The Intersection of Food and Art

Science tells us that when it comes to food, if it looks good, it'll taste even better. Our brains, in fact, use all of our senses to decide what's appealing to eat—by the way it looks, feels, smells, and, of course, tastes.

But our love of good things to eat extends beyond our physiological needs. Artists paint, sculpt and photograph beautiful displays of food for our enjoyment—and many chefs create dishes that are truly works of art. 

Enjoy this tasteful selection from the Library's collection that brings food and art together.


Compiled by:
Paula G. O.
 Bake It Like You Mean It: Gorgeous Cakes from Inside Out

Gesine Bullock-Prado
641.815 Bul

Every cake in this book is thoughtfully built to be beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. Making the Dulce de Leche-Nutella Cream Torte (page 183) felt like I was creating a super tasty piece of art.


Bite By Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party

Peter Callahan
641.812 Cal

What is it about tiny foods that makes them seem more like works of art? Each page is a new delight for the eye: check out the artistry in the detail of a miniature stack of pancakes placed next to a large fork, or meatballs with rounds of spaghetti swirled on top.


The Book of Garnishes

June Budgen
641.86 Bud

Learn how to cut a carrot star, a lime camellia, or even a cucumber spring in this slender volume. Fruits and vegetables become tiny works of art that transform meals from mere food to eye candy. Tools and techniques also discussed.


Dinner with Jackson Pollock : Recipes, Art & Nature

Robyn Lea
641.5 Lea

A wonderful collection of recipes collected from the famous painter's handwritten notes, as well as from his family and friends. Included along with photographs of each dish and Pollock's paintings are tales about the artist, courtesy of the people close to him. A perfect mashup of food and art.



Bill Robbins

A great course from Lynda.com on picking the right camera, setting a mood, photographing in restaurants, and more.  View the course


The Food Stylist's Handbook

Denise Vivaldo
778.9964 Viv

Learn all about how foods are prepped for those perfect photos in print and film. Vivaldo, a food stylist in Los Angeles, shares her tips and tricks for making food look like art for the camera.


Japanese Pâtisserie: Exploring the Beautiful and Delicious Fusion of East Meets West

James Campbell
641.86 Cam

This is a fusion of Japanese ingredients and carefully precise creations combined with French pastries.  The finished desserts look like edible works of art.  The recipes are elegant and somewhat complex, but still accessible to the home baker.


Les Dîners de Gala

Salvador Dalí
641.5944 Dal

Dalí meets cooking, and the results are surreal—and totally decadent. Includes gorgeous photographs of recipes and illustrations by Dalí. The recipes, though rather complex, are amazing just to peruse. 


Modern Art Desserts : Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art

Caitlin Freeman
641.86 Fre

Included here are desserts inspired to look like modern pieces of art. These don't necessarily mimic the original artwork, so much as they evoke some aspect of it. While some of the recipes are complex to execute, others are as simple as pulling together a cheese plate to look like Mark Bradford's Strawberry.


Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling

Hélène Dujardin
778.99641 Duj

If you're looking to create your own photographic masterpieces—or just trying to get better pictures of your dinner on Instagram—this book gives you all the details on lighting, composition and more.  There's even a whole section on taking pictures of different types of foods.


Salad for President : A Cookbook Inspired by Artists

Julia Sherman
Adult Nonfiction - 641.83 She

Julia Sherman gives us a wonderful book full of beautiful salads.  She also gives us a generous peek at the artists who created this edible art.  The recipes are approachable and stretch the bounds of what can be considered a salad with everything from soup to desserts and more standard green salads.  Creativity takes salad in new and interesting directions with great eye appeal.


Table Decorations with Fruits and Vegetables

Angkana Neumayer
Adult Nonfiction - 642.8 Neu

Food cut precisely to turn it into works of art for the plate and table.  Gourds, melons, apples and many other fruits and vegetables become flowers, fish, leaves and more in the many different projects.  Detailed instructions for cutting and information on proper cutting tools is provided.