Cherry Bombe is a beautiful cookbook chockfull of stunning photos and delicious recipes. They range from simple recipes with as few as four ingredients to complex multi-step masterpieces, but each and every recipe is given star treatment with gorgeous photos displaying a pop art sensibility that challenges the shabby-chic dominance of contemporary food aesthetics.
With more than one hundred recipes from more than one hundred women who are head chefs at famed restaurants, food bloggers, food stylists, and food company entrepreneurs. From sources from many different areas of the food industry, each recipe comes with a short introduction explaining its origin or inspiration. Some are family recipes, some are original creations. All of them look beautiful and most of them sound delicious—except the ones with beets, but that’s an issue of personal animus toward that benighted vegetable.
I like Cherry Bombe a lot. The authors, Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu recruited a wide range of contributors who offer a brilliant variety of recipes. I love that they focus on ingredients that won’t take a trip to a specialty store, though the soda bread really should have currants, not raisins, in my opinion. I don’t think currants are that unusual an ingredient. They have them at WinCo. However, valuing ingredients that ordinary people have in their homes without making a trip to the store is something rare and wonderful that I value highly.
There are recipes from all over the world, Scandinavian hash, Haitian pumpkin soup, Filipino chicken wings, and American burgers. While there are many super-healthy recipes using wheat berries, barley and other complex grains, there are also decadent desserts and indulgent meat dishes. Variety is the North Star in this cookbook, so there is more than one something for everyone.
What I love more than anything though is the visual aesthetic. I have mentioned in other cookbook reviews that I am tired of the disordered table with herbs and flour sprinkled all over—a sort of shabby chic look-at-the-mess-I-made style that is everywhere. Cherry Bombe is clean, the photos are spare and clean. It’s very op-art, visually strong and powerful. It all looks delicious, and the bold forms of a knife in a brisket, a teal plate against a white background are inviting and really pop. I love the color aesthetic, too. Pink is not a color I associate with foodies, but it works. It’s very Sixties, recalling the days of Melmac® and those bold anodized aluminum tumblers that never insulated your hands from the icy cold water they held, so perfect on a hot, humid summer day.
I received a review copy of Cherry Bombe from the publisher through Blogging for Books.
- Cherry Bombe at Clarkson Potter | Penguin Random House
- Cherry Bombe online magazine
- Kerry Diamond on Twitter
- Claudia Wu on Twitter
- Alpha Smoot photography website
- Claudia Ficca food stylist website