Despite the existence of good designers who can’t cook, cooking and designing books still have a lot to do with each other. Think of the importance of good ingredients, the common element of layeredness, the division into starter, main course and dessert and preliminaries, main text and end matter, and the role of measurement, timing and improvisation. The parallels could no longer be ignored when a cookery book appeared on the table that has been written and designed by one and the same person, a graphic designer who went to work in Italy as a cook.
Koken tussen Vulkanen is concerned with the cuisine of southern Italy and never loses sight of the region’s history. On the extreme right of each spread we can see how long people have been using the ingredients used on that spread – for one or two panel members, a constant device that was a little too much of a good thing. Postage-stamp-size photos illustrate the recipes and cock a snook at the page-filling ‘kitchen porn’ that seems to be de rigueur in this genre of works.
The book is finished with an open spine so that it lies open on the worktop even without the aid of a perspex cookbook stand. A double cover of rough card at front and back, then, positively cries out for grease and gravy stains. The fresh green glue used for the spine occasionally peeks through in the folds of the sections like sprouting cress.