Born in Watauga County, North Carolina, high in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sheri Castle grew up a voracious reader, especially of cookbooks. She wrote her first recipe—for a smoothie she named the Hawaiian Tropic Sunset Delight—at the age of four, and submitted it to a local housekeeping television show. At thirteen, she worked her way through the Joy of Cooking. Years later, Castle won Southern Living’s first annual holiday recipe contest. A completely self-taught cook, she started doing recipe development and ghostwriting cookbooks for numerous chefs across the nation. After nearly a decade writing in the voice of others, Castle published her own book, The New Southern Garden, in 2011. She is recognized industry-wide for her palate, the reliability of her recipes, and for being an eleventh-hour “fixer” for struggling cookbooks and restaurant kitchens. Castle continues to prolifically publish books, recipes, and essays: under her own name, for brands including Southern Living and Le Creuset, and as a ghostwriter.