The “Spectrum” edition of Gather delves into the wide and wonderful world of color. Spectrum signifies a range of colors or concepts, and this issue is just that: a fantastic food voyage with color as the guide. Chapters are organized by color family, with each one conjuring a full meal within that shade range. There are stories devoted to eating by way of the multi-hued chakra chart, an imagining of fruit’s inner auras, and musings on artists whose work with food or color has been especially memorable.
“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” So said Van Gogh. Wonderful, indeed—yellow is associated with joy and optimism, zest and abandon. It is the color of a million rubber duckies; of the submarine the Beatles sailed up to the sun; and of Joan Didion’s Corvette Stingray that we like to picture her cruising up the California coast in, wind whipping her hair. Our brunch spread in yellow, and its spectral neighbor orange, reflects that sunny-side-up sentiment. A pair of drinks in polished amber; a bowl of yogurt festooned with fruit in a sunset stretch; a soft heap of scrambled eggs and gilded tomatoes begging to be burrowed into; and a buttery apricot Danish in a shade of saffron you’ll be just mad about.
At its core, green is a color and word synonymous with the notion of all that is fresh and new, flourishing and full of vitality —a symbol of both nature and life itself. For Muslims, it is even holy: The favorite color of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, it is revered as the color of paradise. Green is just as cherished on the plate. We exalted its myriad incarnations with a creamy dip of avocado and basil to be plunged into with taloned artichoke leaves; a cluster of herbaceous gnudi; fish perched alongside a leafy green tomato panzanella; and a sweet duet of desserts: coconut matcha pound cake and pale slivers of mint- and basil- strewn honeydew. All of it, our very own version of paradise.
That they are also known as earth tones makes perfect sense— from muslin to caramel, saddle to umber, these are nature’s first colors. The shades of the world’s topography and prehistoric cave art (like Argentina’s eerie assemblage of hazy handprints at Cueva de las Manos). In 2002, neutrals took on new import when researchers at Johns Hopkins announced they had discovered the color of the universe...and it was beige (or, rather, cosmic latte). Our menu spans the globe of earth tones: taupe-y pickled mushrooms and a cheeseball; a shallot tart in glistening russet; a duck and lentil salad in a painter’s palette of browns; and tiramisù, a sweet stratum rendered in cream and coffee, colors and flavors.
Our very essence is red. It is the blood pulsing through our veins. It is love and lust, but also violence and death. It is how we gauge shame and humiliation. Red is primal and, like all of us, full of contradictions. While red weaves a complex symbolic web, pink seems far simpler: from Shelby’s (Steel Magnolias) blush and bashful to Schiaparelli’s shocking pink, it is a color of happiness, fun, and romance. These ideologically contrasting colors find harmony on our menu: a smorgasbord of cured meats in a full sweep of pink and red, a cold borscht in velvety claret, a duo of cameo-colored salmon and harissa eggplant, a dripping strawberry semifreddo in dusty rose, and a galette of the richest carmine.
It was Isaac Newton’s 1672 experiment with two prisms that taught us that all white light was made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. A rainbow is itself a phenomenon— since raindrops are prisms we all see them differently depend- ing on our vantage point. Each rainbow crafted for your eyes only. The dishes we conjured with its colorful arc in mind are just as unique: A parade of bruschettas reflect every chromatic band; a terrine acts as canvas for an artful cluster of vegetables; a bibim guksu makes a meal out of the color wheel; fairy bread is dessert through the eyes of a child; and snow cones and a swirled cheese- cake are singular viewing and eating experiences from any angle.
Color is a stirring means of creative expression, but the absence of it can have just as much of an impact. The tenet of the ancient Chinese black ink wash painting style shui-mo hua, was to not simply depict, but to convey the spirit of a landscape or subject, a task for which color was often deemed superfluous. Our menu in black and white embodies that same spirit with a pair of cocktails, contrasting in pigment but similarly refined in essence; summer rolls of gossamer rice paper stacked with jicama wands; an inky trumpet mushroom and kohlrabi composition; a steak sandwich that crosses from pitch to pale; a sesame pudding in greyscale; and a decadently darkened cake.
Originally from the north of England, Abrahams moved to London to study photography. He has worked for Nick Knight and Selfridges and his clients include Elle UK, InStyle, Bella Freud, Urban Outfitters, and Jaeger. See his work at davidabrahams.co.uk.
The Brooklyn-based photographer from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, trained as a graphic designer before getting behind the lens. He has published a number of books (Apt. 301, Garden), including his most recent, Death in a Good District. His favorite shoots are always for Gather. See his work at willandersonphotography.com.
Photographer Cornett wanders the woods in the Catskills, where he lives with his beautiful wife, lovely new daughter, and two standard poodles. He is currently shooting this and that for the people. Glimpse his life’s goings-on at thelivest1.com.
Originally from Portland, OR, Hanrahan studied industrial design at RISD and Copenhagen’s Danish School of Design. The studio director at Lindsey Adelman she lives in Brooklyn and loves to bake pies. Find her on Instragram at @barrett_h.
Photographer Johnson has worked as an art director at Martha Stewart Living and MAC cosmetics, and shot for The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Weddings. See his work at stephenkentjohnson.com.
Mark logged time as a studio assistant for Steven Klein, as the photo director at Nylon magazine, and a photo researcher at Vogue before turning her attention to photography full-time. Her collaboration with actress Asia Argento led to her first solo show, Some Girls Wander By Mistake. Mark’s clients include Purple, Lula, Russh, Lady, and Vice. See her work at staceymark.com.
Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Miller came to New York to study photography at Parsons. His clients include The New York Times Magazine, Target, and Young & Rubican. Miller’s images are also included in the permanent collections at the George Eastman House, the Library of Congress and the New York Historical Society. He is the co-author of Coney Island (Trans Photographic Press) and is currently at work on his next project, Pop Pills. See his work at johnny-miller.com.
Monaghan is a native of New York City. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife Theo, and two Cornish Rex cats, Joan and Lois. The focus of his work are portraits, still-lifes, and landscapes. See his work at keirnanmonaghan.com.
Born in New York City, Moroz moved to Paris in 2009 and has stuck around, largely due to the quality bread baskets. She writes about everything from photography to fashion to gastronomy for The New York Times, New York magazine and The Guardian, among others, and moonlights as a translator and copywriter. She lives next to a lovely park in the 19th arrondissement.
The Michigan-born, New York-based artist has exhibited all over the world and made over 100 books. including The Every Piece of Art in the Museum of Modern Art Book. His drawings have appeared in The New Yorker, Lucky Peach, ARTnews and The New York Times and he has collaborated with Warby Parker, Levi’s and The Criterion Collection. Polan is currently drawing every person in New York (he’s at 36,000), some of whom you can see this fall in the upcoming book Every Person in New York Volume 1 (Chronicle). See his work at jasonpolan.com.
Gather’s food stylist and co-recipe editor entered the gastronomical world after selling her East Village bar and using the proceeds to attend culinary school. She logged time in some of the city’s most esteemed restaurant kitchens before shifting her focus to food styling and recipe development. See her work at maggieruggiero.com.
Formerly the editor-in-chief of Russh, fashion features editor at Nylon, and editorial director at Urban Outfitters, the writer, editor, and creative consultant is now based in Byron Bay, Australia. Shukur is a dedicated yogini, hardcore nature lover, passionate cook, and wannabe surfer.
Gather’s co-recipe editor, Shuster started off her career in publishing at Harper Collins before changing courses to attend the Institute of Culinary Education. Since earning her degree, she has worked as a freelance food stylist and recipe developer, dividing her time between New York and Boston. See her work at mollyshuster.com.
The New York-based image maker created avant-garde clothes before deciding to document them instead, working as a fashion photographer in Paris, before moving to London where his scope broadened to include interiors and still lifes. Author of Interiors and Working Space: An Insight into the Creative Heart, he recently launched Martyn Thompson Studio, creating textiles, murals, and other works based on his photographs. See his work (and sign up for his newsletter) at martynthompsonstudio.com.
Canada-raised Vamvounakis studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology before embarking on a career as a prop stylist. Gather’s resident prop stylist lives in Brooklyn with one husband, two cats, and many, many, many props.
Born in Seoul and raised in Buffalo, Zin received a degree in interdisciplinary visual art from the University of Washington. The painter and graphic designer is behind the blog Starving Artist Recipes. Currently living in L.A., Zin’s focus is watercolor and pen illustrations. Her clients include Amazon, Darling, and Lipstick Queen. See her work at sarazindesign.com.
Though you can hear twinges of the ’80s on Eclipse (Warner Bros), the latest album from George Lewis Jr., a.k.a Twin Shadow, the sweeping synth-pop effort—created by the one-time New Yorker in his new home city of L.A., he even recorded some tracks in the Hollywood Forever cemetery—remains firmly rooted in modern times.
Qualify Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s distinctive sound as a color and it would be kaleidoscopic. Leading the sonic charge is visionary frontman Nielson, whose psychedelic leanings are both clear and compelling. Their new album, Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar), is out in May.
That the trailblazing California-based sound artist and composer seems to take an academic approach to electronica is no surprise: Herndon is currently working towards a phD at Stanford. On her inventive new album, Platform (4AD), the incorporation of voice gives her electronic meanderings a distinct emotional nucleus.