Oh, for crying out loud, I got fired yesterday! By my own girlfriend, no less. What? No,no,no, we are fine… It’s not that. Wait, let me explain…
You might remember I told you she worked as a cook in a restaurant and I made these little signs for her, to announce the special of the day. You can see some of them back here. See? There fine, no? I mean, I’m not going to win any prices with them, sure, I know. But hey, they are usually made at 4 in the morning, because that’s when she thinks of telling me she needs one for her exotic chicken with coconut milk or whatever. Puh.
So yesterday, she’s working on her computer and I bring her a cup of coffee, ‘cause you know, that’s me, warm and caring, and I ask her what she’s doing. You know what she was doing? She was making a sign. For spinach. And sausages.
Turns out she didn’t like my stuff anymore. Said she got bored because I always use only letters and never any pictures. Pictures? Yes, pictures. Photographs. Photographs? Puh! For food? Come on, how… how… I mean. Puh!
So I say something mean about classy restaurants and something snooty about the noble art of typography and she finishes up her poster with obnoxiously well-photographed and tasty looking spinach leaves, gives me a kiss on the cheek and we forget the whole deal. Well, she does.
Flash forward. This afternoon. I’m walking around in the cookbook section of the bookstore, looking for inspiration. I am not going to use photographs. I am no photographer so… Most cookbooks are filled with photographs, of course. So that’s no help. Why is it that almost all these books take the same approach? For instance, why don’t any of them use illustrations instead. I mean, sure, some of these photos are incredible, but… Hé, wait a minute…
Ginette Mathiot’s “I Know How to Cook”, with illustrations (aha!) by Blex Bolex. Oh, ok, well yes, there are still photographs in the book, but…also: illustrations! By Blex Bolex! And they are gorgeous!
And mind you, this book is not just some ordinary cookbook. This is the first translation into English of “Je sais cuisiner” which is the French cookery-bible. It has been around since 1932 and sold over six million copies. Every French woman worth her “sel” has one of these, probably given to her by her grandmother on her deathbed or something. This is the cookbook of cookbooks. And it has illustrations in it.
Vive la France! Vive Ginette and Blex! Vive Phaidon who published the book! Now let’s look at the pictures…
Right. So, what’s for diner?