Sunlight & Breadcrumbs Making Food with Creativity & Curiosity

Sunlight & Breadcrumbs

Making Food with Creativity & Curiosity

  • ISBN: 9781419740404
  • Publication Date: September 24, 2024


Price: $37.50

James Beard Award–winning chef Renee Erickson explores the surprising wonder and satisfaction you can find in making everyday food, inspiring us all to cook creatively

After more than 25 years running award-winning restaurants, acclaimed chef Renee Erickson realized that she had started to lose touch with her creative side, which she had nurtured in art school and had always considered as key to her approach to cooking. She decided to reconnect with her creativity by painting, taking photographs, making ceramics, and, of course, cooking.

Sunlight and Breadcrumbs highlights the beauty and creativity in making everyday food at home. To accomplish this, recipes are the jumping-off point—and there are more than 100 of Renee’s best here. But there are also essays that connect the dots between creative practices and the food she cooks. “Work in Progress” sidebars zoom in on the creative decisions made when cooking—the seasonal ingredients, textures, shapes, and colors that help make each meal a more thoughtful expression of life at that moment.

As this book shows, cooking can provide an outlet for meaningful personal expression, even when making decidedly straightforward preparations. Renee highlights the little, easy things that take a simple dish from nice to memorable—like the rich crunch of olive oil–toasted breadcrumbs on top of a hearty escarole salad—and persuades us to seek out and celebrate these details.

While offering a joyful look at creative expression, at its heart this is an approachable cookbook, filled with ideas for weeknight dinners, as well as more leisurely weekend meals. There are also celebratory snacks, including dips and go-to crostini toppings, and easy desserts.

For anyone who has felt bored by the grind of weeknight cooking, is looking for simple-but-exciting food to make for friends and family, or wants to encourage more creativity in their day to day, this book provides an inspiring reset, full of prompts to continue exploring our kitchens and lives with curiosity, an eye for detail, and joy.

Sunlight and Breadcrumbs features delicious recipes like:

  • Melted Anchovy Toast
  • Oven-Dried Tomatoes with Whipped Feta, Mint, and Basil
  • White Beans with Pork Sausage, Lemon Peel, and Green Herbs
  • Raspberry and Pecan Crumble Cake
  • and many more!

Includes Color Photographs and Illustrations


"Much has been written about the interaction of food and art, often laid out in pompous and esoteric terms. In her latest book chef Renee Erickson deploys images and recipes to show just how naturally the two can merge without pretense while filling the belly and mind."
—Katie Parla, author of Food of the Italian Islands

“I am so happy Renee wrote this book, because this kind of joy and curiosity is the kind that should be shared.”
—J. Kenji López-Alt

“A romantic and thoughtful approach to making food sparkle with flavor and texture.”
—Nik Sharma, James Beard Award finalist, chef, and author and photographer of Veg-table

“Not only does Renee Erickson present delicious, unfussy recipes, she inspires us to create without judgment and as an act of joy.”
—Gregory Gourdet, James Beard Award–winning chef and author

“A beautiful tribute to how we all want to cook, and eat, today.”
—David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen and Drinking French

“A joyful book about noticing, creativity, and finding pleasure and beauty in the world around you and in your cooking.”
—Diana Henry, James Beard Award-winning author

“I love this book,  a vibrant intersection of all the things that fuel Renee Erickson’s creativity (drawing, photography, and food), and a deep dive into finding inspiration for what ends up on the plate.”
—Missy Robbins, chef/owner of Lilia and Misi

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