As you may be able to tell from my images, as well as being obsessed with photography and film, I am also obsessed with food. So anything that combines these two obsessions, such as a cookbook with good photography, makes me very excited!
I thought I would share my four favourite cookbooks of the last few months. These are the books that I have turned to again and again, for both culinary and photographic inspiration. For me a truly good cookbook is one that combines good recipes with memorable images. It’s a book that makes me want to cook and also makes we want to take pictures. These books don’t just sit on a shelf in the kitchen: they often end up spending time on my coffee table or beside my bed.
by Russell Norman
Photography by Jenny Zarins
Polpo is a trio of restaurants serving Venetian cuisine, based in London. The book contains a hundred recipes from the restaurant and is designed in such a way that it lies flat on a surface. The food photography is stunning but it’s the introduction pages, filled with images of Venice, that drew me in to the whole Venetian experience and made me want to jump on a plane and visit those beautiful canals again. Of course the Italian recipes help as I am a huge fan of Italian cuisine; I would definitely recommend the pork belly, radicchio and hazelnut recipe for the winter months.
by Chad Robertson
Photography by Eric Wolfinger
I still remember the day we discovered Tartine when we lived in San Francisco in 2003. After that we visited it on a regular basis and even bought our daughter Ella’s birthday cake there (it came with gold leaf as they didn’t have glitter). This book was recommended to me while I was learning how to make sourdough bread at the E5 bakehouse. Eric Wolfinger, the photographer, started as a surfer, trained as a chef and later became a baker. I really think you can tell he’s a baker as well as a photographer, especially when he shows the techniques for kneading in beautiful close-up. Reading this book is as near as you can get to making sourdough without actually getting your hands dirty.
It’s All Good
by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen
Photography by Ditte Isager
This book has been my favourite cookbook of the summer; I even bought it in Kindle form so that I could take it on my iPad on holiday. I cook from it every week with its wonderful recipes (try the Thai Meatballs or the roast chicken recipe) even though we can all eat gluten in our family. And I adore the photography spreads, with beautiful arrangements of pictures sprinkled throughout the book in matching colour palettes. It is visually stunning but also conveys how much Gwyneth and her co-author Julia Turshen love cooking.
The Kinfolk Table
by Nathan Williams
Photography by Leo Patrone and Parker Fitzgerald
Debra has previously written a post on Kinfolk for MM and while I love the magazine, this book is so much more. The styling is exquisite and very consistent, with beautiful, cosy photography. There are intimate glimpses into people’s lives, their homes and what they cook which adds to the whole Kinfolk experience. The book is organised into sections according to places in the world (Brooklyn, Portland etc). I have yet to try any of the recipes, but I know there will be some winners in there. And the photographs are a feast in themselves.
Which cookbooks have inspired you both in the kitchen and behind the camera? Tell us in the comments.