Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
The Edible Selby Front Cover © Todd Selby
Todd Selby’s website The Selby has been a favourite online destination for us, it is a wealth of interiors and trends inspiration, for many years he has curated the interiors of different people – revealing their personality and quirks through their belongings. Through this creative work, he has become more and more curious about people’s kitchens, their refrigerators and how we eat. His most recent book “Edibly Selby” is a celebration of food obsessives and creatives, people who have a vocation for creating food.
It’s not a recipe book per se, instead it’s a global culinary encyclopedia featuring local pockets of people passionate about food and eating it. Unlike other food books, Edible Selby doesn’t feel as if it has been styled by a number of food stylists, photographers and assistants – instead here it’s just Todd Selby and his camera capturing the everyday and food of a bakery, restaurant, fishmongers or vinery.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, Brooklyn New York © Todd Selby
Todd starts his journey in San Francisco, he was born and grew up in Orange County slightly further down the West Coast – so he starts close to home. It’s an interesting story – Mission Chinese Food – a Chinese restaurant started inside another Chinese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown, San Francisco. The two restauranteurs Danny Bowien and Anthony Myint had little capital at the start so created a restaurant inside a restaurant, they meld American Chinese food with California cuisine and touches of Oklahoma barbecue like white bread and Coca-cola sauce.
Towpath, London © Todd Selby
Todd travels further afield on his culinary journey, he explores London featuring Violet Cakes in Hackney, Towpath in Haggerston and St John’s in Spitalfields. He spends the whole day with his chosen spot, photographing them in action (there’s a great shot of Fergus Henderson enjoying his elevenses break of seed cake and a glass of madeira) and chats to them about their food and menus.
Violet Cakes, London © Todd Selby
Some of the most beautiful photos are taken outside of your usual restaurant and cafe, and feature the food suppliers and part-time restauranturs – an un-manned eating spot in the hills of Italy, just help yourself to Prosecco from the fridge and delicious salami direct from the factory. The Nordic Food Lab is a food research laboratory housed on a houeboat in Copenhagen, they research “old and new techniques and raw materials” of Nordic cookery, they have been examining and experimenting with seaweed and other wild foods. Sa Forada is a paella restaurant in Mallorca that is only accessible by boat or climbing a fence and hiking, Yoshida Farm is a cheese-making facility in the heart of rural Japan and Rockaway Taco is a part-time taco shack in Queens, New York – only open when the owner Andrew Field isn’t chasing the surfing waves around the world.
Edible Selby is a real foodie celebration, Todd has explored and met a collection of personalities who all celebrate food and its vibrancy in their often very different fields. A great book for your favourite foodie (and we also loved the fridge magnets!).
Edible Selby by Todd Selby is published by Abrams
Monday, December 17th, 2012
This new cookbook from good friends Rosie French and Ellie Grace is a written celebration of their supper club Salad and Co and their Brixton Village restaurant. It’s a lovely looking book, everything is presented on oak tables with vintage bottles and cotton linens. It’s a real labour of love, all the recipes have been tried and tested at their restaurant, supper club or informal dinners at home with friends. In the introduction the girls make their plea for kitchen table cooking, they want the readers to use the cookery book for relaxed suppers and lazy lunches. The recipes are all designed to be easy to follow, and are suited for each season – as they write “we like to ‘cook’ in the cold months and ‘assemble’ when it’s hot,” makes sense to us!
Originally the girls created a blog for sharing recipes and then a month later they started their supper club “Salad Club” in Ellie’s flat above the buzzing market on Electric Avenue in Brixton, soon this grew in its frequency and size – it became a weekly event and they were having to combine running the supper club with their full time jobs. Much of the ingredients were sourced from downstairs in the market – in the book there are several homages to Middle Eastern and Caribbean cooking. Then last Summer they converted a butcher’s shop in Brixton Village into a 20-seater kitchen-restaurant, called French & Grace, and sought to keep intact the friendly, colourful approach to cooking and hosting that was so popular at the Salad Club.
Mascarpone cheesecake with nutmeg and maple syrup caramel
The recipes are delicious, beautifully photographed and easy to make. The book is divided into the four seasons, with many recipes created around fresh seasonal ingredients. Think Gin and Juniper Pork with Leek and Parmesan-Stuffed Squash for winter; Oeufs en Cocotte in Spring; Grilled Lamb Chops and Salad Club Mezze for Summer, Warm Barley, Almond and Pomegranate Tabbouleh and a Flourless Chocolate, Prune and Brandy Cake for an Autumn birthday.
Proscuitto, Melon and Spinach Salad
The book wonderfully captures the improvisational and friendly nature of the salad club and restaurant in its pages – there’s no pretension here. Everything is flavoursome and uses fresh ingredients, the photographs are beautiful records of the dishes. A great book for the foodie’s Christmas stocking.
All photography by Laura Edwards
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Book Review: Thrifty Style by Janine Chisholm, CICO Books
One of my favourite hobbies at the weekend is to take the car out to an antiques market and scour for hidden treasures, but I’m always a bit unsure of picking out good vintage clothes pieces. I can spot something but often don’t always see the potential in it, and what it could be created into. The costumier Janine Chisholm has put together a collection of tips and suggestions in this beautifully presented book, instructing the reader how to create one-off pieces from cast-off clothes.
Janine worked in theatre and television for many years in different costume departments, she’s responsible for many of the gowns in Lark Rise to Candleford. Then a few years ago, she decided to work with young people teaching them sewing and art, creating the Custard House Clothing company selling vintage pieces and offering an alteration service. Her book has put together all of her practical and teaching experience. It’s a glossy read with different levels of difficulty, you can start at level one and once you feel more of a confident clothes-maker you can move onto levels two and three.
I’ve always been a bit nervous of sewing and clothes-making, so was particularly pleased when I saw a whole section at the back of the book dedicated to techniques. There’s a useful page on how to take measurements, and an introduction to basic stitches. Janine really covers it all – she shows the reader how to embellish tops, changing sleeves and hemlines and fix zips! She gently guides you on how to re-work and re-construct charity shop and vintage finds. Janine is passionate about sustainability and recycling, she wants people to absorb clothes back into the environment once they’ve reached the end of their use. It’s a great attitude to have and we found the book an inspiring read!
All the images are from the book.
Monday, June 25th, 2012
Check out the link to a show isabelle did in conjunction with her new book.
Friday, May 18th, 2012
In the lead up to the Chelsea Flower Show we have collaborated with one of our favourite brands, Anthropologie and have installed two bespoke flower filled shop windows in their Kings Road store. The partnership is a celebration of the launch of Isabelle’s book and Anthropolgie’s close location to the Flower Show.
Chelsea is a wonderful place to be in the run up to and during the Flower Show, lots of the shops that line the King’s Road create one-off windows especially for the show; so it’s particularly exciting for us to be involved with Anthropologie for this year.
We explored two different theme for the two windows, the first window is a kitchen garden laden with planters; and the second window leads to a more urban feel using outdoor products both celebrating bees and their favourite plants and flowers. Both windows are wonderful examples of British gardens, plants and flowers. Following the book, we were keen to display unusual planting styles – showing passers-by the different possibilities for small-spaced gardeners using re-used containers and pots.
Isabelle chose a cross-section of plants favoured by bees including five varieties of lavender, yellow marigolds and different dahlias. Anthroplogie put together a selection of antique containers, tin watering cans and vintage kitchen pots that we then planted up. Some of our favourites include an apple blossom tree in a silver dolly tub and trailing rosemary in terracotta kitchen pots.
Both windows are in-situ for the next six weeks, the Chelsea Flower Show takes place 25th – 29th May.