Photographer Todd Selby will publish a book of his Edible Selby series with Abrams in October of this year. This is his second book, but his first that focuses entirely on "the kitchens, gardens, homes and restaurants" of international food world figures. Edible Selby will feature photography, Selby's signature watercolors, handwritten questionnaires, and a recipe from over 40 different subjects, including Danish chef René Redzepi, Tokyo pizzaman Susumu Kainuma, and Eric Werner of Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico (pictured above). It will be designed by the ad/design firm Mother New York.
While some of the subject have been covered in Selby's column in The New York Times' T Styles magazine, he told Eater the book will also feature a whole bunch of new content. Below, he talks about how his life long passion for food led to this book.
So tell me about the book.
It's good to finally be able to talk about it, it's been the past year and a half of my life. So I did a book based on homes and creative spaces of all sorts of different people [2010's The Selby Is in Your Place], that was my first book. After that came out, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do next and I just kept coming back to food.
I never grew up being a design- or architecture-obsessed person, but I was always super obsessed with food. It's always been my thing. So I thought maybe I'd take this idea of creative people and spaces and how I've documented that with illustrations and hand written interviews and see how it could be applied to food. Travel around the world and apply that to food artisans. There are more than 40 different shoots around the world in this book. Part of it has been featured in the Times magazine, but most of it is new.
Who are some of your subjects?
René Redzepi from Noma, with shots from the test kitchen and during service. I went to the Inn With No Innkeeper in Italy, it's actually a place that you go and there's no one there. You just help yourself to cheese and prosecco and salami and you leave money in a piggy bank. The book has some hidden gems and undiscovered gems, but also a fresh take on more familiar places.
What's the story with the recipes? Would you consider it a cookbook?
Everything comes with at least one recipe. The recipes are different, it's not a cookbook, they're kind of recipes that chefs give to each other in their handwriting. Some are exact and some are more conceptual. My friends who are chefs, when they look at recipes they just look at ingredients and follow along and go from there in their heads. They're more inspirational than instructional.