The humble root vegetable receives a Shakespearean celebration in Apartamento’s annual cookbook

Illustrated by Olga Prader, the book – Tuber, or Not Tuber? – proves the vast potential of the often sidelined “underground essential”.

31 October 2023


We’re in the midst of autumn in the UK, which if you’re a foodie probably means one thing – you’ve got a slightly shrivelled swede, some sad-looking potatoes and maybe even a monstrous celeriac withering away in your cupboard. The intention is always good, bulking up on some hardy seasonal veg to keep you going through the darker, colder months. But when it actually comes to all that peeling, chopping, and deciding what to use them for (there’s only so many stews you can make) it begs the question, are they really worth all the hassle? Well, Apartamento’s latest edition in its cookbook series is here to prove to you that yes, they are.

Tuber, or Not Tuber? is a “Shakespearean take” on root veg recipes, or, as they’re less commonly known in the UK, tuber vegetables. It features recipes focussing on potatoes, beetroot, taro and more, from Noma flavour scientist Arielle Johnson, James Beard award winner Corey Lee, visual artist Motoyuki Daifu, and royal baker Claire Ptak.

GalleryApartamento: Tuber, or Not Tuber? (Copyright © Apartamento, 2023)

It’s the eighth cookbook in Apartamento’s series, which began in 2016 with a publication focussing on cakes and deserts, and illustrated by Oscar Grønner, then followed by editions that focussed on salads, late night meals, soup, eggs, spices and rice. With each recipe comes a ‘Tuber Check’ game. “Potatoes, beetroots, and fresh taro are a basis for vibrant dishes, but only one of these is a true tuber,” the publication teases, aiming to gamify the standard cookbook format while “introducing readers to an array of subterranean treats”.

The book is illustrated by graphic designer and art director Olga Prader, and following suit with past editions of the cookbook series, the playful illustrations personify an array of root veg. They are organic line-based, feature on plain white pages and finished in one colour on the jacket – brown – and, black within; a choice that feels in keeping with the Elizabethan literary theme. Her work follows contributions from the likes of Stefan Marx, Zebadiah Keneally and Izumi Shiokawa.

The book will be available from 7 November and in line with Apartamento’s community engagement pledge, 20 percent of profits will be donated to The Enriqueta Villavecchia Private Foundation for Child Oncology.

GalleryApartamento: Tuber, or Not Tuber? (Copyright © Apartamento, 2023)

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Apartamento: Tuber, or Not Tuber? (Copyright © Apartamento, 2023)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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