A couple of years ago, I happened to see an illustrated cook book, on the shelf of a close friend in Berlin, that immediately blew my mind! I love cook books, that’s a fact. But this encounter gave me a whole new perspective on illustration and the fantastic opportunity the blending of text and mixed media could provide for a subject. It didn’t look like a cook book at all at first glance, not being a heavy hardback full of photographed recipes, but a slim soft cover full of charming stories and beautiful illustrations. In fact it was the artwork of a student, Larissa Bertonasco, for her final diploma. La nonna, La cucina, La vita was found by a publishing house and today, ten years later, the thirteenth edition is printed and over 60.000 copies sold! For the anniversary a hard cover edition and a limited edition of 50 copies with silkprinted covers are released.
This is a collection of Italian recipes from her grandma, her “nonna”, inspired by her childhood in Liguria and the “scent of sea, rosemary and sage”. Becoming a bestseller in Germany it established a great career for the young illustrator and she has since then published two more cook books, La cucina dolce and La cucina verde together with the Italian chef Carlo Bernasconi.
She now lives with her family in Hamburg as a successful illustrator in all different areas, not only food illustration, although this is what I happened to fall in love with. In interviews she points out that she can draw more than vegetables and pasta and you just have to visit her webpage to see the proof of that… But whatever the motive you cannot miss her consistent signature style; graphic, feminine, distinct and playful. Adore!
All copyrights of the pictures belong to the artist Larissa Bertonasco http://www.bertonasco.de/