The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes
Edited by Natalie Eve Garrett. PowerHouse, $30 (174p) ISBN 978-1-57687-788-3
Inspired by a copy of 1961’s Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, which featured stories and recipes from Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Harper Lee, editor Garrett set off to create a modern version, soliciting recipes and stories from over 60 writers and artists such as Ruth Reichl, Rick Moody, Alice Hoffman, and T.C. Boyle. The entries range from the fanciful (Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline’s Cheddar Cheese Omelet” is an ode to one of his most famous characters) to the somber and practical, such as Joyce Carol Oates’ “Recipe in Defiance of Grief,” a simple omelet of eggs, onion, and smoked salmon accompanied by a tender essay on loss. As for the recipes themselves, some are painfully simple (James Franco sings the praises of the humble PB&J) while others, such as Padgett Powell’s recipe for gumbo, require thought and planning. Each entry is accompanied by a short biography, allowing readers to discover new artists and writers. Whether readers walk away with a new appreciation for proper pizza crust (courtesy of James Siena) or eagerness to dig into the works of Peter Ho Davies or Paul Muldoon, they’re sure to appreciate the thoughtful curation of this most unusual cookbook. (Oct.)
A typo in an earlier version of this review has been corrected.
Reviewed on: 09/19/2016