Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Coffeetable Cookbooks

Cookbook

  • Please log in to reply
50 replies to this topic

#1 Liza

Liza
  • legacy participant
  • 2,287 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 10:20 AM

I'm interested in what cook books members like for photography and design - for instance, I just fell for the simple design of the Michel Bras book which has most items shot over semi-milk glass, without plates or distractions.

Are there books that members prefer to just look at?

#2 Hopleaf

Hopleaf
  • participating member
  • 578 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 10:26 AM

I don't have it, but I've drooled over The French Laundry Cookbook. It's a beaut.

Nigella's How to Eat is pretty cool (love the cover...I have the reddish one with four shots), tho very limited in its interior. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook has some very solid food photography going on.
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

#3 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:10 AM

"Shunju: New Japanese Cuisne" by Takashi Sugimoto and Marcia Iwatate is absolutley gorgeous. Seems useful, too, with a visual glossary of Japanese ingredients in the back and step-by-step photos of prep techniques.

#4 mamster

mamster
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,918 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:26 AM

Oh, boy, a chance to be a design geek.

One of the best-designed cookbooks I've picked up in the last couple of years is One Potato, Two Potato by Roy Finamore. The photos make me seriously hungry, and the recipes are nicely laid out and easy to use. I don't think a recipe ever starts on a recto and continues to a verso, which is something that always drives me nuts.

Is anybody here (a) a typographer or book designer and (b) familiar with Lynne Rossetto Kasper's The Splendid Table? It contains a typographical in-joke that took me years to notice. The bulk of the book is set in Simoncini Garamond, but the yields are set in Stempel Garamond and the sidenotes in Monotype Garamond. Somehow it looks great.

As far as coffee table books go, I like the Williams-Sonoma Savoring series. Hot Sour Salty Sweet is very pretty but the trim size is annoying and there are other usability problems.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#5 Liza

Liza
  • legacy participant
  • 2,287 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:34 AM

Thank you, all.
Any chance to be a design geek, for me. Anyone else notice the puzzling and confusing design of Boulud's latest? Zoiks it's hard to read.

#6 ferdlisky

ferdlisky
  • legacy participant
  • 137 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:37 AM

All the Donna Hay books (in fact, most Australian cookbooks/food magazines) are gorgeous. And the food's pretty good, too.

#7 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:39 AM

Oh, boy, a chance to be a design geek.

One of the best-designed cookbooks I've picked up in the last couple of years is One Potato, Two Potato by Roy Finamore.  The photos make me seriously hungry, and the recipes are nicely laid out and easy to use.  I don't think a recipe ever starts on a recto and continues to a verso, which is something that always drives me nuts.

Absolutely, Mamster. A handsome, user-friendly cookbook.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#8 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 05 February 2003 - 12:03 PM

Monotype Garamond is for tourists. A true design geek would have a custom version of Garamond designed like Apple did (and now sadly appears to be abandoning).

#9 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,369 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 05 February 2003 - 12:08 PM

Monotype Garamond is for tourists. A true design geek would have a custom version of Garamond designed like Apple did (and now sadly appears to be abandoning).

That is sad. The way Apple used typography in their advertising was revolutionary.

Any comments on Alton Brown's book? I like the guy a lot, but I think the book design is a mess.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#10 oraklet

oraklet
  • participating member
  • 812 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:20 PM

"Is anybody here (a) a typographer or book designer and (b) familiar with Lynne Rossetto Kasper's The Splendid Table? It contains a typographical in-joke that took me years to notice. The bulk of the book is set in Simoncini Garamond, but the yields are set in Stempel Garamond and the sidenotes in Monotype Garamond. Somehow it looks great."

i used to think i was a graphic designer. not anymore, as i realize i wouldn't have noticed...still, garamond, though a beautiful thing, was never any good in poster size. too many little "ideosyncratic" caracteristica that work well in small type but tend to be distracting in large type.

anyway, the most beautiful cook book i know is the danish edition of verge's "cuisine de soleil" (and perhaps it's made the same way in the original french edition, i don't know). two colours of text is used with exquisite effect.
christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

#11 nerissa

nerissa
  • legacy participant
  • 589 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:27 PM

15 minutes ago I was just in the bookstore looking over the Zuni Cafe cookbook. I was going to buy it, but after flipping through it, I find it difficult to navigate. Recipe titles halfway down the page. No clear table of contents so you can't browse. I thought the full page pictures of the food were too flashy.

I will second the nomination for Donna Hay on design and photography. Also--French Laundry. Do not have it either.

For design and layout, I like Sally Scheiders' A New Way to Cook. Great book.

#12 Liza

Liza
  • legacy participant
  • 2,287 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:38 PM

Are there any books that are so design heavy as to obliterate the recipes? I'm just trying to stretch my eyes around what is considered appropriate - I've got the FL, all the Charlie Trotter books...and yet when I think of food photography that really sends me thinking, I refer to Australian Vogue Entertaining and Travel. They'll use a photo of a plate, with a used fork, and bit of icing and some crumbs to illustrate a dessert article - this image makes me think about the celebratory nature of the dessert, about how two people might have shared a slice, about so many things to accentuate my thoughts about dessert. The food in their photos doesn't look perfect - it looks like it is truly going to be enjoyed.

#13 wingding

wingding
  • legacy participant
  • 432 posts
  • Location:N.Y.C.

Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:53 PM

I love Australian Vogue Food & Travel also-there's something very luxurious,but light about the look of all the food.Also I'd give credit to M*rtha Stewart,for finding and using some great stylists and photographers in her magazine.When they've done specials on a particular fruit or grain,the photos and layouts were just stunning-I hope that they will be published as a book someday.I also have enjoyed the Saveur Cooks French,Italian,American series-the food shots combined with the pictures of the places and people that they originate from are very appealing.

#14 torakris

torakris
  • manager
  • 11,008 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Posted 05 February 2003 - 04:09 PM

I have to agree with Donna Hay books, the pictures are absolutely mouthwatering and there are pictures of absolutely every recipe listed.
I have found this true of most Australian books and of Japanese (in Japanese) books, I buy these just for the pictures.

By the way after reading this thread I went and one clicked the Shunju book, I ahd been wanting it for a while and............ like I need another cookbook!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
Manager, Membership
kwagner@egstaff.org


#15 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 05 February 2003 - 04:21 PM

15 minutes ago I was just in the bookstore looking over the Zuni Cafe cookbook.  I was going to buy it, but after flipping through it, I find it difficult to navigate.  Recipe titles halfway down the page.  No clear table of contents so you can't browse.  I thought the full page pictures of the food were too flashy.

I will second the nomination for Donna Hay on design and photography.  Also--French Laundry.  Do not have it either. 

For design and layout, I like Sally Scheiders' A New Way to Cook.  Great book.

Nerissa: You make many good points about the irritating layout of the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. They should have known better.

Get it anyway. Cooking substance over good design here. We've been cooking from it since Christmas, and it's been a refreshing..and delicious experience.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#16 joler

joler
  • participating member
  • 211 posts

Posted 06 February 2003 - 06:09 AM

As far as coffee table books go, I like the Williams-Sonoma Savoring series.

I own several of these and they are beautiful. Great reading prior to taking a trip. I haven't had any problem with the recipes either.

I'm not all that impressed with Ina Garten's recipes, but the photography is well done.
"Never eat more than you can lift" -- Miss Piggy

#17 Jinmyo

Jinmyo
  • participating member
  • 9,879 posts
  • Location:Ottawa, ON, Canada

Posted 06 February 2003 - 09:34 AM

As well as Fl and Trotter's books (back off, awbrig), I like Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Alford and Duguid.

And the _______, The Beautiful (e.g. Provence) series by Collins.
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#18 helenas

helenas
  • participating member
  • 1,410 posts

Posted 06 February 2003 - 09:50 AM

I mentioned this site previously on several occasions, but for the benefit of our new members and just because i like browsing there, here is Gourmand International, where one can see the nominations and winners in Design Category/2002 among the other things.

#19 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,902 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 06 February 2003 - 05:05 PM

Quick Pickles by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby and Dan George. I pulled out this book from the shelf to look up a recipe and it struck me again what a beautiful little book it is. Photos include ingredients as well as the finished pickles. Nice looking and easy to follow layout as well. (Good recipes too.)

#20 Bux

Bux
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 12,211 posts
  • Location:New York City

Posted 06 February 2003 - 09:57 PM

Anyone else notice the puzzling and confusing design of Boulud's latest? Zoiks it's hard to read.

In what I thought was a bizarre thread earlier on the book, I said--"The typography bugs the s--t out of me," I'm not sure if I explained that it made it hard for me to approach the bood and appreciate the information it contained. Daniel Boulud is a friend and that was not an enjoyable thing to say, as you may imagine.
Robert Buxbaum
WorldTable
Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.
My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

#21 Aurora

Aurora
  • legacy participant
  • 1,019 posts
  • Location:Chicago, Illinois

Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:18 PM

The Culinaria for Europe is quite lovely. I also like Desserts by Pierre Hermé for the visuals.

#22 Liza

Liza
  • legacy participant
  • 2,287 posts

Posted 07 February 2003 - 07:19 AM

In what I thought was a bizarre thread earlier on the book, I said--"The typography bugs the s--t out of me," I'm not sure if I explained that it made it hard for me to approach the bood and appreciate the information it contained. Daniel Boulud is a friend and that was not an enjoyable thing to say, as you may imagine.

It also strikes me as odd in that the layout seems to be the antithesis to his approach to plating. Where on the plate his lines are clean and his it's so obvious that he appreciates harmonious presentations - I was particularly amused by the combination of crosnes and spaetle in a squab dish - the pages of this book don't tell your eye where to settle and where to read.

#23 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,369 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:23 AM


In what I thought was a bizarre thread earlier on the book, I said--"The typography bugs the s--t out of me," I'm not sure if I explained that it made it hard for me to approach the bood and appreciate the information it contained. Daniel Boulud is a friend and that was not an enjoyable thing to say, as you may imagine.

It also strikes me as odd in that the layout seems to be the antithesis to his approach to plating. Where on the plate his lines are clean and his it's so obvious that he appreciates harmonious presentations - I was particularly amused by the combination of crosnes and spaetle in a squab dish - the pages of this book don't tell your eye where to settle and where to read.

Just to save me the trouble of looking it up, which is Boulud's latest?

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#24 Liza

Liza
  • legacy participant
  • 2,287 posts

Posted 07 February 2003 - 09:03 AM

Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City

#25 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,369 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 07 February 2003 - 09:15 AM

Thanks. BTW, I just picked up the Cafe cookbook for $2.50. New.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#26 Monica Bhide

Monica Bhide
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,733 posts
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 24 March 2004 - 08:17 PM

I am doing some research for a friend and could use some guidance. They have asked me to find for them samples of good restaurant cookbooks -- the coffee table variety for armchair readers, collectors and gourmet cooks. The cuisine is not an important. Just looking for which ones out there are good

suggestions?
Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

#27 Pickles

Pickles
  • legacy participant
  • 974 posts

Posted 24 March 2004 - 08:29 PM

The French Laundry Cookbook is a nice one. Use the "look inside" feature here:

http://www.amazon.co...9934405-8472107

#28 Carolyn Tillie

Carolyn Tillie
  • participating member
  • 4,642 posts
  • Location:San Francisco and Napa

Posted 24 March 2004 - 09:20 PM

Curious - why specifically Restaurant cookbooks?

Slighty restaurant-specific (Maxims) would be the Dali Cookbook

#29 marie-louise

marie-louise
  • legacy participant
  • 951 posts

Posted 24 March 2004 - 09:32 PM

Terra Cookbook gets my vote.

#30 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 25 March 2004 - 06:45 AM

Aquavit is a very nice looking coffee table-style book as well as a great cookbook. Babbo, while not the size of a typical coffee table book is a great restaurant cookbook and full of terrific pictures and recipes.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cookbook