CookbooksFood Stories

Off The Shelf: A Look Back to 1987

By Christopher Stewart | February 6, 2013

A plating sketch from 1987 from Paul Mooney, sent to Marcus

Living in a world full of food, chefs and restaurants can be quite delicious. With so many new techniques, heirloom foods, and the rise of the young chef, its always a great day to eat. With the climb of cooking in all art forms, brought along the rapid popularity of cookbooks. Cookbooks have always been popular, dating back to “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Childs and “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer. These two cookbooks paved the way in the culinary world and are still holding ground amongst some of the best.

A cookbook can take you anywhere you want to eat, right in the comforts of your home, but it always brings such great nostalgia to see some of your old work transform and remind yourself of just how far you have come. Creating layouts and combing through the long hours of recipe development can become tiresome. Presentation is everything and when recipe planning, hand written sketches of the plating are essential. Looking back and comparing early sketches to the amazing photos of a photographer, all the fine little details of putting a book together, come back to you as if it were your first recipe.

Recently, The New York Times, took a trip back down memory lane, highlighting all the emotions that come back to mind with the scribbling that you will find in an old cookbook. A rush of mixed emotions, but mostly the sense of success and accomplishments come back every time the pages turn and a new recipe is re-created all over again, getting better and better with each memory.

The above sketches were sent to Marcus via Paul Mooney, one of his chef mentors, while working at the Grand Hotel Victoria-Jungfrau, Interlaken in the Spring of 1987. Paul instilled in Marcus and taught him the importance of aesthetics on a plate. Looking at these early sketches and the intricate hand written notes and detailing, are the exact reasons for cookbooks, the memories and humble beginnings.

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