Now that the weather is getting better and better, I’m reminded of the time I will be spending this summer in the south of France. And that again reminds me of the work I did there a few years ago for the cook book Mijn Keuken van de Zon, which is translated in French, German and Finnish. We even won a price with it! The book shows images by Anna de Leeuw and recipes by Virginie Besançon. She cooks only seasonal food, and it all tastes even better than it looks. The book has only recipes for vegetables and fruits, so perfect for vegetarians and people that want to cut back on eating meat. I did the styling, part of the production and edited all the recipes.
Another neighbour, and best friend of Gemma’s, is Paula. She lives with her mother Clara and the rest of her family across from Gemma’s. After the harvest of the tomatoes, in august and september, they make tomato sauce. They make a big wood fire under a big steel drum filled with, early in the morning before it gets too hot outside. Then they peel the tomatoes and use a special machine to make it into sauce. They pour the sauce in clean beer bottles, put a cap on in and cook the bottles in the steel drum to sterilse them. The have enough sauce to last them a whole year untill the next harverst, plus some for friends and family. I took some pictures while Giancarlo was helping them, and Mark Niedermann was taking pictures of the process for the book.
Today we stay in Italy a little more, because I want to tell about another book I recently finished: La Cucina d’Abruzzo. It is a book about Gemma Mirabilio & Giancarlo Acciavatti, who run a succesfull catering company Mondo Mediterraneo (www.mondomediterraneo.com). It is around the corner from where I live. Lucky me!
They make beautiful and delicious food, but they are also very warm and lovely people. I asked them two years ago if they would like to make a cook book with me, and that is when our adventure together started.
They took me to their home region, Abruzzo, a part of Italy full of contrasts. Totally different from the Italy that I know from my trips to Tuscany and Milan. The mountains are rough and authentic, with little villages remote from everywhere. It is as if time stood still. But the coast is very lively and stylish, with exclusive beach bars and shops, especially Pescara.
These contrasts you can also find in Gemma, who is from a small farm in a village in the hills, and Giancarlo, who is from Pescara. And you can find these contrasts in the food they prepare. Some recipes are old, authenic family recipes, others are recipes that are inspired by their travels around the world.
My plan first was, besides making the whole concept of the book, doing the styling and making the illustrations, to also write all these stories down. But during the process of the book, I was also preparing something else: two lovely babies! So my very talented friend Jocelyn de Kwant took over the writing of the stories. Plus she finished the production of the book (bravo). Sanne Dirkzwager designed the book. Most of the images are by Swiss photographer Mark Niedermann (www.markniedermann.com), but some of them are mine. I will show some more of my images in a later post.
Happiness is a cupcake is a book that I made together with Sanne Dirkzwager. Paul Barbera made the beautiful, dreamy images. Marlein Overakker, Martha Regtering and Hans Heiloo were the professional cooks, but Sanne and me also wrote some recipes. The concept and the design is Sanne’s. We did the styling together, and I edited the recipes and wrote the texts.
Happiness is a cupcake set
Stephanie Rammeloo & Dirkzwager, S.