Sunday, February 17, 2013

Under the Covers: Exploring Below the Dust Jackets of Cookbooks

I’m not sure what compelled me to get under there. Maybe it was a lustiness that arose from the shirtless, tanned, fish-tossing-in-a-rough-ocean photo towards the beginning of the book that make me remove the dust jacket on Chef Ludo Lefevbre’s first book, Crave: The Feast of the Five Senses. Since that first time, I’ve wiggled my hands under the cover of many a hardcover cookbook to see what I might find or quickly bent back a front over to peek between the glossy paper and cardboard cover. Often enough the results are uninspired, a design space forgotten. But once in a while I hit the jackpot and discover lush photographs or gentle textures and reap my reward by carefully running my fingertips over the book with a glassy-eyed gaze. My heart swells, my stomach growls and my grin widens.

Chef Ludo’s interior is elegant enough, a blacked-out background with khaki-colored text. Organic swirls mimic the title on the cover, the black and off-white print play up his then edgy-rockstar cooking style:

Others simply utilize the space to mimic their cover art, such as Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, Paula Wolfert’s The Food of Morocco, and Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home. Not exactly inspired, but better than nothing: DorieBaking

Some go as understated and tasteful as desired… not just on book covers…