Ginette Mathiot
I Know How to Cook

Phaidon — Book

I Know How to Cook

I Know How to Cook

Book

Je sais cuisiner was originally written in 1932 by Ginette Mathiot, Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, (1907–1998), a French culinary heroine. A traditional French home cooking bible, it contains over 1,400 authentic recipes, and has sold over six million copies. This edition was updated, translated for the first time into English and published by Phaidon Press.

At 976 pages, this volume is richly illustrated by Blexbolex, a French comics artist and illustrator. His highly stylized, ligne claire illustrations, inspired by the films of Jacques Tati and Cassandre, are wonderfully witty and quintessentially French. Blexbolex recalls: ‘I tried to remember the pleasures of cooking, preparing the food for other people, and some aspects of life in France, mostly from my childhood in the countryside.’

The illustration was vital to this project — it brought the book to life, making it bold and contemporary. Typography and illustration went hand in hand — we used heavy and robust typeface Replica (designed by Norm) throughout the book. Thick rules are used for clarity, dividing the recipes. The text is highly legible, which is essential when cooking in a hot kitchen! The book features a French fold jacket which doubles up as a poster. Paper stock is intentionally light and uncoated, making the book lightweight and easy to handle. The aim was to make the object tactile, friendly and honest.