CONTEST ALERT: Culinary Ephemera Book Giveaway

Stuck for gift giving for that obscure aunt, tricky in-law, or finicky friend? A coffee table book is, generally speaking, a pretty safe bet. Obviously the range of coffee table books out there is far too diverse for me to tackle in one mere post, but if you can find something that clings ever so slightly to something you’ve heard your giftee mention, then chances are they’ll at least appreciate your memory skills. And realistically, if they go through it and hate it, they might not be inclined to give it to charity because the pretty pictures will make it a nice addition to their coffee table collection.

Now my specific selection for today isn’t, technically speaking, really for everyone, given its narrow theme – but it’s so gosh darn pretty, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that wouldn’t keep it in a prominent place in their kitchen, dining room, or living room. William Woys Weaver has recently produced a stunning petite-sized coffee table book called ‘Culinary Ephemera’. Essentially it’s an illustrated look at the gorgeous culinary illustrations that used to dominate all sorts of short-term-use paper products: menus, tickets, pamphlets, postcards, matchbox covers, even valentines. Each image is jam-packed with history and information related to the artwork’s past.

Instead of just functioning as a (well-organized) catalogue, this particular book is enjoyable because it’s actually pretty inspiring. Stroll past any graphic designer’s desk and you’ll see tons of vintage artwork books, all the better to reinvent into modern-day interpretations. The same goes for interior designers, or those who just love to decorate – the imagery is stunning enough that you may want to carefully tear a page out (or two) and frame it in the kitchen, or get a professional photograph taken to blow the work up to wall-art size. Even just drawing ideas from the colour schemes is a grand way to incorporate the kitschy feel of this book into a home. Of course, people who have a genuine interest in retro artwork, whether they be collectors, curators, or culinary enthusiasts, will delight in the wealth of history imbued into each page that much more.

Culinary Ephemera is available online at whatever bookseller you prefer to shop at for $26, plus use in-store look-ups (like the one available on the Chapters) website to browse the pages for yourself before buying.

Once again I have a copy of Culinary Ephemera to give away. If you’re interested, please email before Wednesday, December 1st for your chance to win.
Limited to one entry per person. As always, we will never share or publish your information!

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