Athena Calderone’s career has spanned a wide range of creative pursuits, but it was once she started her blog, Eyeswoon, that combines interior design, food, fashion, and entertaining that she discovered her personal sweet spot. So it only made sense that she bring her digital world to paper with her first cookbook, Cook Beautiful. “Cook Beautiful encompasses all of my various lifestyle pursuits – food, design, art, music, seasonality, and entertaining. I love to create beauty – whether that is through building flavor and layering textures as I manipulate high quality seasonal ingredients, or through sharing a beautifully presented plate of food, designing a stunning tablescape, or in an environment I design.”
So while Cook Beautiful is a cookbook full of delicious, seasonal recipes, Athena also shares an “swoon tip” that can be anything from how to style a particular dish elegantly to how to get the best flavor from a dish. “Visuals create our first impressions. Aesthetics have the power to draw us into a room – and they can also make our mouths water as an alluring dish sends a signal to our brain that we simply must eat that plate of food. Our eyes are everything. Our experiences all begin with a visual.” So Cook Beautiful is divided into chapters by season and at the end of each section is a tablescape Athena styled for how she likes to entertain that season (such as a clambake for summer.) She says, “My traditions as well as how I cook and set a beautiful table all comes back to the season, and I express this transition visually in Cook Beautiful. Each season tells a different story that is in synch with the recipes. The book focuses of delicious seasonal recipes, first and foremost, but I could not release a cookbook that didn’t also address the environment you enjoy the food within.”
See a few of our favorite images from Cook Beautiful AND the recipe for Meyer Lemon Ricotta Toasts with Blistered Grapes in the slideshow!