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Living and Eating

by Ami Kealoha in Food + Drink on 25 February 2008

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With gorgeous photography, elegant recipes and an uncluttered aesthetic, architect John Pawson and food writer Annie Bell's book "Living and Eating" is a primer on warm minimalism. Shunning fussy presentation and elaborate preparations, the book celebrates the joy of of a lovingly prepared, simple meal, emphasizing the food itself and enjoyment above all else. As the authors put it, "The result of all this—we hope—is one of harmony."

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Originally published in 2001, Pawson and Bell's book shares many of the same values championed by Alice Waters, Judy Rodgers and other leaders of the "California cuisine" movement, albeit with a British perspective and a design that's coffee-table-worthy. Tips on cookware, techniques, food pairings and setting round out the collection of modern classics like Sea Bass Baked in Salt and Poppy Seed Cheesecake. Other standouts include Parmesean-broiled Chicken Breasts and Roasted Pumpkin with Garlic and Chili. But there are plenty of basics as well, and all the dishes boast uncomplicated instructions. The upshot is a book as appealing to seasoned cooks as it is to aesthetes and those of us who are still developing their culinary repertoire.

Pick it up from Amazon or Alibris.

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