Charlie Trotter was one of the most innovative chefs in the world recognized by Relais Chateaux and the James Beard Foundation. Early in his career, he wanted to define a new type of cookbook that would be inspirational and be in living rooms vs. kitchens. He wanted to control all content, design and marketing for his ideas, which is highly unusual for authors as publishers usually control these issues.
Methods & Practices
We collaborated closely with Charlie and Tim Turner, one of the best food photographers in the United States to explore how his brand would be expressed through images and overall book design. We were given unprecedented access to Charlie, his methods and his kitchen in order to align his thinking and vision in both the design and production value of his books. The photography was top notch and conceptually matched the design. We ended up producing several books for him such as the original book, Vegetables, Seafood, Meat & Game and Desserts. We oversaw all printing in Hong Kong.
Impact & Outcome
Charlie proved to other star chefs and to the publishing community that he could take control and financial responsibility for his cookbooks and set the bar of the first $50 cookbook on the market. These books defined a new cookbook category and were financially lucrative for his overall business and recognized by the Chicago Book Clinic and The James Beard Foundation for their meticulous design, photography and content.