Octopus Books imprint Hamlyn has picked up Can You Make That Gluten-Free?, the first cookbook from reality TV star and "Celebrity Masterchef" finalist Megan McKenna.
Eleanor Maxfield, publishing director, acquired world all languages rights from Jo Bell at Bell Lomax Moreton on behalf of Jade Reuben at Bold Management. Publication is slated for 28th April 2022.
Growing up, McKenna was constantly unwell and found herself eating her lunches alone in the stairwell at school. Following her coeliac diagnosis, her mum taught her to cook everything from scratch and "she finally gained the strength and resilience to enjoy food again". Her first cookbook will "prove that anyone, regardless of dietary requirements can eat delicious, mouthwatering meals, just like everybody else — simply by swapping a few ingredients along the way".
McKenna rose to fame on reality TV shows including "Ex on the Beach", "Celebrity Big Brother" and "The Only Way Is Essex". Her 2018 memoir Mouthy (John Blake) was a Sunday Times bestseller.
She commented: "I can’t wait to share these recipes so everyone can have a go and enjoy them as much as I do! Growing up, I always struggled when I visited friends and went to eat out at restaurants – they didn’t know how to cater for me, so I know how frustrating and challenging it can be. Times have changed and I’m here to help. It’s my mission to shake things up and show people how easy it is to make anything gluten-free and delicious."
Maxfield said: "Megan has not only proved herself to be a warm and approachable face when it comes to discussing coeliac disease, but she’s also proved she can deliver mind-blowingly tasty dishes that redefine gluten-free cooking. This is fun, bold, flavoursome food to get excited about, and Megan’s passion makes it accessible for everyone to enjoy."