WHY WE COOK: WOMEN ON FOOD, IDENTITY, AND CONNECTION (Workman Publishing, Hardcover, 2021)
I want to share a little more about how this project grew from an idea to a real [luscious! colorful! 240 page!] book over the last three years. The short story is: it grew from questions. After I became a mom, and as my kids grew from babies to toddlers, I was thinking more and more about how cooking is part of my creative impulse and identity. Like I often do, I took my questions into my studio practice and paintings, and began talking to other women. I had never seen a book that asked these questions of women in quite this way, or sought answers from a range of women in food – professional chefs and food writers as well as home cooks like me. So I decided to try to make one.
And here we are three years after the moment I finally gathered enough courage to share my idea out loud. Why We Cook celebrates the words, stories and perspectives of a fleet of VISIONARY, AMBITIOUS women in food. And I still can’t believe it’s real. I’ve heard authors compare making a book to giving birth – and I now I can identify with that feeling. It’s a mixture of pride and vulnerability, excitement and anticipation as she is on the verge of making her way into the world. I can’t wait to see how she grows when she’s out there – out of my hands and into yours; the questions she might raise, the conversations she might start.
I’m immensely grateful to the 112+ contributors. There really aren’t adequate words to thank them for taking a chance on being part of this. It’s been an honor and privilege to get a brief glimpse into their creative passions, to get to know their inspiring stories, and to make illustrations in collaboration with them. Each person that was part of Why We Cook has been generous and open. Our conversations over the last three years have changed my life, and filled me with hope.
When the idea spark for Why We Cook was growing in me, it was greeted by two truly phenomenal women: my stellar literary agent Kate Woodrow, of Present Perfect, who believed in this book from the start, and who guided me with calm, gusto, confidence, experience and clarity through every step; and, Rachael Mt. Pleasant, my insightful, deep thinking and dedicated editor at Workman Publishing . I have learned so much from them, and I could not have done this without your steadfast encouragement, their straightforward wisdom and advice.
WHY WE COOK is available everywhere books are sold. You can head right over HERE to buy the book, learn about upcoming book events, and follow along with me on Instagram @lindsaygardnerart for behind-the-scenes glimpses, interviews with contributors, and more.
In the meantime, watch this book trailer, made by the talented Curtis Inman, for more about my inspiration for Why We Cook.