I love books–holding, reading, writing, and styling them. Collaborating on the creation of a cookbook is the most fun I can have and still be able to call it work. Over the past 25 years or so, I’ve had the good fortune to concept, write, style, and contribute to many, many beautiful books, such as ”The Artful Pie”, a complete labor of love. It’s been a long journey since my days on staff at Time-Life Books, and publishing has changed in once unimaginable ways. Still, the new cookbook harvest each year is bountiful. Opportunities to contribute to gorgeous pages keep coming my way, and cooks continue to turn pages by hand in their kitchens. Hooray for books and the cooks who love them!
The Artful Pie: Unforgettable Recipes for Creative Cooks
Lisa Cherkasky and Renée Comet
Creating your own book, with your own name on the cover, is a thrilling experience. There is nothing as gratifying as pure autonomy and free use of imagination. Renee and I thought it up and made the pictures. I did the writing, including the story of my grandmother and her 14,000 pies. Rux Martin was our editor, and Chapters published “The Artful Pie”.
United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State
Warren Brown is a class act. Working on “United Cakes of America” and on the forthcoming “CakeLove in the Morning”, I needed to be as versatile as fresh eggs, as smooth as warm butter, and as fundamentally useful as all-purpose flour. Warren brings all that out in others, and more. The books showcase the ease and pleasure that defines CakeLove.
Winner of the 2010 International Gourmand
Award for Best Cover in the USA.
Delicious by Design:
30 Years/30 Recipes
To celebrate AURAS Design’s 30th anniversary, President and Creative director Rob Sugar combined his two great loves, cooking and design, to create one spectacular book. This volume is full of a lifetime of delicious recipes. Because the photographer, Renée Comet, and I were given carte blanche, styling for Delicious by Design was especially exhilarating.
Winner of the 2011 International Gourmand Award for Best Nutrition and Health Cookbook in the USA.
Masterpieces: A Celebration
of Food and Art in Virginia
Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts
In commemoration of its fiftieth anniversary, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Council created a beautiful cookbook. Happily for me, they brought the photography to Washington, DC where Renée Comet and I worked together on the images.
Dining at Monticello
Damon Lee Fowler
Another in a joyful series of collaborations with Renée Comet. Vegetables were carried from the gardens of Monticello to Renée’s studio in Washington, DC, where I was the lucky recipient, turning them into updated versions of Jefferson’s beloved recipes. Carry this away as a keepsake and carry into your kitchen for real cooking.
Australian Lamb: A World of Flavor
Meat & Livestock Australia, Ltd.
Meat & Livestock Australia has published a number of incredibly beautiful books. The design, recipes and execution are impeccable, and after these shoots I am exhausted. And happy. Working with recipes from Australia always opens my eyes, and tastebuds, to the wonders of the world’s pantry and bounty.
The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
What an honor to be chosen to do the styling for Mitsitam, which brings to your home the recipes from this destination restaurant on our National Mall.
Winner of the 2010 International Gourmand Award for Best World Cuisine in the USA.
This project for The Ritz-Carlton was built to be a gift to guests and was spearheaded by Marriner Marketing Communications. Designed by Claudia Barac-Roth, ”Classic Desserts Redefined” features amazing photographs by Renée Comet and equally amazing recipes from Ritz-Carlton pastry chefs.
Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon
Stephen McLeod (editor)
To produce the images for “Dining with the Washingtons”, we worked at sunrise and sunset, in the garden, on the lawn and indoors, too. Mt Vernon is breathtakingly beautiful, with a view across the Potomac River that remains as it was while George Washington called this stately farm home.
Collaborating with Renée Comet, the photographer, was, as always, a joy. We got a lift out of handling (and filling with food and drink) spectacular period glassware, flatware and china. And making food look delicious, together.
Controle Su Diabetes Una Receta a la Vez
American Diabetes Association and Canola
Photography by Renee Comet
Over the years I have had many opportunities to work on government sponsored projects that are designed to improve quality of life through healthy cooking and eating. Controle Su Diabetes Una Receta a la Vez (Control Your Diabetes One Recipe at a Time) was just such an assignment. The book is useful, approachable, well-written, well-intended and attractive. I was pleased to be a part of it.
Cakelove in the Morning
Photography by Joshua Cogan
Baking in collaboration with Warren Brown is always a smooth endeavor. The man is mellow in the kitchen and his baking reflects that easy air.