Back to the drawing board

If you’re into food porn, look away now. The Javier Mariscal-designed English version of Spanish cooking bible 1080 Recipes is out this week and it is devoid of the lush, heavily manipulated images that seem to dominate the pages of other recipe books. The 800-page tome eschews much in the way of photography, replacing it instead with bold, faux-naif illustrations by Mariscal himself. From the cover onwards you’re drawn in – almost every page features a drawing of sorts, ranging from simple ingredients to preparation techniques, finished items and complete dining scenes. Colourful, witty and beautifully simple, they light up the text without detracting from it. The drawings are accompanied by 100 images by photographer Jason Lowe – inserted into sections rather than beside the recipes – and all shot in natural light. When combined with uncomplicated typography, a simple layout and straightforward copy (each recipe is numbered, instructions are workmanlike) the effect is to focus the reader on the pleasure of the ingredients, their preparation and cooking itself. This is a recipe book for those who like to cook, not just eat – a welcome change when in so many others the cooking process seems to have become secondary to its outcome.

1080 Recipes, by Simone and Ines Ortega, is published this week by Phaidon Press, priced £24.95

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