Notes from a Kitchen?
You don't have to be Prince to call it foodsexy.
By Wayne Alan Brenner, 3:16PM, Fri. Feb. 24, 2012
First, let's agree.
Let's agree that there's porn and there's erotica.
There's porn and there's erotica
and they're two separate & different things.
Neither of which is likely to suffice –
not even as a vicarious experience –
in a, oh, a holistically sexual way.
Porn's too heavy on the moist & flapping meat
and the various hydraulic payoffs resultant therefrom;
and erotica's overly mannered in its presentation,
even in the midst of unbridled rutting, and self-consciously
Much Too Sophisticated To Be Pornography.
Generally speaking, of course.
Rules, exceptions: Yes, we know.
But we're talking about food here, right?
Well, we're talking about what people call food porn.
Except that, in the case of photographer Jeff Scott's Notes From a Kitchen,
a two-volume set of hardcover tomes (the sheer production values of which
will blow your bibliophilic mind even before you consider the amazing content)
just out from the newly formed Tatroux … in the case of Notes from a Kitchen,
we're telling you, we're not really talking about food porn.
But neither are we talking about food erotica.
No, we're talking about the best parts of both of those separate & different things,
about a way of effectively documenting the work and the inspirations and the creations
and even the daily lives of some of the best chefs in the country.
We're talking about a way of incorporating candid, illuminating shots of food gathering
and prep and cooking and the whole wild yet structured culinary circus,
the methodical madness of fine cuisine, into big full-color pages that are intermittently
flooded by and overlaid with the innards of chefs' notebooks:
The chefs' thoughts, their plans, their menu-tweakings, their endless ingredient and source lists.
We're talking about, as Scott likes to call it, "a new kind of cookbook."
It's a genre-bending and format-warping work of passion and skill
that's so graphically vivid, so boldly designed, so basically well-made
that it's like some paper-based IMAX version of the fiercest dozen articles
from the last decade of, say, Bon Appetit or Gourmet magazine.
That it took more than two obsessive years for Scott to capture all this culinary sturm und drang
and, with his project partner Blake Beshore, turn it into a pair of books …
Well, it's surprising that it didn't take three times as long.
It's, we mean, a monument.
But now, here it is.
And here we are.
And Jeff Scott's here, too: He's an Austinite, FFS.
This man with a professional's lens, an aficionado's devotion,
and a printmaker's inkstained heart, walks (and eats) among us in the ATX.
Which is one reason why you'll be hearing much more about him,
online as well as in print, in your Austin Chronicle in the weeks to come.
Especially now that there's a series of events that Scott is cooking up
with the culinary savants of Foreign & Domestic ...