June 20, 2013

Hands-on cookbook forces you to engage in knife play


Cooking school Carulla and ad agency Ogilvy created a cookbook that needs to be sliced open to be of any use.

We told you last year about an edible cookbook that bakes itself into a lasagna, and this week there’s news of a similarly interactive cookbook that has to be sliced open, page by page, so as to allow the reader/chef to practice his or her knife skills. Joseph Flaherty for Wired about the new cookbook, which is called Slice by Slice, fittingly enough.

The book was created for cooking school and gourmet grocery store Carulla, which tasked advertising agency Ogilvy with finding an innovative means of promotion. Rather than create an app, Flaherty writes, the folks at Ogilvy office decided to go “analog,” and create a physical object that would become part of the cooking lesson itself. The executive creative director of Ogilvy’s Bogotá office, Juan Jose Posada, explains, “We didn’t want an ordinary book, we wanted to create something unique and useful, so we spoke to the people from Carulla Cooking School and they told us that one of the first things you need to learn when you enter a course is how to use the knife.”

Carulla has posted a video demonstration and a series of images that show how Slice a Recipe works a bit more clearly: there are thin dotted lines that indicate where to cut, and when each line is sliced open, it reveals a recipe. Thankfully, it looks like you can only cut along those lines, so you don’t run the risk of destroying the book with one bad cut, or of rendering several recipes indecipherable. Carulla has also announced that thanks to the book’s popularity, a second edition is in the works. In all likelihood, it will be the same concept with new recipes, but we can dare to dream that instead of a knife, aspiring chefs will be called upon to use a garlic press, melon baller, or similarly specific/odd kitchen instrument to gain access to the recipes.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.