How delightfully different this odd-one-out is when you look at the cookbooks published in recent years. None of the extravagant, no-expense-spared styled photos of dishes, printed on expensive silky paper in faraway countries to keep the consumer price at least somewhat palatable. No, this book was thought up and created during the first lockdown, when the author was unable to carry out her work, and so made a virtue of necessity. Here too: the book’s strength lies in its limitations. And, as we would expect these days from a rather headstrong author, she personally assembled a publishing team, which then made this production a more than convincing reality: from photographer to designer, from editor to the printer round the corner. The fun to be had ‘making books’ is plain to see.
This resulted in a typographically over-simplified, yet effective layout. Perfectly lay-flat thanks to the binding – extremely useful when you are cooking. The theme of ‘crisis’ is expressed in absolutely every aspect. From the starting point of cucina povera recipes by top chefs to the leftover paper the book is printed on.
No, this is not an avant-garde cookery book, and crisis recipes are as old as the road to Rome; but in this case so many pieces fall beautifully into place that it is not only the delicious recipes that get the mouth watering. The whole is nuanced enough to consider this a very successful book.
The lack of an index is a shame, but understandable in view of the book’s retail price. Which only makes it all the more noble that a substantial part of the proceeds is being donated to The Foodbank.