3 December 2012

An Insatiable Exclusive: An Interview with They Draw and Cook

Fettucine and Fig Pasta by Salli Swindell: The recipe that started it all.

C reated by brother-and-sister duo Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, They Draw and Cook is an ongoing collection of mouthwatering illustrated recipes by artists from all around the world. On the site, you’ll find a visual feast of fun, entertaining and beautifully drawn artworks bursting with colours and creativity!

What started out as a blog with 8 illustrated recipes in February 2010 quickly escalated into a full-fledged site that now features 3,000 recipes! To date, TDAC has published 3 amazing illustrated recipe books, namely They Draw and Cook, The Colourful Vegetarian and The Best Illustrated Cocktail Recipes, all of which we feature in detail in our TDAC Cookbook Reviews post!

Insatiable recently submitted a Wicked Marshmallow Witches recipe which was featured on their homepage as part of their Halloween collection! We speak to Salli about their inspiring site that has delighted us with its unique winning formula of food and art.

Why illustrate recipes? Have you always been interested in food and cooking?
Our story is two-part. A few years back while on a family vacation Nate was recreating a dish he had in Berlin - Fettuccine with Figs in a Butter Balsamic Sauce. I was at the counter painting the crate of fresh figs. It was an AHA moment for me, illustrating food was so fun!

That following Christmas we decided to send our clients a book of illustrated recipes created by ourselves and 7 other artists. One of the artists kept missing our deadline. The holidays passed and in a moment of impatience Nate said, “I’m putting the 8 recipes we have up on a blog.” In 15 minutes, the blog had been named, designed and launched! We started receiving recipe submissions the very next day! We started with 8 in February 2010 and now feature almost 3,000 with new ones arriving each day!
Which type of food illustrations do you find the most appetizing?
We keep changing our minds! Sometimes we LOVE the funny ones, then an amazing watercolor is submitted and we fall in love with that style, then the next day we love a modern graphic design! Many times we see a new recipe and say, “I can’t wait to make that” or we instantly ping each other to oohhh and ahhhh over it!
How do you work together for TDAC?
Right now we are working in different countries! [Nate is in Berlin, while Salli is in Ohio] Over the years we naturally fell into our respective roles. Nate is more detail oriented and tech savvy while I’m more impulsive. We brainstorm well together and have the same sense of humor. I tend to manage more of the things on They Draw and Cook while he manages more on They Draw and Travel.
Avocado & Egg Toast by So Yeon Kim from Baltimore, MD
How does TDAC help the artist community?
From the very beginning our thought was to give artists some time to shine! Not everyone that submits is a professional and it makes them really happy to have their work online in front of thousands of people. Discovering new food from cultures all over the world through illustration is amazing! Learning more about where people live and travel has opened up our worlds and hopefully others’ as well.

We receive many e-mails from artists saying that they were hired for a particular job because the client saw their work on one of our sites. It does not get any better than that! The fact that schools use TDAC as a platform for class assignments means so much to us.

Our policy is to give 50% of any profits we make on a recipe or map to the artist. Mostly, we think it’s like a big international party with new friends, food and adventures showing up everyday. The energy is contagious! A few months back we started having a “Winning Recipe of the Month” contest with $100.00 going to our favorite pick of the month. [The November 2012 winners are featured in this post.]

Vegetable Soup by MaƂgorzata Lewandowska-Zych from Warsaw Poland

What makes a great illustrated recipe?
We think it’s vital for the recipe to have a personality, which leaves room for lots of exploration and storytelling. Artists have a way of infusing the illustrations with emotion which really helps bring the recipe to life. I suppose the best illustrated recipes make you smile for one reason or another.

It’s vital for the recipe to have a personality, which leaves room for lots of exploration and storytelling.
What can we expect from TDAC in the near future?
We have many conversations going on with folks in a variety of industries. Our most recent project is a collaboration with an online shopping site to sell tote bags with recipes on them. We would like to be able to host several more contests. Contests are super fun and bring so much energy to the site. Right now we are completely enjoying the submissions we are receiving from students in design classes at various colleges (Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

Star-Spangled Trifle by Stacey Porter from Petersburg, Alaska

For more TDAC goodness

They Draw & Cook Cookbook Reviews

Here's our round-up of the three fun and inspiring cookbooks by the amazing They Draw & Cook! Colorful and brilliantly illustrated, they make for wonderful stocking stuffers this Christmas!
They Draw & Cook
Based on the blog of the same name, They Draw & Cook is an illustrated recipe book that features a selection of 107 illustrated recipes, ranging from appetisers to entrees to desserts and also contains a wide spectrum of illustration styles, from the whimsical to the stylish.

Publisher:Weldon Owen

Purchase from Amazon
They Draw & Cook is a gem of a cookbook that truly captures the heart and soul of cooking. Each individualistic style of illustration reflects the personality, intention and background of each artist and the book is a revelatory page-turner about the different food cultures around the world. Heartwarming and entertaining, this cookbook is a must-have companion in your kitchen.

Marmalade Flapjacks by Matt Dawson from Surrey, UK

Classic Cupcakes by Adam James Turnbull from Sydney, Australia
The Colorful Vegetarian
The Colorful Vegetarian contains 30 beautifully illustrated vegetarian recipes for everything from healthy salads to delicious desserts, by the amazing Salli Swindell! Each easy-to-make recipe is a vibrantly illustrated artwork that will both guide and inspire you!

Publisher: STUDIO SSS, LLC

Purchase from TDAC
Purchase from Amazon

Pomegranate and Pear Salad by Salli Swindell from Hudson, OH

Cranberry Deluxe by Salli Swindell from Hudson, OH
The Best Illustrated Cocktail Recipes
Looking to throw a cocktail party this holiday season? You wouldn’t need to look far for inspiration, as The Best Illustrated Cocktail Recipes contains 24 great concoctions ranging from classic martinis to special holiday drinks.

Publisher: STUDIO SSS, LLC

Purchase from TDAC
Purchase from Amazon

Blushing Geisha by Lisa Graves from Medway, MA

The Gin Martini by James Orndorf from Durango, CO

20 November 2012

The Ultimate Survival Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving

Do the words basting and trussing make you break out in cold sweat? Yes, Thanksgiving is just around the corner again, as nervous breakdowns and panic attacks seem imminent.

Fear not: Insatiable has specially formulated an illustrated, day-by-day survival guide to help you host the perfect Thanksgiving. Our schedule planner includes step-by-step instructions on how to tackle the most daunting challenge of preparing the Thanksgiving turkey, to table setting details such as how to fold a napkin into a turkey. Our menu is a feast of traditional Thanksgiving favorites, created from specially selected recipes that allow you to spread the preparation work out over a week to make the big day a breeze for you.

We hope that this guide will help you alleviate the anxiety and stress of preparing the annual Thanksgiving feast, allowing you to bask in the festive mood and enjoy the company of your guests. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

5 November 2012

An Insatiable Exclusive: An Interview with Burpple

M eet Burpple: A social food journal mobile app that allows you to capture your food moments, share them with your friends, explore food recommendations and organise these great finds.

Founded by Elisha Ong, Dixon Chan and Daniel Hum, Burpple is a tech start up based in Singapore. Elisha and Dixon met while they were in Silicon Valley on a one-year exchange programme with Stanford University, working for various web start-ups. Since then, they have added Daniel as a co-founder who heads the programming team and are in the midst of expanding the company.

Burpple was strategically launched at Savour 2012, a global gourmet event with over 12,000 attendees and world-class chefs, and is currently being used in over 100 countries. Burpple has since been listed as a Top Lifestyle and New & Noteworthy app on the iTunes App Store and have garnered a sea of media attention.

Insatiable met up with the Burpple team at their cosy office to learn more about their impressive entrepreneurial journey and to gain insight into their design process of creating an enticing mobile app for food lovers.

What inspired you to come up with Burpple?
Back in Silicon Valley, we were at a Hawaiian diner and couldn’t decide what to order. We didn’t trust the reviews on Yelp and we were early adopters of Instagram and Pinterest, so it seemed natural to us to develop an app that allowed users to share their food memories and restaurant recommendations with their friends.

How was the Burpple identity developed? Why choose magenta?
We used the fork and spoon as it fit nicely with the stems of the double 'p's and created an instant association with food. As for the colour, we researched on colour psychology and discovered that red is an appetizing colour. But there were a lot of food apps out there that were already using red, so we decided on a colour that was a mix between red and pink. We found that this colour appeals to the ladies, who are the majority of our users, and it’s also a bright and unique colour that stands out easily.

The name 'Burpple' is coined from both 'burp' & 'people',
as the app is all about connecting people with food and the name highlights its social aspect.
How about the name Burpple?
While we were in Silicon Valley, we brainstormed somewhere between 40 to 50 names before we came up with Burpple. The name 'Burpple' is coined from both 'burp' and 'people', as the app is all about connecting people with food and the name highlights its social aspect.

How does the Burpple app entice food lovers?
In terms of design, we've dedicated a much larger percentage of the larger to the user-generated images rather than text to create an attractive visual interface. We also used a cream background for the interface, as we found that light coloured backgrounds seem more appetising. In terms of user experience, Burpple allows users to capture their food memories conveniently via Reburps and auto-magic posting. Our recently launched Instagram Connect feature also allows users to cross-publish their food photos easily via hashtags.

Any collaborations with the food industry so far?
Restaurants such as Zsofi Tapas Bar and The Lawn are using Burpple to showcase their menus. We've also created an mobile app for Chope, a restaurant reservation service whom we have a strategic partnership with.
Advice to a Burppler who wants to gain more followers?
Having an attractive profile picture definitely helps! You'll also need to be actively interacting with other users. Having solid content such as great photos will certainly attract more followers. Organising your boxes with niche categories will help you be more memorable as well.

The most memorable photo that you’ve seen on Burpple?
A user actually made her own tau huay and grass jelly mooncake for this year's Mid-Autumn Festival!

Future plans for Burpple?
We envision Burpple as a way of bringing people together over food as we realise that food is a very universal topic and is something that people are very willing to share and communicate about. The Burpple team is constantly improving its mobile experience and we're coming up with more innovations to make food recommendations and discoveries more intelligent and intuitive.
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29 October 2012

We're Featured: On They Draw & Cook!

We're really excited that our illustrated Halloween recipe has been featured on They Draw & Cook! Formed by Salli & Nate, the incredibly talented brother and sister design team behind Studio SSS, They Draw & Cook showcase an amazing array of illustrated recipes submitted by artists from all over the world.

We've been featured in the Halloween Collection, aptly titled 'Boo!', from October 29 to November 5.
Visit They Draw & Cook or click on the screenshot below to check out our featured recipe!

28 October 2012

A Spooktacular Treat: Wicked Marshmallow Witches!

Click on image to zoom in.

Here's another Insatiable original – we've brewed up a spooktacular illustrated recipe to celebrate Halloween! Double, double toil and no trouble – this no-bake recipe is simply irresistible as it only requires an assembly of festive candy such as Hershey's kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups. In the spirit of the ghoulish season, we also included our favourite Halloween elements such as  to entice you hungry trick-or-treaters.

Here's witch-ing you a happy Halloween!

15 October 2012

Carl Warner's Foodscapes

Carl Warner is a British photographer who makes amazing landscapes constructed entirely from food. At first glance, these landscapes may look like photographs of magical Hollywood movie sets. But look more closely and you will see fruits and vegetables, cheese, breads, fish, meat and grains. Heavily influenced by surrealism, Carl Warner aimed to merge dream and reality using his imagination and his hobby of strolling through supermarket aisles. 

Images via Carl Warner