The Dutch newspaper Het Parool has a cooking section called Smulpapen that relates the culinary adventures of seven cooks together with their recipes. As an early (Christmas) Present for subscribers, Het Parool wanted to put together a special book with seven Christmas menus and seven columns.

It was enough to get anyone in the festive spirit, except like all Christmas presents it was all arranged at the last minute. There was no time for photography of either the cooks or food, so the decision to use illustration as the basis for an old-fashioned, yet contemporary, cookbook was born out of necessity as much as inspiration. I turned to illustrator Wieneke Claxton who created an amazing world of simple yet lavish illustrations, a perfect match for the recipes.

Spotlight: Instead of the flyers the client wanted, I suggested turning the leaflets into bookmarks – a better fit for the Christmas theme, and a better home for the illustrations. I managed to convince the client that people would pay more attention and keep them more than flyers. I still see people with them in the train today.

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