Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
We don’t usually cover cookbooks here at TNW, but the official SXSW 2014 Interactive cookbook has a unique tech angle that makes it worth a mention. Compiled by the festival organizers and Cookbook Create, a new startup for making your own cookbook, the book features a diverse mix of recipes from popular tech leaders like 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
The recipes in the book are sorted by several buzzword-y categories of people: amplifiers, builders, storytellers, illuminators, and decoders. Each contributor has a mini-bio alongside his or her recipe. Dishes range from a mix of classics, family traditions, cooking hacks, and outright silliness.
Craigslist’s Craig Newmark, for instance, has a recipe called “How to order takeout.” Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti fittingly submitted his content in list form, offering up five ways that garlic and olive oil can dramatically improve our lives. I Can Has Cheezburger’s Ben Huh shared a cheeseburger recipe.
Beyond the potential for good eats, the SXSW cookbook provides a glimpse into the lives these personalities. McClure, for example, shares a charming anecdote about the traditional lasagna recipe that he makes for his wife once a year for their anniversary. Crowley divulged the mac and cheese family recipe that he learned from “Mama Crowley.”
Cookbook Create founder Anna Curran served as editor for the project. When she pitched the festival about putting together a collection of recipes, SXSW told there that the team had been interested in doing a cookbook for years.
“To me there’s nothing more personal than sharing a meal with someone, especially if they make something for you,” Curran told TNW. “It tells you a lot about their personality, their values, how they live their life, how they like to celebrate…[The book] is about the people as much as it is about the food.”
Curran added that she didn’t put any parameters on the types of recipes that contributors could send in.
Since SXSW changes its branding each year, the visual design of the book had to come together in just a few months. The festival helped out by finalizing its designs earlier than usual so that the cookbook team would have more time to finish.
If the SXSW cookbook inspires you to make one of your own, Cookbook Create can simplify the process. The site, which launched in open beta last November, lets users put together cookbooks and then print them on 8 1/2 by 8 1/2 paper with either a spiral-bound or hardcover binding.
While we’re on the subject of food books, Foodspotting is coming out with its Field Guide next week if you’re looking to put down good eats without all the work.
➤ The Official SXSW 2014 Interactive Cookbook [Cookbook Create]
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