Cherry Bombe The Cookbook
Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu
Cherry Bombe Inc., 2017
Hello Dad, hello Mom!
Cool, hip, intersecting women and food with a bit of fashion thrown in, Cherry Bombe has been a bi-annual magazine since 2013. Now with a podcast and an annual Jubilee (get it?) — a woman-centric conference that brings together women in the food industry — Cherry Bombe fills an important role in today’s food scene.
Our mission is to support women in the world of food by sharing their stories and to build a community of people making the world a better place through food. We also encourage everyone to cook for themselves and their loved ones; to be confident, curious, and creative in the kitchen; and to sit down for meals with others whenever possible.
After all that, it only makes sense that a cookbook was the next logical step. Offering 100 recipes from 100 awesome female food professionals, this collection is comprised of very reasonable and accessible dishes that speak to Cherry Bombe’s overall mission statement. We’re not looking at haute cuisine here, and recipes such as Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies (Avery Ruzicka), Watermelon Gazpacho (Melia Marden), and Easy Crab Rolls (Chrissy Teigan) have clearly been chosen for their simplicity and familiarity. That’s okay, however, because it encourages readers to try the recipes more so than if the dishes each included 30 rare ingredients and took two days to complete.
Unfortunately the book doesn’t contain full bios, and references to the contributors and their businesses or organizations are hidden in the headnotes for each recipe, meaning readers interested in learning more about a particular chef must Google each person individually. Given that the back cover references the contributors as “100 of the most creative and inspiring women in food today”, I’d have liked to have seen a bit more promotion of the individuals taking part.
I’m also having a bit of a love/hate thing with the photography. Photos by Alpha Smoot and styling by Claudia Ficca are intentionally stark and over-exposed. With the pale pastel backgrounds and minimal dishware, I’d love to use these images to decorate a mid-century-style kitchen, but at the same time, I don’t find that the food looks particularly appetizing.
Usability: Good-ish. Directions are broken down with line breaks between steps, but the font definitely doesn’t pass the kitchen counter test. (Actual eyestrain with this one.) Ingredients lists are in bold which makes them more readable. Measurements are not offered in metric. Layout and design have taken precedence over content, which is too bad since the concept of the book — to promote female chefs — is fantastic.