For all the incessant heralding of the rise of the foodies and the Instagram-fuelled fetishisation of everything and anything that ends up on a plate, it’s still surprisingly rare to come across a real well-designed cook book. Bucking that disappointing trend however is Praline’s beautiful creation for Russell Norman’s Polpo empire which has been at the forefront of London’s recent restaurant revival.
The combination of deconstructed, spineless format (practical for real-life kitchen use), old Venetian typefaces and beautiful photography come together to create not only an intoxicating hymn to Russell’s stripped-back foodie philosophy but a gorgeous and unfussy object in its own right. In fact so special is it as an object that the tome has just been named Book of the Year by Waterstones, whose judges praised the fact that in the age of the Kindle, “(Polpo) can only be properly appreciated in its printed form.”
Other cookbooks take note, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.