art cookbook

6 Books on Art and Food
A Shelfie from Alexandria Sivak, Senior Communications Specialist at the Getty Trust

Hi! My name is Alexandria Sivak, and I’m a senior communications specialist at the Getty. In addition to art history, my greatest passion is cooking, and I am always looking for ways in which the two intersect. Here are some of my favorite books that do just that.

1. The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals edited by Marcia Reed. (Getty Publications, 2015).

This book shows how food was used to created elaborate, edible works of art throughout history. I’m a huge fan of the Great British Bake-Off, and I think the challenges on that show reflect how we still strive to make food beautiful for celebrations.

 2. Bitters : A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press, 2011).

I am always looking for books on the history of food, and the history of bitters is particularly fascinating. They were once believed to have medicinal properties, and are now seeing a resurgence in fancy cocktails. I just recently began drinking Fernet, which is a cousin of bitters, and equally um…bitter.

3. The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black (Getty Publications, 2012). 

One of my first assignments when I began working at the Getty was to write a post for the Getty Iris about a Gothic desserts cooking class. I remember thinking that medieval cooking was anything but ‘dark’—if you were wealthy, you were using exotic Silk Road ingredients in your sweets—like rosewater and saffron.  

4. The Modern Art Cookbook by Mary Ann Caws (Reaktion Books, 2013).

I find myself wondering what artists are munching on when they work—like, what was Picasso eating while painting Guernica? What sustained Rivera while he worked on those murals? This book answers some of those questions and has a ton of great recipes too!

5. Pizza: Seasonal Recipes from Rome’s Legendary Pizzarium by Gabriele Bonci (Rizzoli, 2013). 

When I recently visit the Vatican, I stopped by nearby Bonci, one of most well-known pizzarias in Italy. There’s something fantastic about walking through St. Peter’s with a belly full of pizza. I picked up this book while I was there—it gives away some of Bonci’s best recipes!

6. The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food from the Lost WPA Files by Mark Kurlansky (Riverhead Books, 2010).

During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) tried to keep writers active by hiring them to write guidebooks for all 50 states. The “America Eats” project was an offshoot of that—it attempted to compile regional recipes from across the U.S. The project was abandoned, but Kurlansky has compiled all the unedited essays in this book, along with some rare photographs.


We are not requiring an art test of any kind to sign up for this. We only ask that if you sign up, you will follow through and submit art by the deadline. You can NOT sign up more than once. If you have already contacted a recipe submitter and they have informed us of your name, your spot is saved and you are not required to fill out the form.

Once the spots have run out, we will no longer be accepting any more sign ups with this specific form. If someone decides to drop out, we will open up a spot again.

If you are not able to sign up this time around, we ask that you still hang around for more spots. We are potentially opening up “doodle” spots, where smaller drawings can be submitted and included in the book, so get excited!



We recently digitised some illustrations from a cook book written around 1570 by Bartolomeo Scappi,  He was head chef for several cardinals and to Pope Pius IV and V.

It is divided in six books, in each book he gives recipes and food selections according to the  seasons of the year. The illustrations in the book show the types of utensils and pots, some of which were shown for the first time in the this book. This book is also the first to show an image of a fork!

Our volunteer Gina translated two recipes from the book for you to enjoy and try out in your kitchens over the weekend! Let us know if you experiment with these early modern recipes:

Fiadoncelli  (pastry dough in tubular shape with various fillings)

Take very fine flour and mix it with white wine, rose water, sugar, salt, oil and saffron, making sure the quantity of rosewater is more than that of wine and everything is lukewarm.  Mix the dough, making sure it is not too hard. Make a thin long pastry.

For the filling, take pine nuts which have been soaked in water and dates simmered in wine and finely chopped, currants simmered in wine and finely chopped raisins without seeds. Mix all with sugar, mints leaves and crushed marjoram.

Shape the fiadoncelli with the thin pastry and add the filling. Fry with high quality oil. Serve warm and dust with sugar.

Dough for various doughnuts

Take one pound of almonds, grind it in a mortar and mix with three pounds of lukewarm water. Heat up. Take two ounces of yeast mixed in warm water, add this to almond milk, add a little salt, four ounces of sugar, eight ounces of white wine, 4 ounces of oil, two pounds of fine flour and a little saffron to add colour.

Whip the dough with a wooden spoon for half an hour. Leave it to rest in a warm place for three hours. After whipping it again with a wooden spoon, cover the bowl for half an hour keeping in warm temperature, and then whip it one more time. Test the dough in hot oil. If it swells it will be perfect, alternatively, remix and leave it to rest. With the spoon make small or big doughnuts as one likes them, when ready serve warm with sugar dust.

If you want to try making doughnuts with additional ingredients, just make the dough more runny than add any of the following suggestions:

-any finely chopped fresh herbs
-cooked parsnips
-salted anchovy
-thinly sliced courgettes
-boiled leeks
-rosemary and sage


Das große Deponia & Elysium Kochbuch

The great Deponia & Elysium Cookbook

It is done! After half a year of work, I am proudly presenting my Cookbook for the videogame trilogy Deponia. Not only Rufus and Goal show you their favourite recipes, also Cletus, the Organon, Lotti and many more celebrate their guest appearances. Each recipe is an… experience for itself and only waits for you to try it out.

This was made for this year’s semester in Corporate Design and I have chosen Daedalic Entertainment to create something unique for them. I will be shown at this years Open Days at my design school and I’ll also get a frame in our personal “bianually Hall of Fame”. I’m very proud!

I’ll always be here for you. When you need to cry, I’ll hold you close and wipe away the tears. After a long day of work, I’ll rub your legs and feet while you watch your favorite shows. I will make you breakfast in bed and warm up the shower for you. I’ll take you on late night walks and hold your hand under the stars. I’ll tell you “I love you” several times a day and give you random kisses. I’ll make a picnic, we’ll go to the park, lay in the grass and stare at the clouds pointing out the creatures and things we see in them. On your birthday I’ll make sure the house if full of balloons, lights, and your favorite decorations. There will be a cake I attempted to cook from everything you taught me in baking. We will bake together, making cupcakes, cookies, and all our favorite treats. I’ll let you lick all the icing off of the spoons and from the bowl. We’ll go to the beach and boogie board on the shallow waters. we can bury each other in the sands and write silly messages. I’ll start a water balloon fight in the middle of a hot summer day, chasing you with a super soaker. We can do walking downtown under the city lights while we shop, eat, hold hands, laugh, and drink. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I’ll kiss you, tell you silly jokes, tell you I love you with one of my silly quotes, I’ll find a way to make you smile and remind you that everything is okay. We’ll find a cute little house where you can decorate it however you want; paint the walls any colors, tell me where you want the book shelves to be, you’ll have your art room where you can be as messy and creative, decorate the walls with your taxidermy butterflies, the succulent gardens you want in the backyard or around the house, and you will have your closet with all your black clothes and shoes. As I do now, I’ll always talk about you, telling everyone how amazing and beautiful you are, making the jealous with how perfect of a creature you are. We will have days where we do absolutely nothing, sit at home, watch our shows, play games, and eat all the pizza and oreo cookies. We will go to the mall and spend hours doing everything; shopping, modeling clothes for each other, drink bubble tea, eat our favorite vegan dishes from the food court, try and resist buying all the games in the video game store, end up buying a game or two in the video game store, purchase bath bombs, and you can browse all the make-up picking out what you want. I’ll hold on to your hand when we go to music festivals and concerts. We’ll go to the local fair and I’ll win you a prize by throwing ping pong balls into small cups, we’ll challenge each other in bumper cars, eat cotton candy, and pet all the animals in the petting zoo. I’ll take you to the bookstore where we can quietly giggle at the cat calendars and sexy novels. You can fill your arms with books and sit on the ground flipping through the pages. Pick out coloring books, art books, vegan cookbooks, and all the baking recipes you want. We’ll go to the local hobby store and pick out tons of things we can craft at home together. We will use that polaroid camera to take tons of photos of our favorite moments, best smiles, and goofy faces and hang them in a collage. We will find a spot in the city to make our own and watch the sunset together. I’ll find new ways you ask you to marry me each year on our anniversary. We’ll go to Disneyland and forget about the world around us at the happiest place on Earth. I’ll look at you and get lost in your eyes and smile. I’ll remind you of how much I love you with little notes floating around the house, messages on the mirror after a hot shower, and randomly clinging to you and squeezing tightly. I’ll help you dye your hair and let you pick out the colors you want in my hair. When life seems hard I will take your hand in mine and look into your eyes letting you know we’ll do it together and get through it just fine. I’ll always remind you that everything will be okay, no matter what. I will always put you first when the choice is mine and I will not let you down. As I am now. As I was yesterday, and as I will be tomorrow. I will always be here for you.

“twelve and clara. fluff and crop. they solve crimes. or short, so he can call her shortie and mock her height and her hair in one sentence” - lotuskasumi

(Gettin’ hype for s9 haaaaaair.)