Artists & Cookbooks
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that those great minds of the art world would also be talented in the kitchen. Perhaps those early starving artist days before fame and success came along helped fuel a passion for good food, and of course the simple fact that these creatives were already attuned to their five senses, especially sight and taste. With just a switch of a paintbrush to a spoon and perhaps an apron (although an artist's smock does double duty just fine in both studio and kitchen) great recipes were born by many of the biggest names and are now available in a variety of cookbooks.
While living in her favorite part of the world--New Mexico--Georgia O'Keeffe spent a good amount of time creating works of art that would solidify her place among the great artists of the twentieth century while also being equally inventive in her cooking. From making her own yogurt to grinding her own grains, O'Keeffe didn't shy away from anything. This recently released cookbook is a compilation of the artist's own recipes, compiled by author Robyn Lea and presented with images of the artist and layouts that recall the artist's palette (pink borscht soup or golden spoon bread anyone?) and aesthetic. All kitchen work is not without its hazards; find out how the artist lost an eyebrow here.
Lea is also the author of Dinner with Jackson Pollock--did you know that the famous Abstract Expressionist painter known for his drip paintings and fiery temperament liked to host dinner parties with his artist/wife Lee Krasner? He also took pride in his comfort-food recipes like apple pie and spaghetti sauce. Now when I toss pasta on the wall to check for doneness, I will always think of Pollock.
This is the famously mustached Surrealist artist Salvador Dali and like O'Keeffe he also loved to cook as well as entertain--an invitation from him often came with a requirement to arrive in costume! Known for being an eccentric, we can expect no less from the cookbook that he wrote, created collages for and illustrated, Les Diner de Gala (Gala was Dali's wife). Taschen has republished this cookbook, which first made its appearance in 1973, and it's the perfect addition to any library whether for fans of delightfully unorthodox gastronomic cooking and entertaining, or art lovers. Pick it up and you'll own a Dali. (Image via Colossal).
When the daughter of the great Mexican artist Diego Rivera has stories to tell about the parties and great dining spreads and decor planned by her step-mother, who just happens to be the iconic painter Frida Kahlo, then I'm in. This cookbook showcases and describes the feast of color in their famed home in Mexico City, Casa Azul. Just imagine the company, the bouquets of flowers everywhere (Frida's go-to decoration), and the meals: moles, stuffed chilies, cactus paddle salad, flan. Inspiring!
Finally, ever wonder what Monet's kitchen looked like (it was cornflower yellow) and what he liked to eat? Check out this book if you love both food and gardening and all things French. Monet was doing farm-to-table before it was a thing. I love a man who can cook, and now I admire Monet even more...