If you are one of those old-school folks who frequents newsstands and still loves thumbing through glossy magazines for good stories and captivating photography, then you likely have had the magazine Cherry Bombe on your radar since it began in 2013. Published twice a year by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, it’s a lovely thing, devoted to the intersection of women and food, with a particular interest in fashion. (Diamond is a former magazine editor, Wu, a former art director.) Cherry Bombe is irreverent and compelling, giving voice to women in the food world from Martha Stewart to Lena Dunham — both of whom have graced the cover, with cherries. Imagine “Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book” crossed with Lady Gaga.
Happily, probably inevitably, Diamond and Wu have now come out with a cookbook: “Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook.” Inside the book, published by Clarkson Potter, are 100 recipes from 100 women, among them Christina Tosi of Milk Bar; “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi; Naomi Pomeroy of Portland, Ore.'s, Beast restaurant; Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams; Tartine’s Elisabeth Prueitt; and L.A.'s own Evan Kleiman (KCRW), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer (Kismet).
On some levels, like the magazine that engendered it, it’s a tongue-in-cheek book (pink cover, lots of cherries, pink KitchenAid). But on other levels, the cookbook is surprisingly straightforward, as the voices and stories that make the magazine so compelling are oddly missing, replaced by just the recipes themselves.
If you already subscribe to the magazine, you might want to make Lakshmi’s sweet and sour shrimp from the cookbook while you reread last year’s magazine cover story on the television personality and cookbook writer, which is a far more interesting read than the few sentences that operate as introduction to the dish. If you don’t have a copy of the magazine, well, maybe go pick up an issue while you’re out shopping for the ingredients for Prueitt’s chocolate hazelnut torte. (If you want even more Cherry Bombe, there’s also Cherry Bombe Radio and, on Oct. 14, a daylong conference called the Cherry Bombe Jubliee.)
With a stack of issues, you’ll have the best of both worlds: the assembled chapters (tools & rules; mains; sweet treats) of the cookbook, plus all the stories that load the magazine, including interviews, illustrations, photo essays and to-do lists. Nice.
Cookbook of the Week: “Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook” by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu (Clarkson Potter, $35).