Andy Harris; editor of Jamie Oliver's Jamie Magazine, has explored Marrakesh annually for the past ten years, and on one trip was joined by renowned photographer David Loftus. They both spent a month observing the culture and traditions, buying fresh ingredients daily; Andy experimenting with the preparation of traditional and contemporary local dishes, and David capturing the process from every angle. Together they documented an experience entitled 'A Month in Marrakesh'; a book which would celebrate their adventure in this colourful and timeless metropolis.
Approached by independent publishers Hardie Grant, Interstate was briefed to bring to life the recipes and memories both Andy and David had experienced during their stay in Morocco. The brief also detailed that the book needed to convey a sense of Marrakesh to the readers; making them feel as though they knew it intimately by the time they finished reading it, with the overall flavour of the city presented as a modern, thriving destination, rather than the more traditional 'museum pieces' currently on offer. With all this to consider, it still had to remain a usable and functional cookery book.
We translated the brief into a concept that embodied part journal, part travel guide and part recipe book. 320 pages filled with 146 recipes, 10 experiences, 10 stories and 6 'observation tapestry' spreads, all decorated with images that were carefully selected and positioned within the comprehensive grid system, reflecting the multifaceted atmosphere of Morocco. We juxtaposed the recipe typeface (which hints toward the angles created by an Arabic reed pen and includes beautiful ligatures which further enhance the calligraphic feel), with a handwritten font (that elegantly displays the poetic stories and experiences encountered by Andy and David).
Each spread was delicately considered with the amount of white space selectively harnessed, and David's occasional hand-drawn and painted illustrations thoughtfully positioned. The book was launched both in the UK and Australia on 1st April 2011.