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Fashion’s recipes from the kitchens of Phillip Lim to Missoni

By Weixin Zha

Nov 30, 2020

Given the recent unpalatable events and news, some lighter reading can't hurt. That was perhaps the thought of American fashion designer Phillip Lim when he published his out-of-print cookbook during the pandemic. The culinary ebook, the proceeds of which have been donated to charity, taps into the surge in home-cooking at a time when restaurants around the world were forced to close to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In releasing the book, Lim joins other couturiers and fashion houses like Dior and Missoni who have demonstrated their good taste outside of the atelier.

Tailored recipes by Dior

Christian Dior was not only one of the most significant fashion designers of the post-war years, he was also a true gourmet. “The ingredients we use when cooking are just as noble as the materials used in couture. What I like in my profession is that one has to bring together one’s mind and one’s hands,” the founder of his eponymous fashion house once told his friend and cook Raymond Thuillier. “A work can only be brought to perfection if one’s creative imagination is loyally matched by one’s hands.”

Picture: Christian Dior: La Cuisine Cousu-Main | Source: Dior

Dior cherished refined dishes like stuffed chicken with fromage blanc or crème anglaise as much as simple side dishes like duchess potatoes and endive salad with vinaigrette. The favourite dishes of the French couturier were gathered in the book 'Christian Dior: La Cuisine Cousu-Main’. Today, the book is out of stock with second-hand copies being sold for several hundred euros on the internet.

Christian Dior: La Cuisine Cousu-Main, Language: English & French, print-version sold-out, Publisher: La Société Christian Dior, 2. edition 1972

Culinary poetry by Phillip Lim

US fashion designer Phillip Lim started to cook as he embarked on a journey back through his memories of his mother who expressed her affection to her children with food. And his cookbook reads just as personal when Lim reveals how he braises eggplants in the wok or chicken with basil. "This is not a traditional cookbook. The recipes are personal and perhaps naive, but over the years they have allowed me to express myself and share my joy of cooking with loved ones," says Lim in the preface of his book, which the photographer Viviane Sassen illustrated. The result is a poetic conversation between her photographs, Lim's recipes and memories, and "all the things that nourish us, ”says the designer.

More than our Bellies, 99 pages, Language: English, Print version sold out, available as e-book for 10 US-dollar, Publisher: Wefolk / Apple Books, 1. Edition 2019

Picture: Photos by Vivianne Sassen | Source: Philipp Lim.

Rejina Pyo: Recipes from home

The cookbook of Korean-born London-based designer Rejina Pyo was created at home - in collaboration with her husband and chef Jordan Burke. He was so enthusiastic about the dishes Pyo cooked at home that the two of them undertook several culinary trips to her native country to collect traditional, authentic recipes.

The book not only offers instructions for classic dishes such as Kimchi or Bibimbap but also an introduction to the basics of Korean food culture, which is all about community. "Food is at its most delicious when shared," reads the introduction to the book - a realization that the couple brings to life at home every day and certainly with this book.

Title: Our Korean Kitchen, 381 pages, Language: English, Hard cover, Price: 22,97 US-dollar, Author: Jordan Bourke & Rejina Pyo, Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1. Edition: 3. September 2015

Picture: Missoni grandparents cooking in the 80s | Source: Missoni

Missoni’s family recipes

Missoni not only celebrates its joie de vivre through original knitwear in unmistakable patterns each season, the family behind the Italian fashion house also does so with their cooking. Maccapani Missoni, the son of Missoni's artistic director Angela Missoni, has collected and published the family's well-kept recipes. From Gnocchi Verdi to Zucchine alla Parmigiana, the dishes from this cookbook are just as exquisite as the designs of the fashion house and invite the reader to explore the world of a colorful and sensual family.

Title: The Missoni Family Cookbook, 238 pages, Language: English, Hardcover, Price: 55 US-dollar, Author: Francesco Maccapani Missoni, Publisher: Assouline, 1. Edition: 13. April 2018

Picture from left to right | Photographer: Claudia Tajoli; The Missoni Family Cookbook | Assouline

American Fashion Cookbook

This cookbook invites the reader to dine with the entire US American fashion industry. The members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America have contributed more than 100 recipes and they are as diverse as the styles of the participating designers. The recipes range from Derek Lam's exquisite crudo from the yellowtail mackerel to the family recipe of Carolina Herrera for Pommes Toupinel - a whole baked potato filled with a poached egg and covered with melted béchamel sauce.

Title: American Fashion Cookbook, 120 pages, Language: English, Author: Lisa Marsh, Price: 50 US-dollar, Publisher: Assouline, 1. edition: 1. September 2009

Picture: Missoni