Why We Cook

Why We Cook : Women on Food, Identity, and Connection

4.11 (209 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.11 (209 ratings by Goodreads)

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Inspiring, empowering, beautiful, and moving, Why We Cook explores the place where food meets feminism. In it, artist Lindsay Gardner brings together stories, essays, kitchen profiles, interviews, and more, featuring 112 women restaurateurs, food producers, activists, writers, professional chefs, and home cooks - all of whom are dedicated not only to their craft, but to changing the world of food.

There are profiles on changemakers, like Cristina Martinez, a chef who emigrated from Mexico and who brings her Philadelphia community together through food while using her platform to champion immigrants' rights; and Leah Penniman, who describes a day in her life on Soul Fire Farm, which she cofounded to combat racism in the food system. Evocative reflections on food and memory, like Rachel Khong's ode to her mother's love of fruit. And narrative recipes, like restaurateur Nicole Ponseca's Bibingka.

With her rich visual storytelling gifts - the book is filled with beautiful watercolour illustrations and portraits - Gardner not only captures a sense of what is unique about each of the women, bringing them to life, but adds layers of nuance and insight to their words and their work. Together, their voices reveal the power of food to uplift and nourish, reveal complex questions, and effect change, and offer us all the opportunity to learn about each other and about ourselves.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 178 x 229 x 25.4mm | 739.36g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • full-color illustrations throughout
  • 1523509740
  • 9781523509744
  • 588,713

Review quote

"Proof that the act of cooking can indeed be an empowering, life-changing thing." -Well+Good

"Readers will rejoice in this inspiring collection of writing and art about the beautiful, loving act of preparing a meal. . . . With Gardner's gorgeous watercolor illustrations, this book is a love letter to food and those who feed us." -Booklist, starred review

"A beautiful and thoughtful book, a buffet of approaches to the kitchen that show we're all in this together even though we're inevitably doing it a different way." -Salon.com

"Gardner's illustrations bring nuance and inspired through-provoking articles about the changing world of food. A gift to uplift, empower, inspire, aspire, and nourish the soul of any cook."-Cuisine at Home

"The range of voices shine a light on racial diversity in the culinary world in this visually evocative, comforting book. Easy to dive into at any point when seeking inspiration or a sense of community through food and cooking, this book is a good conversation starter." -Library Journal

"Prepare to be blown away by Lindsay Gardner's illustrations. Her gift as an artist is part of this fluid conversation about food with some of the most intriguing women, and you'll never want it to end. Why We Cook highlights our voices and varied perspectives in and out of the kitchen and empowers us to reclaim our place in it." -Carla Hall, chef, television personality, and author of Carla Hall's Soul Food

"Why We Cook is a wonderful, heartwarming antidote to these trying times, and a powerful testament to unity through food." -Anita Lo, chef and author of Solo and Cooking Without Borders

"This book is a beautiful object, but it's also much more than that: an essay collection, a trove of recipes, and a guidebook for how we might use food to fight for and further justice. The women in its pages remind us that it's in the kitchen, in the field, and around the table that we do our most vital work as human beings-and that, now more than ever, we must." -Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life and The Fixed Stars
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About Lindsay Gardner

Lindsay Gardner is an illustrator and artist who lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and two daughters (her two favourite sous chefs). Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, her penchant for stories and art led her to study American literature and art at Middlebury College, and to earn her MFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute. Her illustrations have appeared in cookbook and editorial projects, advertising campaigns, and stationery and interior design collaborations, and have been featured in Eating Well, Flow magazine, and Uppercase magazine, amongst others.
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Rating details

209 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 37% (77)
4 42% (88)
3 17% (35)
2 4% (9)
1 0% (0)
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