With each issue embodying its own delicious new print format — from zine to hardback fairy-tale fashion book — no publication announcement gets us quite as excited as a new Buffalo Zine at It’s Nice That. From issue two’s zine-esque design featuring the inimitable Chloe Sevigny on its cover, to issue seven’s series of trash-holiday-reading-style glossy mags (complete with a multiple choice holiday personality quiz, a la Seventeen magazine) the Buffalo team reinvent themselves in a spectacularly surprising fashion with every single issue.
The latest instalment takes the bold stance of fusing food and fashion — and in resolutely Buffalo style these two rarely seen together topics delivered through a fun and decadent series of recipes, editorials and articles. Piqued with intrigue about its Fashion’s Kitchen we caught up with some of the Buffalo Zine team, Adrián González-Cohen, Liam Hess and David Uzquiza, to find out why they decided to bring the worlds of fashion and food together.
It’s Nice That: Fusing food with fashion, very intriguing. Where did the idea for this issue come from?
David Uzquiza: I guess we were wondering: if we made a cookbook, what would it be like? So we made one, and this is what it looks like.
Adrián González-Cohen: My favourite part of Marianne Faithful’s memoir, that I read like 20 years ago, was the end, when she decides to give away some good tip she has learned so if the book of her life feels useless to readers, at least they can get something practical out of it. She gives her chicken roast recipe. I found it so personal, human, and of course, cute. Even after reading the whole book, that was the moment I felt I was closer to her in the kitchen, almost with a new friend. And also every time that I’ve made her recipe she kind of appears in my kitchen, like when I make my grandma’s ‘torrijas’. Marianne herself gave us a new recipe for this issue and a little interview!
INT: Which shoot or feature did you start with?
DU: The very first thing we got started with was requesting favourite recipes from fashion designers, photographers, stylists, magazine editors, models… A long, arduous labour to compile "over 130 recipes from fashion’s crème de la crème”. It was actually the first and last thing we did, waiting desperately for the last few recipes to come in just a few days before sending the issue to print.
INT: How did you go about choosing and doing the creative for the shoots/imagery that accompany the recipes?
DU: The photography is by the amazing chef Alex Paganelli, who recreated the recipes in his studio kitchen and also shot them. He did something decadent, extravagant and hilarious, beyond our juiciest dreams. He can even make a macaroni salad look sexy. The succulent illustrations are by South Korean artist Inji Seo.
INT: Can you take us through some of your favourites from the book?
DU: Actually, the recipes photography is one of my favourite things in this issue. They transport you to a very weird dining room, between glamorous and depressing, where some chichi crab cakes or a chicken sandwich covered in glossy mayonnaise sit next to fake velvet drapings, cigarette butts with lipstick stains or an abandoned blister of viagra.
Liam Hess: I work mainly on the texts so it’s always exciting when I get to see the fashion editorials coming in, and I was completely gobsmacked by Boris Camaca and our fashion director Tati Cotliar’s fucked up Sesame Street fantasy. It’s stuffed with all sorts of weird and wonderful details — I found myself staring and trying to figure out what was going on, and then just cracking up with laughter as it’s so nonsensical. I think Boris’ work is so original and totally unlike what any other fashion photographer is doing right now.
INT: Have you made any of the recipes? What would you recommend?
DU: So far I’ve only tried Eckhaus Latta’s’perfect avocado snack from the starters section (which takes about one minute to prepare
and doesn’t really involve any cooking)
AG: I’m obsessed with Donna Trope`s original Caesar Cardini salad dressing recipe. I do it with sugar-free Worcestershire cause I’m Keto at the moment.
LH: I actually made my first recipe from the book last night. My cousin is staying with me who is vegan, so I made Freja Beha Erichsen’s Beetroot Bourguignon. I can highly recommend, even for meat eaters. I’m also quite keen to try Valentino’s fancy artichoke salad — I think I’ll save it for a dinner party so I look very sophisticated and can show off to my friends.
INT: Any wild surprises from contributors?
DU: I loved discovering people’s habits in “Lunch al desko”, a feature where fashion people give an insight into their daily working lunches. I will give no names but my standard lunch is not as bad as I thought, in comparison.
AG: I’m surprised about how uncomfortable food makes fashion people still. We got so many declines from PR’s saying that this designer or this model or this photographer weren’t comfortable talking about food!
LH: I was quite surprised by one of the dishes Christian Louboutin described when I interviewed him with Bella Freud. It’s called tofu hell, a Japanese dish where you basically sink a big block of tofu in a pan of cold water, then chuck in some baby eels. As you slowly turn up the heat to boiling point, the eels burrow into the tofu as it’s cooler, so they’re eventually trapped inside and cooked. As Christian describes, it doesn’t exactly sound very tasty, so there has to be some sort of sadistic about eating it, like you’re taking some pleasure in consuming a little death. That was definitely my most horrifying culinary discovery.
INT: What do you think about the relationship between food and fashion? Clearly to Buffalo the key is for them to both be fun.
DU: Mike Eckhaus says in a conversation in the issue: “It’s like fashion and food are not meant to sit together… also most people associate food with the body and physicality. And the size of their waist.” Or in the words of Velma Robinson, interviewed about the 1990s Fashion Cafe chain of restaurants by Tom Rasmussen: “Nobody wants to go and eat food while thinking about fashion right? Which size double zero girl is going to eat, quote, Claudia’s New York Strip Steak, Naomi’s Fish and Chips? I know I’m not.”
AG: We also have a very personal and interesting essay on that topic by Peter Meeham, from the recently deceased Lucky Peach cult magazine, accompanied by two illustrations by our very dear Braulio Amado.
LH: I love Peter Meehan’s observation that “we all have to decide every day what to put on us and what to put in us” — getting dressed in the morning and choosing what we’re going to have for lunch are decisions that we make so often they can become totally instinctive. It was interesting to take a step back and think about those choices more critically. I also liked Eckhaus Latta’s observation that food and fashion are things that don’t always mix very well — for some reason looking at someone else eating can actually be quite gross, but it’s difficult to explain why. The magazine has lots of images of very glamorous people eating, so hopefully, it’s quite good therapy for anyone still working through those feelings of disgust.