The witty and voyeuristic What’s Cooking? Famous Designers on Food, gets inside the minds and digestive systems of 28 designers, including Wally Olins, Marion Deuchars, Helmut Schmidt and Paula Scher.
The designers tell their own foody stories through nostalgic anecdotes and rants, illustrations and photographs.
The nuanced, delicate and deliberate instruction of Lambie-Nairn’s All Day breakfast – ‘Serve on pre-heated white plates with two half-pint mugs of tea’ – is illustrated with a fry-up graphic he prepared and some photos of a bustling greasy spoon.
Others might be inspired by Len Deighton’s Lasagna al forno. Deighton is scientific and precise, if not slightly overbearing. ‘To trap air, be sure to ripple the cooked pasta as you assemble it, and blob the Bologniase sauce to the same effect,’ he says.
Elsewhere Marion Deuchars is less precise as she shares the recipe for her Scottish Ham Hock and Red Lentil soup. ‘I vary the ingredients depending on what’s in the fridge,’ she says.
The full recipe does sound hearty and heartening though, and is accompanied by this lovely illustration.
Mike Dempsey lives making the perfect omelet through a cinematic memory – watching one being made on screen in 1965 by Ipcress File anti-hero Harry Palmer.
His contribution though is Welsh Rarebit, introduced with the following dress code. ‘Black horn-rimmed glasses, white Oxford button down shirt, slate-grey, single-breasted, all-wool Jaeger suit, knitted tie and black loafers.’ So now you can dress and cook like Mike Dempsey.
Wally Olins doesn’t contribute a recipe but he does recall, ‘I just remembered the most wonderful meal I have ever had. This was when I was in my early 20s and hitch-hiking in the south of France. I had a fresh baguette. On the road between Nimes and Arles. I was sitting on the roadside with a friend and ate the baguette with camembert and I had a peach as well. Wonderful. Nothing ever beat that.’ Thanks Wally.
What’s Cooking Famous Designers on Food is published by Baseline and is available here.