Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Art and Your Stomach ~ Two Tasty Books


Ever wondered what your favorite author likes to eat?

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Certainly painters do more than render food on their canvases

How about the discovery that a famous screenwriter had a favorite kind of potato salad?

Want Jean Renoir‘s recipe?

“1 kg Charlotte potatoes
1 Lyon pistachio sausage
3 tablespoons strong mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 sprigs tarragon
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
150 ml dry white wine (perhaps a white Bordeaux)
2 handfuls mâche [lambs’ lettuce or corn salad] (preferably from Nantes)”

I found that in The Times Literary Supplement article entitled, Artists in the kitchen.

It came from The Modern Art Cookbook, by Mary Ann Caws:

“…there is David Hockney’s Strawberry Cake, Robert Motherwell’s Whiskey Cake, Tom Wesselmann’s Lemon Sponge Pudding, Claude Monet’s Madeleines au citron, and Picasso’s Charlotte au chocolat.

Another snippet from the article:

“If there is an element of confection to The Modern Art Cookbook, maybe that is just as it should be. It detracts hardly at all from feasting on its pages. Mary Ann Caws’s purpose is triumphantly achieved. The marriage of lookery and cookery is beguiling; the total effect is mouth-watering.”

And the second book:

Modern Art Desserts [by Caitlin Freeman] is a different kettle of fish – more rambunctious, more delirious, more ingenious; in the end, perhaps, more scrumptious.

Essentially, a book to help you make cakes that literally look like works of art:

“Caitlin Freeman is the pastry chef and moving spirit of the Blue Bottle Café in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). She is an art aficionado and a cake obsessive. She does not merely make cakes. She lives and breathes cakes; she dreams cakes; she designs cakes; she trials cakes; and then she sets about perfecting them. Some of these cakes are more or less faithful replicas of the cakes to be found in the artworks on the walls of SFMOMA.”

One last excerpt:

“Painting and cooking. The brushwork and the spatula swipe. These gorgeous books in their different voices capture something of the splendour of looking, and making, and sharing.”
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