In the first Cherry Bombe cookbook (launching today), chefs, writers, bakers, pastry chefs, and food stylists share some recipes and stories that inspired a favorite dish. Founders Claudia Wu and Kerry Diamond—known for their stylish magazine celebrating women and food—have included 100+ recipes in the hardcover and begin the book with a question: “What makes a recipe special and truly worth your time?” With nine issues of Cherry Bombe magazine under their belts, tackling the cookbook project was new yet familiar for them both.
“Having the time to develop the look and feel of Cherry Bombe was instrumental in helping us create this particular cookbook,” says Wu. “It’s something we’ve been able to refine and develop with every issue of the magazine in terms of the design and art direction.” Their goal was to get recipes from contributors that also had a personal story connected. At first several recipes for baked goods were being submitted. In order to diversify the recipes Wu and Diamond began to get ideas for the categories and chapters they wanted to include. Then they were able to shape the book further. The pink cover—with a large graphic image of a cherry—gives a clue to the vibrant recipes inside. And they truly impress.
A Lemony Lentil Stew by Andrea Gentl offers a healthy light entrée option. Elettra Wiedemann’s vibrant Pink Spaghetti is more than just a visual stunner. The colorful images in the book look enticing, but also steer clear from looking fussy. This reminds the reader to dive in and attempt to make something delicious. The Beet Ricotta Dumplings from Evan Kleiman sit on baking sheet fitted with a piece of parchment paper—for a view of the recipe midway through the process. Sarah Gavigan’s Manicotti are even shown half-eaten.
From cookies to ice cream and handmade marshmallows, the sweet-toothed aren’t overlooked but one of most fun chapters is called Apps, Snacks and Sips. Wu’s explanation for the chapter inclusion is simple, “We love a party!” Naz Sahin Ozcan offers her recipe and tips for making Pogaca, savory Turkish pastries filled with beef or cheese. Tanya Holland shares her Garnet yam Pancakes with crème fraîche and caviar. Yvette Leeper-Bueno’s Sinsear shaken cocktail, from her Harlem restaurant Vinatería, is made with bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, ginger, and fresh rosemary.
There’s something for every mood you’re in, and we know that sometimes we do eat our feelings
When asked which recipe she makes most often, Wu replies, “I think the beauty of this book is that there’s something for every mood you’re in and we know that sometimes we do eat our feelings, but I have made Camille Beccera’s Coconut Banana Bread for my friends and family at least 20 times. And I love Martha Hoover’s Purple Grain recipe, Angela Diyamuga’s Red Cabbage Salad, and Amy Chaplin’s Coconut Cake. It’s the one cake I brought home from the shoot and basically ate all by myself over the course of a week.”
Wu and Diamond have chosen a wide range of women in food to represent in the book. Some of the dishes are family recipes rather than well-known restaurant dishes—which presented a bit of a problem. “Chefs and mothers and grandmothers often don’t write things down in terms of precise measurements,” says Wu. “We tested the recipes in our own kitchens over a very, very hot summer in New York. So we were able to get most of the kinks out. They just needed a little love and interpretation.”
“It’s funny, sometimes you look back on things you’ve done in the past and wonder, ‘What was I thinking?!'” adds Wu. “But I think the first issue of Cherry Bombe has held up pretty well. The brand has grown so much since we’ve started, we’ve been fortunate to have an engaged following. The feedback and support from our audience and all our contributors has been amazing. The cookbook is really a tribute to them.”
Images courtesy of Cherry Bombe