14 June 2014

Weekend Cooking: Picture Cook by Katie Shelly

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

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Every year when I attend Book Expo America (BEA), I am on the lookout for new, exciting, and different cookbooks. And I'm always excited to share my finds with you.

One of the first books I learned about this year was Katie Shelly's Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. I love the concept of this graphic cookbook, which is short on words and big on line drawings. The idea behind the book is to free us from the written word, so we can learn to be more inventive in the kitchen.

Although I'm not sure Picture Cook would work well as a first cookbook, I think it would have definite appeal to inexperienced cooks, teens, and college students. I know I would have loved following the pictures instead of reading through long directions when I was cooking with friends in my first apartment. The recipes range from the crazy simple (cinnamon-sugar toast) to the much more complicated (panzanella) and cover the entire range from breakfast to dessert.

I particularly like the double-spread idea pages, which help you make your own combinations for dishes like omelets, tacos, and pizza. (One such page is shown in the scan at the left, below.) New cooks will appreciate the tips, the graphic guide to cutting veggies, and the simplicity of most of the recipes. More confident cooks will be inspired to tweak the dishes to their own tastes, which somehow seems more approachable when the recipes are wordless.

The graphic directions are especially brilliant for layered recipes, like the white vegetarian lasagna shown in the scan at the right (below; click image to enlarge). No more having to guess how many layers the cookbook author really meant. The drawing clearly shows three layers of everything, ending with the sauce.


Finally, many readers will welcome the easy to use index, with its color-coded key to recipes that fit special diets, such as vegan, gluten-free, and no sugar added.

You might not want to get rid of your conventional cookbooks, but Katie Shelly's Picture Cook makes a nice addition to your collection. The cookbook would be a great for families with young children who like spending time in the kitchen. Even the youngest budding chef should be able to help guide the head cook through one of these graphic recipes.

Published by Ulysses Press, 2013
ISBN-13: 9781612432342
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


19 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 6/14/14, 6:35 AM  

I love graphic -style cookbooks too, which is why I've always loved Molly Katzen!

Tina 6/14/14, 6:57 AM  

I agree with Rhapsody, I immediately thought of the Moosewood cookbooks when I saw the illustration.
I would love to go to a book expo.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 6/14/14, 7:53 AM  

That's such an interesting concept! I'm a visual person…but not sure if I'm graphic or wordy! Would have to give some of the simple recipes a try!

shelleyrae @ book'd out 6/14/14, 8:13 AM  

It looks interesting, I'm still not convinced it would be entirely practical though

Jackie Mc Guinness 6/14/14, 8:23 AM  

Will have to check this out!

jama 6/14/14, 8:46 AM  

So glad you featured this one. Been curious about it since last Fall. Hope to get a copy soon. :)

Janel Gradowski 6/14/14, 9:31 AM  

What a fun concept for a cookbook. You're right. I bet families with younger kids would love this. Honestly, I bet my teens would too. My son doesn't quite get cooking from recipes, but cooking from diagrams...he'd love that!

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/14/14, 9:39 AM  

I wish I had seen this at BEA, it looks so interesting, and I'm looking for something for my sons. I'm going to check this one out.

justabookworm.com 6/14/14, 11:40 AM  

I don't think I've seen a graphic-style cookbook before. Sounds interesting and fun.

Margot 6/14/14, 1:16 PM  

Picture cookbooks work for me. I especially like the lasagna drawing. It makes sense, even to an experienced lasagna-maker. I'm sure it would be very helpful to a new cook.

Margot 6/14/14, 1:16 PM  

Picture cookbooks work for me. I especially like the lasagna drawing. It makes sense, even to an experienced lasagna-maker. I'm sure it would be very helpful to a new cook.

bermudaonion 6/14/14, 1:51 PM  

What a great idea - I'll have to check this one out!

Carole 6/14/14, 3:13 PM  

What fun - this one has gone onto my list! Cheers

Cecelia 6/14/14, 5:25 PM  

Interesting! I think I'd like to page through this one, just to check out the graphic nature of it... I'll have to see if my library is adding it to the collection.

Joy 6/14/14, 8:41 PM  

What a fun idea! I like the style of the drawing and lettering, too. It makes it look fun to cook!

Joy's Book Blog

Anita LeBeau 6/15/14, 12:10 AM  

I like this style, not something I've seen done. I love cookbooks, not to your extent, but I find them so fun!!
So let us know when you make something yummy from it!!

Peaceful Reader 6/15/14, 11:00 PM  

I love this idea. I couldn't really imagine how the pictures would convey enough meaning but she definitely makes it work! I like the white lasagna recipe. Thanks for sharing this BEA find!

Peaceful Reader 6/15/14, 11:00 PM  

I love this idea. I couldn't really imagine how the pictures would convey enough meaning but she definitely makes it work! I like the white lasagna recipe. Thanks for sharing this BEA find!

Couscous & Consciousness 6/16/14, 8:50 PM  

I think this is a genius idea for a cookbook. I know a couple of people who like to cook, and who are eager to expand their repertoire, but have an absolute horror of reading and following a recipe. I know they would love this book. I think this will solve a couple of Xmas gift ideas this year.

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