October 12, 2011

They Draw and Cook by Nate Padavick, Salli Swindell [ book review ]


They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World
buy at Amazon 
buy at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide) 

They Draw and Cook

Don't know what to cook tonight? See what ingredients you have in your kitchen and find a recipe at They Draw and Cook. Or, just dip into They Draw and Cook, fresh out of the oven. There're 107 recipes in this book, all wonderfully illustrated by artists from around the world. Need breakfast? How about madeleines? Looking for a more filling meal? Try the black bean chicken soup or chile and lime sea bream. Prefer vegetarian? There's the colcannon - it's fat-free too. All the better to finish it all off with a rich chocolate crepe or (and???) coconut macaroons.

They Draw and Cook is a fun, colorful and creative cook book, the first born of the marvellous blog of the same name which is now home to several thousand recipes contributed by a variety of people. I'm a big fan of TDAC. You can read a meaty post I wrote about the They Draw and Cook blog in April, which includes interviews with several people who have contributed recipes to the blog. Not all contributors are professional artists, some are folks who just love to eat or draw. The best thing about the blog is anyone can submit a recipe, so what are you waiting for?

The recipes featured in the book are not new, but they are still a yummy feast for the eyes. It's just too bad the book is such a lean sampling of the blog's offerings! I don't envy Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell (the brother-and-sister design team who created the blog) the tough job they must have had whittling down the list of recipes to include in the publication. If you're unhappy just skimming the surface, go over to the blog to indulge yourself.

The final selection includes recipes that should please most palates, satisfy sweet cravings, feed regular daily needs as well as cater to special occasions. The book includes everything from dips and snacks to main courses, desserts and cocktails. The foods offered for your viewing and cooking pleasures originate from all over the world, so unless you hate to experiment, They Draw and Cook is a delicious resource for different cuisines. The recipes lean towards the visual - the art is often the dominant element but the recipes are for the most part simple to follow. Another tasty thing about this collection is the range of artistic styles: there's pretty, there's stylish, there's cartoonish and there's cute. Overall, it's stuffed full of gorgeousness.

I first fell in love with illustrated books when I saw Sarah Midda's South of France in the 90s (republished in 2008) before my reading habits gravitated towards hard news and serious non-fiction. I came across They Draw and Cook at a time when I was rediscovering my crafty side and the blog helped reignite my interest in illustrations and art books. I'm so glad I now have a part - albeit small - of the blog in book form. There's nothing like flipping through inspiring and juicily drawn pages to get you salivating and your creative juices flowing.

I've just got my copy of the book and haven't taken any photos yet, will post some of my favorite illustrations when I do.

Meanwhile, take a look at this video for a glimpse of this must-have book. Enjoy.

They Draw & Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World (YouTube)

Nate and Salli launched a similar website this year for maps of cities and towns. I can't wait to see a book for They Draw and Travel :)

They Draw and Cook

They Draw & Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World
Authors: Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell
Publisher: Weldon Owen
ISBN: 978-1616281380

buy at Amazon 
buy at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

[ check out my April 2011 blogpost on the blog, They Draw and Cook ]
[ check out my book reviews ]
[ check out my posts on art ]
[ check out my posts on food ]

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