Carry on cooking: the crazy culinary world of 1970s and 80s cookbooks

Original photography by Philip Pace. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian
Original photography by Philip Pace. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Andrew Webb gets nostalgic for cookery books – and the photography that went with them – from the 1970s and 80s.

I am tired of identikit distressed boho-chic cookbooks. They’re all the same: full-colour shots, top down, naturally lit, and faux-rustic in style. Rewind to the 1970s and 80s and there were no rules. With limited budgets and costly printing technology, cookery books were groundbreaking in their photography, design and layout, if not necessarily their ingredients. Food styling was in its infancy, and consisted of creating a mise en scène for many dishes rather than just one, often with hilarious results.

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