The Bookery Cook Delivers Stimulating Art to Eat

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by

bookery cook art to eatHey, are you familiar with the fantastic site The Bookery Cook? What? No?!? Well you are missing out, especially if you like art. And like to eat. In fact, that is the title of the new book from this noteworthy cookery blog: The Bookery Cook: Art to Eat. Recipes meet original illustrations by a cadre of cool artists rendering graphic interpretations of each delicious dish.

I will confess to enjoying mussels cooked in cider. But seeing it illustrated by Mesh137 certainly takes it to another level. Normally when I am contemplating a bowl of Moules Mariniere I’m not envisioning a mustachioed, muscle-bound gent with a bottle of hard cider sticking out of his underwear. (Maybe I don’t get around enough, though?)

I appreciate an image evocative of how we truly enjoy food in a most luxurious manner. Not in a “these ramps are exquisite” way, but rather along the lines of lusty, sexy, naked pleasure. Let us revel in artistically rendered food sizzle that, as in the case of Mesh137’s illustration, comes with a dose of humor, whimsy, and cleverness. (Note: I have nothing against ramps, especially ones of an exquisite nature. Call me if you find any. I’ll bring some cider.)

bookery cook art to eatJust in case you are wondering if I’m fixating a little too much on this high-topped, sideburn-sporting, ripped dude, I have to let you know I also have a thing for naked women atop floating salted caramel and pecan bars. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, right? I have to think that Gizen Vural was the perfect artist to illustrate this recipe, as she always has flour, chocolate chips, vanilla syrup, and brown sugar in her cupboard.

So how did I manage to discover The Bookery Cook? Well, at last year’s International Food Blogger Conference in Portland, OR, I happened to teach a food and wine pairing seminar. There were Skittles, jalapeños, and a sparkling Riesling called Sext. And a whole lot more. One of the attendees was Maxine Thompson who, along with her two sisters, Jessica and Georgia, is responsible for the delightful site and the totally cool cookbook. Maxine and I struck up a post-conference correspondence, which led to her interviewing me for The Bookery Cook. I also can verify she’s a good egg. I mean, how can I not be charmed by a person who enjoys drinking Champagne on a sunny balcony in the afternoon:

Well-done, Maxine. The student has become the teacher.

Maxine can be super-proud of the work she’s done with her sisters to get The Bookery Cook: Art to Eat published. (I haven’t got my hands on the book yet. But, based on what I’ve seen from The Bookery Cook and these preview pages, I can’t imagine it being anything less than ultra-fantastic.)

But that’s not all Maxie’s had to celebrate this month. She just graduated from The French Culinary Institute in New York City, receiving a Grand Diplome in Classic Culinary Arts. Damn, what a month May 2013 has turned out to be for her. Toast to her success and bright future on your own sunny balcony, and hope to be lucky enough to leisurely page through The Bookery Cook: Art to Eat at the same time.


15 Responses

  1. Speaking of imagery….every time I pop onto your blog and see your picture, eating chips & drinking wine, it makes me want to do that. Immediately. Chips (kettle chips in particular) and wine are my top two fave things…and cheese. Cheese & wine tie it up and are slightly ahead of chips…

    Great post, as usual!

  2. Madeline Moy says:

    Jameson, this book looks fantastic! I love the illustrations. Do you know if the art is available as individual posters? I looked on the Bookery Cook’s site, but only the book is available in the Shop.

    • Jameson says:


      Try the artist’s Etsy store. Thanks for your comment; I hope to get my hands on a copy of the book.


  3. You always find the most interesting things!

  4. Wow, Maxine is a true artisan – I can only imagine what she will continue to create in the kitchen and on paper with the culinary institute under her belt. The images alone are fantastic, but then I read salted caramel pecan bars? Heaven.

  5. Kiano says:

    As if I didn’t need more artists to obsess over. They have such a dope way to illustrating recipes.

  6. Jameson – What a fabulous website! Like Brain Pickings, it puts a whole new spin on things I might otherwise pass by, or think about without really noticing the art/design possibilities. Sounds like you struck up a wonderful friendship too.

  7. this is beyond cool. I’m obsessed with discovering new artists to fl in love with. (I was one of the few kids in college who frequently went to art galleries on their spare time) Pair that with food and I am in love.

  8. Michelle@Healthiersteps says:

    Oh my what will Maxine think of next. Amazing talent!

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