Miller. He will sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase. There will also be a giveaway with wine, chocolate and a copy of the book. The Main Library at Goodwood is at 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Find more info here.