Best known for her paintings of sensuous flowers, New York City’s skyscrapers and desert landscapes, modernist Georgia O’Keeffe remains a celebrated artist in the American tradition. O’Keeffe’s recipes, however, are a lesser-enjoyed facet of her storied life. International photographer, writer and director Robyn Lea traveled to the artist’s adopted home state of New Mexico to research and document a treasure trove of the painter’s original, hand-written recipes.
The resulting project, Dinner With Georgia O’Keeffe, is a beautiful spiral-bound tome that gives you a whole new perspective on how O’Keeffe’s home life influenced her artistry. “When we bring her favorite dishes to our table,” asks Lea, “can it help us rethink the role of food, art and nature in our own lives?”
A noted health-food enthusiast, O’Keeffe kept her larder (custom-designed to her specifications) filled with raw, whole ingredients. Many of O’Keeffe’s still-life subjects were produce she grew herself or discovered during her travels. Her garden teemed with organically grown vegetables and herbs, and she ground her own grains for bread. She also made her own yogurt, which accentuated many of her go-to dishes, like fresh, earthy beet borscht (photo at top). She was the daughter of dairy farmers in Wisconsin, so ingredients like raw milk and cheese played prominent roles in her cuisine.
The book is packed with anecdotes and revelations interspersed with recipes re-created and photographed by Lea, as well as archival portraits of O’Keeffe cooking and interacting with food. Whether you’re channeling the artist’s passion for natural nutrition or simply looking for an impressive recipe for your next gathering, from congee to enchiladas, Dinner with Georgia O’Keeffe is a must-have for any aficionado of food imitating life.
Dinner With Georgia O’Keeffe
Out March 15, 2017