A Book for Cooks

Merrell very kindly sent me a copy of their recent publication A Book For Cooks.

Food writer and self-confessed bibliophile Leslie Geddes-Brown (who I had the pleasure of working with on Plants and Places) surveys 101 pioneering cookbooks, selected by her for their influence, their unusual recipes or simply for their beauty.

There's a brilliant selection of books cover a range of cuisines and dating from the seventeenth century to the present day - with each entry including a brief commentary on the book plus photographs of its cover and several inside pages.

Plenty of our own favourites feature - Colman Andrew's 'Catalan Cuisine', 'Plats Du Jour' by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd (wonderfully illustrated by David Gentleman) and Ottolenghi's 'The Cookbook'.

But we've now got out eye on others - such as 'First Slice Your Cook Book' by Arabella Boxer.

The book features a cover and further illustrations by our friend Chloe Cheese - well known for her illustrative work and limited edition printmaking.

I'll also take this opportunity to mention the unsung hero of many of the books connected with St. Jude's, Nicola Bailey - the creative director at Merrell.

I've had the pleasure of working with Nicola on the design of Plants and Places, as did Chris Brown on his An Alphabet Of London and Mark Hearld did with his recently published Mark Hearld's Workbook.

In A Book For Cooks Nicola has done an amazing job at bringing together so many strong graphic book covers.

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