Tag Archives: food

Chefs’ Notebooks Photographed by Jeff Scott

More notebooks from chefs!

“Fine-art photographer Jeff Scott won the 2012 James Beard Foundation Award in the Photography category for Notes From a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession….

The book doesn’t contain any recipes, but instead aims to reveal the creative process for some of the top, young chefs in America. Shot documentary-style, Scott’s photos show the chefs at work and away from the kitchen as well as their personal notebooks where menus are planned and recipes created.”

Read more at: Jeff Scott Wins James Beard Award for Photography | PDNPulse

The books are available at Amazon.


A Very Yummy Notebook Page

Chefs can have some pretty interesting notebooks. This one belongs to Nick Wuest, who is a Pastry Arts student at the International Culinary Center. The first few lines of this recipe already had me salivating…

And here’s his results! Yum.

You can get the full recipe here: Play with your food: Brown Sugar Caramel-Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches – www.internationalculinarycenter.com


Notebook Addict of the Week: Nancy Hanst

This week’s addict came to me via a tip from a reader (Thanks Raymond!), and I was delighted to see this story:
Nancy Hanst has kept a food diary since 1962. I love Nancy’s stacks of little spiral-bound notebooks, and her consistency in keeping them for over 50 years!


From Nancy’s article:

So, here I am in the early days of 2015, riffling the pages in a little spiral-bound notebook marked “2014 MENU & BUDGET,” the second most recent in a series of 53 such notebooks.

You see, I keep a foodie diary of what Jim and I eat, usually for supper, and have been doing it since 1962, a few months after we married. There’s a drawerful of colorful pads, missing only 2002, one of the winters we spent away from home (if found, please return), each starting (usually with sauerkraut) on Jan. 1 and ending (with something festive) on Dec. 31, with guests named and exceptional dishes starred and double-starred. In the back of every tablet is perhaps the most interesting data — the food budget for the year. When I remember to do so, there also are mentions of unusual snowfalls, rainfalls, rainbows, wildflowers spotted, temperatures, the arrival of phoebes, the departure of juncos etc. etc.; also canning dates and how many jars of what are put up; the record of trips and vacations; then major events such as hospital stays and the night the wild cherry tree fell and took the balcony with it.

When this lifelong project started, I’d never cooked day-by-day and had tried my hand at only a few party dishes. I’d lived at home, my mother was a fine cook and I had other things to do. On the other hand, Jim Hanst, whom I had just married, was a pretty darn good cook. So, from the start, there was both a mentor and a competitor in the kitchen.

I got interested in cooking right away and liked jotting down what I was learning. I also thought a diary would be a help in remembering what to eat at the same time next year. I didn’t know yet that I’d never be interested in repeating, that I’d always want to be trying something else. Different methods, strange dishes, new ingredients. Then there was the matter of cooking for guests. I wouldn’t want to repeat myself, would I? So, they got included in the report. And as long as I had a little, spiral-bound pad handy, it was a good place to make occasional notes about the weather or our travels or health. Keeping a food budget in back was a logical final step.

My dear, departed friend, Marilyn McDevitt Rubin, liked to look through and comment on these little books. Then, she’d say, “Nancy, when you offer your Christmas ornaments to the Smithsonian, you have to give them these notebooks, too.”

Read more (including some of her recipes) at Nancy Hanst has kept a food diary since 1962 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There are more notebook photos too!

Moleskine Monday: A Chocolate Journal??

Ok, I think these Passions journals are starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel a bit. How many people really need a whole separate notebook to keep track of the different kinds of chocolate they eat? The answer, I suppose is that no one really needs such a journal. A few people might want one. But what is most likely to happen is that a bunch of people will buy this as a gift for someone when they are truly out of other ideas, and they’ll think “oh, so and so loves chocolate! They’ll like this…” and it will end up being one of those gifts that gathers dust in a drawer somewhere.
But that’s just my opinion! Would you use a chocolate journal?


Read more at Moleskine Chocolate Journal | Notebooks and Journals Moleskine Original Collection.

Beverage Notebooks

Here’s some cool notebooks I found out about from a reader (thanks June!)

If you like beer, you’ll love this:

See more at 33Beers.com

There’s also a wine journal at 33Wines.com:

And for those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, check this one out: 33Coffees.com

I like the design– they seem to have a nice balance of pre-formatted stuff to fill in and blank space for notes. They should put all 3 together in a little binder…

They are made with recycled papers and soy inks in Portland, Oregon– it doesn’t say so anywhere, but I’d bet anything these are custom printed versions of the Scout Books by Pinball Press.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Elissa Altman

This week’s notebook addict is food writer Elissa Altman, who calls herself a “journal junkie” and shares these images at her blog Poor Man’s Feast:

Here’s some of her thoughts about her addiction:

I don’t know when it happened, exactly, or why, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been fanatical about notebooks. When I was a child, I could never decide between spiral and stitch-bound for school (spiral always seemed to be sort of non-committal), and when I was old enough for a loose leaf, my father gave me a small, leather three-ring binder that his sister had given him when he was not yet ten. I still have it—it sits on my desk, filled with the same lined paper from 1974, which has not yet yellowed. For years, I’ve wanted to use it as my kitchen notebook, but I just can’t bring myself to; on the one hand, I worry that regular use will harm it after almost eighty years, and on the other, I worry that forcing utilitarianism upon it will somehow render it less meaningful to the universe. Which is just plain nuts, when it gets right down to it.

And more thoughts specifically about notebooks and cooking:

When it comes to the subject of food, and cooking, though, I find almost nothing more enticing to read than kitchen notebooks because they place the reader in the kitchen of the cook, with the cook. Given the choice between M.F.K. Fisher’s narrative and her notebooks, I’d grab the latter first. My best college friend once sent me James and Kay Salter’s Life is Meals, and after years of perusing it, the book now falls open to the entry about their old kitchen notebook. Recently, my colleague and fellow blogger, Heidi Swanson, published a post about creating a new cookbook manuscript, and it was an amazing look at her creative process, involving lots of notebooks. And her photo of all those notebooks? Oh Heidi. So sultry.

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it… hungry for food, and for a look at some of those kitchen notebooks!

Read more at Poor Man’s Feast: Notebook Lust: Confessions of a Journal Junkie.

Yummy Idea: Keep a Chocolate Notebook!

Talk about the ultimate indulgence: devoting a notebook entirely to one’s chocolate consumption!

Isn’t it hard to start writing in a brand new notebook? Best to write or draw something on the first page right away, so you don’t have to be intimidated by the blank pages anymore.

This is my newest one and I already love it. It’s a collection of chocolate bar wrappers and what I was doing when I ate them.


From The Chocolate Notebook via things i love: new notebooks and journals – blog – tales of LIFE.

Keep a Weight-Loss Journal

Just one more reason to love notebooks: they can help you lose weight! Lots of people (myself included) use notebooks to record their food intake and exercise. But here’s another suggestion I hadn’t heard of:

Compliment Journal: This is more than just about compliments, but use it as a starting point. Write down inspiring quotes that motivate you. When others compliment you on non-fitness related issues. And when others take notice of all the hard work you have done. When you feel you’re not making progress, just go back and read through all your great comments and quotes and feel motivated again.

Read more: Keeping a journal is crucial to weight loss.

Logging Lentil Leftovers

This has to be the strangest, most specific use of a notebook I’ve ever heard about:

Clément Gaujal, a customer quality representative for Nissan who grew up in Paris, recalled that his mother had a tenuous grasp of batch size when it came to lentils, and often ended up serving their leftovers for three or four days in a row. So, after buying a small notebook filled with graph paper, Mrs. Gaujal started a lentils diary: she and her husband and four sons would chronicle how the lentils were prepared at each meal, how much was eaten by various members of the family, what was discussed during the meal, and, of course, what percentage of the offerings were left uneaten. Any family member not in attendance at any given meal was the subject of mild, legume-based ridicule.

From What to Do About the Leftovers? – NYTimes.com.

Notebook Uses: Food and Exercise Journal

Here’s someone who is just starting to use a notebook to track food and exercise:

First things first, to find out if I can keep track of my eating and exercising, I have started a food and exercise journal. This is nothing fancy right now, it is just a spiral notebook left over from school. Once I have proven to myself that I can actually keep track of everything I want to keep track of, and that I want to continue with this nonsense, I might actually buy a Moleskine or some other “nice” notebook.

The format of my notebook is currently free form. I tried to find some templates, but this apparently is not as common as I would have thought. I think I will discover would have been a helpful template to follow.

Drawing the line in the sand, I wrote down my weight, bodyfat percentage and all the common lifting measurement (arm, thigh, waist, chest, hips and neck)

This brings up two common notebook questions:
If you are just starting to use a notebook, is it better to try it with a cheap one and then upgrade to a nice one once you’ve gotten into a routine? Or is it better to start with a nice notebook to encourage yourself to keep using it?
Is it better to use a notebook that has blank, free form pages, or is it easier to have template pages when the use is something specific like this?