Tuesday 29 May 2012

The cover of my Scrumptious new cook book!

I'm fizzing with excitement about my cook book, which will be published by Random House Struik at the beginning of July 2012. At last I can show you the cover.

Shooting the cover. On the left is Kirk, Michael's assistant. Plus an
 interested  (interested in the steak, that is)  onlooker, my basset
hound Madame Velvet.
What do you think of the cover? I couldn't be happier with it because it sums up the mood, style, tone and content of my book. What I really love is its simplicity and elegance, and for that I have to thank the book's designer and creative director Beverley Dodd, and Cape Town food photographer Michael Le Grange, both of whom worked closely with me to come up with this image.

(For the back blurb of the book, scroll down to the end of this blogpost.)

We considered many shots from the inside of the book for a cover, but none quite fitted the bill. We wanted the cover to look simple, sophisticated, modern and inviting, but it also needed to reflect the book's theme:  good, accomplished home cooking and polished entertaining. For weeks we mulled over a location, but it was Michael who spotted this natural stone wall outside the front entrance to my home, and I slapped myself on the forehead several times for not having thought of it earlier.

When I planned the styling of this image, I chose a round table because these are so convivial, and 'ghost' chairs because they're unobtrusive. The plain white linen and worn silver cutlery echo the simplicity of the food-styling inside the book. I also wanted an indigenous flower on the table to give the cover an African stamp, and we tried several blooms before settling on a single hot-pink protea.

It took a little longer to decide what to put on the plates, and in the end I was guided by one of my children: 'It's easy, Mom,' he said. 'Just put your favourite special-occasion dish on the cover.'  So I did just that, because fillet, mash and rocket is just what I'd make if you came round for lunch at my house.

Only one individual in my family didn't enjoy this shoot. Scroll down to find out who.

 Here's our little basset Akamaru, sorely aggrieved about the steak situation. (Photograph by Michael Le Grange.)

Back blurb of my cookbook:
Creating memorable feasts for family and friends is one of life's great pleasures: how better to celebrate life and love than to gather at a happy table laden with scrumptious home-cooked food? You do not need to be an expert cook to produce heart-warming dishes that sing with flavour - all that's required is passion, patience and smart preparation well in advance. 
Jane-Anne Hobbs has created over 90 original, triple-tested recipes designed to take the fuss out of home entertaining and bring smiles to the faces of the people you love. Whether you’re planning a relaxed get-together over a homely dish of soup, stew or salad, or a lavish spread with all the bells and whistles, you’ll find plenty of inspiring new ideas here, plus top tips for planning and preparing a meal to remember.
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africanaussie said...

Beautiful cover - I just love how the protea pops out at you! - congratulations!

Kitchenboy said...

Again, congratulations Jane! I absolutely love the cover!

And the photo of your basset is just too sweet for words!

Kit said...

Wow, it looks stunning! Love the blown out whites and the colour of the protea picked up by the steaks - simple, summery and scrumptious indeed!

Vicki said...

Hugest of congrats lovely Jane-Anne - it's beautiful, so light and bright! Can't wait to get my paws on a copy! V xx

Hayley said...

Oh wow...you are doing a book! Yes I clearly know nothing :-)

Yay...it looks amazing!

Jane-Anne said...

Thank you very much for your kind comments, my friends. They are very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

wow! I love the way that protea pops! That is also my favourite dish.
I would buy your book for sure. Congrats!

The Local Bag said...

I love the cover. It does everything you wanted it to and more.

Helen said...

Well done. Beautiful elegant cover! I totally want to sit down at the table and enjoy that meal.

Jane-Anne said...

Thank you Anon, The Local Bag and Helen.

Tania said...

Absolutely love it Jane-Anne!

You know how often I make things from here, so I can't wait to buy your book!

And that picture of your basset is so sweet..

Ishay said...

Pushie! I see my comment from yesterday did not go through- was trying to send from phone. Firstly: Wow! The cover is so you: bright, welcoming and proudly S/African. (okay, I couldn't stuff erudite, charming and funny in there too, could I? ;)
Congratulations! I can not wait to buy a copy.
Secondly, re basset: if pictures could talk! Adorable.
Lots of love from Lisbon

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Thuli said...

Congratulations Jane!!!! I can't wait to get myself a copy, try out some of the recipe and also share on my blog! The photography looks amazing.

Ann said...

Beautiful cover and great choice of backdrop wall to add to the clean and earthy image. But just so funny to think of an actual meal being eaten outside your property on the side of the road!


excellent. very romantic and energetic. a nice post. I'm waiting for the next article. Thank you very much