Designing a beautiful cookbook is the easy part. Convincing people that the recipes are amazing is another thing entirely.
The 30th anniversary of my design studio, AURAS, is a big deal. Originally, we planned to celebrate by creating a promotion combining our love of publication design with my love of cooking—a beautiful booklet offering a few signature dishes that I have been preparing for clients at studio parties for years. But when the proposed recipe list topped 75, we knew our little promotion had to be a real cookbook.
The result is Delicious by Design, an 80-page hardcover book with luscious photography and design—and more than 50 recipes.
We enlisted an award-winning food photographer and stylist in the project. It was agreed from the start that, unlike much food photography that is prepared only for the camera, the stylist would follow the recipe exactly. It dawned on us that we had something special when everyone around the photographer’s studio began eating the props. After each recipe was shot, the food was quickly gobbled up. That never happens at a commercial studio.
Now, here’s the gratifying part: happily, everyone thinks the book looks great, but it also turns out that they think the recipes are awesome—easy to follow and amazingly delicious.
We created a complementary website for the book, and launched www.deliciousbydesignbook.com with a blog, a sample pdf of part of the cookbook, and some of the recipes that couldn’t fit in the print book. We started hearing from people who tried the recipes and the response was universally enthusiastic. The common refrain was, "More people HAVE to try these dishes!"
Here’s the pitch:
Unlike most cookbooks from celebrity chefs with arcane recipes full of odd ingredients and complicated instructions, Delicious by Design is the product of a home cook with as much imagination in his palate as on his palette (well, on his computer screen, actually).
These recipes are the real thing, designed to be easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. They cover many traditional favorites, from Mac-and-Cheese to Crab Cakes to Fried Chicken, but every recipe has a trick up its sleeve—a surprise ingredient or an interesting preparation that takes the ordinary one step further. They’re designed so even novice cooks can prepare great dishes by following the engaging and informative commentary that accompanies each recipe.
You can try it yourself, even if you aren’t an adventurous cook. Download the sample cookbook pdf from www.deliciousbydesignbook.com and try one of the dishes. If you believe that what you’ve prepared needs to be shared with a wider audience, then help us spread the word about Delicious by Design.
We want to expand the website by adding more content and attracting many more eyeballs; promoting the book with ad placement and videos; and using social media and good old-fashioned PR to spread the word.
The end goal is to use the promotional copies to build buzz and find a major publisher interested in an expanded Second Edition, or undertake it ourselves as a true publishing product. To that end, we'll start making a new version of Delicious by Design specifically for the iPad—a challenging project indeed.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $18 or moreYou selected
Receive a personally signed copy of the 80 page full-color hardbound cookbook. Shipping included at all levels.Estimated delivery:
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2 backers Limited (98 left of 100)
Receive a signed cookbook and a 3-ounce bottle of AURAS Spice Mix, the perfect blend of spices for anything from popcorn to spareribs to fried chicken (see aurascookbook.com/2011/12/13/645)—shipped with a DxD tote bag to carry them.Estimated delivery:
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Receive the cookbook, the spice bottle, and two dozen authentic Maui Wowie Cookies lovingly handmade, based on the recipe at www.deliciousbydesignbook.com—all packed in the tote bag.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $750 or moreYou selected
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Four signed books, an 8 oz bottle of AURAS Spice, PLUS—a new recipe will be named for you and posted on the Delicious By Design website and then included in the Second Edition of the cookbook.Estimated delivery:
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Choose a three course menu from the book, and the author will come to your home (within a 30 mile radius of Washington, DC) and bring all the food to prepare a meal for six, and personally teach you how to make the recipes. Plus you'll get all the other goodies above—including a book and AURAS Spice Mix for everyone.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)