BA Photography, London College of Communication 2015
‘Cook No Flambooki’ was conceived as a way to encourage teenagers into the kitchen, inspire them to cook and experiment with food rather than reaching for a take-away menu or ready meal. At its heart this book is about healthy eating, but there are no calorie counts or salt guidelines, no fitness programmes or self-restraint sermons. This is intentional. Michael strongly believes that to successfully combat bad eating habits in the young, it is imperative to just get them cooking. We all need to understand what goes into our food before it goes into us.
The eclectic feel to the book’s artwork along with its apparently relaxed layout, delivers an authentic scrapbook experience. Many of the illustrations are deliberately not overproduced in order to maintain the book’s playful rhythm. This is not the kind of book that is read from cover to cover, nor is it an overly earnest foodie tome, but a mixture of food info, recipes and trivia making it a compelling and easy read.
Each recipe is given a double page spread that includes a list of ingredients, a list of necessary utensils and an explanation of the method. Not all the pages contain recipes, there are plenty of ‘ambient spreads’ giving an added level of interest. These hold a variety of works; a photo essay of a Miami graffiti park, a compilation suggesting some of the world’s greatest train journeys and even a comic strip story about an adventurous finger that, having been inadvertently cut off during a dinner party, is forced to find its own way in the world. You don’t see that in any Gordon Ramsey cookbook!