In the next few weeks I will begin working on my very first cookbook.
Ok, it’s not my cookbook exactly, but a cookbook for a celebrity
personality that will hit the stands sometime in February 2008 (and god
no, it’s not Ms. EVOO… I have some standards, people!). I’ll be art
directing the whole shebang and providing some additional photography
for the book. And while I’m no stranger to providing creative
direction (I’ve probably art directed over a thousand photo shoots
over the past 17 years), this will be my first cookbook adventure from
beginning to end. And I’m thrilled. And excited. And nervous. And
giddy. Between nonstop emails between the editor and food stylists
("more dramatic food shots? more action shots? who’s doing wardrobe?
who’s paying me? what’s for lunch? can we hire really cute hot models?
do I get a director’s chair?") and scouting a location for the last day
of photography, I’ve been a busy boy and that’s good…it keeps me out
often get asked about the creative process and if I have a method to my
madness. I do not. I am a sponge and try to absorb as much as possible.
Inspiration comes from everywhere, and about the only thing I can count
on is that inspiration and ideas are always spontaneous. I’ve jumped
out of the shower to jot something down, pulled over on the side of the
rode to make notes, and flung my exhausted body out of bed at 3:23am to
make a note about a certain color and its relation to plate or napkin.
But because this is a big budget job it would behoove me to prepare a creative
brief so that we’re all on the same page and ready for every single
little detail and snafu that can and will arise during a week-long
Ah, there. All done.
So now that my creative brief is done and my margins are jumbled with
notes, I will rest better knowing I have a direction based on the
theme and recipes from the author. As soon as I can reveal or share the
details I will. But as I spent the past few days going through
cookbooks and identifying what I loved and disliked about them it made
me think: what are your favorite cookbooks, gentle readers? I know
we’re all pretty savvy readers here and I’d be interested in hearing
what your favorite cookbooks are and why. What makes you love a
cookbook? Is it the simplicity of recipe preparation? Colorful and
engaging photography? Wit? Good Design? Clever writing? Something new
fangled or an old trusty reliable tome?
I’d love to hear from you!