Monday, July 26, 2010

They draw and cook




Regular readers of Monsieur Bandit know I have a “thing” for food-illustrations. My girlfriend is a cook in a little restaurant and every so often she asks me to make something to promote the “plat du jour” or whatnot. I usually revert to typography-only, because drawing “stoofvlees” hardly ever results in a pretty picture… Nevertheless, I would like to do some nice spaghetti-drawings, and a lasagna… or ice-cream. Or maybe something with chicken…Yeah…chicken…. (do Homer Simpson imitation for full effect.)

The fact of the matter is: drawing food is hard. And hardly ever appreciated (My girlfriend hates cookbooks with illustrations in them. She wants to see the real dish, not what some “arty illustrator type” managed to squeeze from his wacom-enhanced watercolor-set).

Maybe that’s why, whenever I see food-related illustrations, my interest is peeked. How did they do it? Did they manage to make it look good as a drawing and make it look appetizing at the same time? Did they really draw the dish, or just the ingredients (which is often a smart course of action)? Did they do realistic drawings or did they manage to cut loose from that?

All in all, there aren’t that many cookbooks with illustrations, are there? Some of them have tiny spot illo’s (usually a bunch of garlic or a peppermill) to put under each subtitle, but more often than not, cookbooks rely on photography to depict the dishes, the final result one hopes to achieve by following the recipe. Me, I think that’s a shame. I want cookbooks with nice pictures! But then again, I want all books to have nice pictures. And I don’t really cook myself, so I don’t really “use” cookbooks. I just drool over them…

Imagine my joy when I discovered the “They draw and cook”-blog. Here, illustrators and designers are asked to illustrate their own favorite recipes, thereby creating a showcase for their work. Apparently, it is supposed to become some kind of book in the future. Finally! A decent cookbook. With nothing but pictures…



















Head over to to check out these and plenty of other illustrators. If you yourself want to participate, the instructions seem pretty straightforward, so…let’s get cooking!


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