The Urban Cookbook: 50 Recipes, 25 Urban Talents, 5 Cities

King Adz, Author Thames & Hudson $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-500-51430-6
Graphic designer Adz's eye-catching but haphazard compilation-a beautiful mess of photography, collage, art, interviews and recipes-is more likely to cause furrowed brows than feasting. Adz takes readers on a whirlwind tour of five cities known for their style (New York, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and London), interviewing local artists working in a variety of media (toy design, music, film, photography, illustration) to get their thoughts on creativity and the city. Each featured location is augmented with Adz's ""Hit List,"" in which he lists his favorite shops, clubs, restaurants and musical artists to listen to while walking the city. Ironically, it's when Adz shifts to recipes (50 ""street food"" gems from each city) that the book loses momentum. A dazzling mish-mash of styles and points of view gives way to pedestrian dishes like beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs, omelettes, meat loaf and vegetable pasta. For the most part, these recipes offer little insight into their home city's culture; it's barely worth pointing out that most of these dishes are not prepared, sold or eaten in the streets. Though it fails spectacularly as a cookbook, Adz's volume succeeds as a visual travelogue of street art and cutting edge design.
Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
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