When it comes to cookbook design, it's the Wild West out there!
Maybe its because cookbooks, stalwart sellers in a digital age,
have the luxury of experimentation as buyers hunt down increasingly
charming and quirky gifts. Maybe it has to do with our
increasingly visual culture.
In any case, I've posted about some of these graphic innovations on earlier occasions.
And more recently I've looked at the sometimes astonishingly
beautiful children's picture cookbooks we've seen of
But - suddenly, it seems - now
I'm seeing cookbooks that have a distinctly comic
feel. There's The Vegan
Stoner Cookbook, whose meticulously water-colored little
visions make me boggle at what the authors must be capable of when
they're not high.
Then there's Cooking
Comically, a starter cookbook in which each square-format page
is a 4-panel spread with step-by-step instructions, super-casual
style: "Shred that mozz!" "Stir that s***!" "Give your
potatoes to the drowned god!" i.e., boil then. I can't
imagine using this book, but while it's in my hands I can't
And then there's the
surprisingly serious-minded In
the Kitchen with Alain Passard, which really is a true graphic
novel offering a glimpse into Chef's actual life at the stove and
the pressure cooker that is a restaurant kitchen.
It's funny. Although I'm probably the last person in America who
doesn't enjoy watching food preparation on TV/video/Youtube, I
really like these very visual books. Not for cooking from,
but for reading. I think they're colorful, inventive, full of
personality. And half the time I come away thinking "if only
I could draw..."
But then those rice crackers would really never get