Friday, December 04, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: Kitchen Scraps by Pierre A. Lamielle

What happens when you take a talented designer and illustrator and send him off to cooking school? If you’re lucky and the stars are aligned, you get Kitchen Scraps: A Humourous Illustrated Cookbook (Whitecap Books).

This is the perfect gift book. To be very honest, I can’t imagine very many people buying this book for themselves. It just isn’t that sort of cookbook: yummy photos, cozy write-ups, inspirational stories. Kitchen Scraps does none of those things, yet the things it does do, it does very well. Lamielle describes what Kitchen Scraps is and is not in his introduction:
It is not a cookbook for busy families, it will not make you a kitchen deity, and it will certainly not make you lose 10 pounds. Kitchen Scraps will delight, offend, and make you hungry.
The recipes are terrific: well thought out and engagingly shared. If some of the recipe names are ridiculous, they are also the point. Additionally, those recipe names will indicate if you share Lamielle’s sense of humor. (Not all will.) Steak and Kidney Cowpie has nothing to do with the business end of a cow. Suzette’s Massacre is an updated (Lamielle says “massacred” ) version of Crepes Suzette. And Lamielle does Brussels Sprouts not one, but three ways: in beer, in junipers and gin and in brandy. And it’s not just the booze that differs: these are three very different approaches to handling an unpopular yet delicious vegetable.

Lamielle’s illustrations are just as impressive as his recipes, but in an entirely unexpected way. These aren’t illustrations of food -- at least, not really. But rather lighthearted riffs through a style and on a subject clearly close to the author’s heart.

A fantastic gift book.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home