Graphic designer Valerie Enriquez had an assignment for school to create and self-publish a book about whatever she wanted. Opting to combine her love of food and illustration talents, she created a tiny, adorable cookbook that gives you exactly what you’d want in a bite sized food publication. The project is called The Simple Kitchen and it makes sharing and making recipes easy—and it is very, very good looking.
The cookbook features breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes with illustrated introductions to each chapter. Each section features ten or so recipes with a beautiful photo to accompany it. You can learn how to make an open-face heirloom tomato sandwich or mushroom goat cheese lasagna, all of which are displayed nicely and considerate of if you are actually going to be cooking.
That’s why the book is so great: Enriquez tapped into all the things that you want from a cookbook. I will sometimes buy a cookbook from Amazon that I have been lusting after to find out that there aren’t enough photos or that the recipes themselves are overly wordy or that they simply are too complex to even want to use. Cookbooks need to be simple! That’s obviously what The Simple Kitchen taps into giving you a look at your food with photos, quick, nicely worded recipes that you won’t leave you scattering to find your place, and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. It has style too!
I can’t tell you how many cookbooks I own that feel and look like textbooks: that is not what a cookbook should be! They should be interactive and accessible. The closest I’ve found to this is Time For Dinner and any of the Barefoot Contessa books. While this book was a one-off item, what Enriquez did was make a cookbook concept concerned with what cookbook formats ought to be: simple. They should try to help home chefs instead of badger them into submission! This is something everyone can appreciate and, if it were a book we could buy, we certainly would. You can see more of it here.