Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cookbooks: Eat Ate by Guy Mirabella

I feel absolutely remiss in having not managed to get my hands on Eat Ate (Chronicle) until now. It’s a terrific book in every way and really should have been on January’s best of 2009 list in the cookbook category and perhaps in the art and culture section as well. I should explain that. While Eat Ate is clearly a cookbook -- it has recipes and was written by someone who has become best known as a chef. Australian/Italian Guy Mirabella started out as a book designer and teacher of graphic design. And it shows: oh, yes. It shows.

Before you even get anywhere near the food, Eat Ate is the most beautiful cookbook that ever was. That’s a huge statement, but I defy you to prove it untrue. Quite beyond the stellar photos and fetching recipe designs of other beautiful cookbooks, Eat Ate is an artistic manifestation of the very idea of a cookery book. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and, if I have, it’s not a cookbook at all, but a visual literary adventure as designed by Nick Bantock. That is to say that, in every way imaginable, on the visual front, Eat Ate is unbeatable. Mirabella explains his innovative approach:
Unlike traditional cookbooks, there are no starter, main meal and dessert chapters in this book. Rather, the recipes are organized according to the themes that give me the comfort and freedom to express the way I cook, eat, design and paint.
Nor, when we get to it, does the food disappoint. It is uncomplicated, healthful Italian, most often simply prepared and frequently innovatively presented.

Eat Ate
is a perfect cookbook. An art book with food that you’ll never want to part with.

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