For the Fall/Winter 2014 Cocoon issue we explore every incarnation of the word, from recipes that impart a warm, cozy, and, well, cocoon-like feeling, to those that visually mimic its wrapped and bundled form. We examine the idea of metamorphosis and renewal through the lens of food; we devote a chapter to all things delicate and silken; we pay homage to one specific comfort food; and we take a close, very close, look at butchery casings.
Small and mighty. The best way to describe what lies here, at the threshold of the meal—tiny bites and cocktails that pack a powerful punch. A sausage-stuffed olive crowns a new receptacle for fried goodness; coeur à la crème is an ethereal mound; our devils on horseback reincarnate a classic, albeit with a spin; pani puri is an airy blast of spicy and sweet Indian flavors; and two cocktails, one mezcal-, the other whiskey-based, demand to be kept close at hand.
The meal’s first real chapter is all about the senses. There are aromatic surprises: cut into a plush dumpling’s translucent flesh to reveal a gingery heart; untie a tamale’s bow and let the earthy scent of masa waft out. And visual ones: a harissa- painted cauliflower emerges from the oven a crimson bouquet; a winter salad acts as a venue for vegetables to show off their natural beauty. And the gnocchi? They are about touch—the feel of each cushioned nugget as it passes your lips.
Presenting the meal’s attention hogs. A baked pasta bucks the traditional format in favor of something with more bravado; a dramatic chicken bastilla is a present wrapped in buttery flakes; a bubbling, redolent shakshuka is the definition of a one-pot wonder; a horseradish-encrusted roast beef claims major morning-after appeal; and a kabocha miso stew is as soothing to the eye as it is to the belly.
The time has come for the meal’s final embrace. A sticky toffee pudding and drunken, fall fruit upside-down cake are dense and comforting ; a mont blanc with chestnut purée is a soaring crest of delicate sweetness; a creamy, tea-infused cocktail has a literal warming effect; while apricot-fennel rugelach and jam-filled bomboloni are the dessert embodiments of this issue’s theme—each one of them distinctly cocoon-like in their construction.
Some say yoga is a path towards an unbound state — the practice transforming the student until they reach transcendence. Something achieved, as with most kinds of transformation, with time and experience. But in the kitchen, an oven, a few hours, and patience are all you need for metamorphosis. A classic toad in the hole and profiteroles crescendo slowly; an ancho-braised pork takes advantage of a lengthy oven stint to develop layers of flavor; fish in cartoccio’s wrapping paper allows ingredients to mingle and emerge as something singular; and an herb-and-cheese soufflé and chef Jim Lahey’s famous no-knead bread gradually balloon until they reach a full swell. A boundless state.
Silk. The word alone is a provocation. When uttered, the word whispers like the texture itself. A lush cascade—against the skin and on the plate it has a come-hither quality. Here, the tactile fabric inspired a ginger and chili-drenched silken tofu; a delicate screen of melting potatoes; a sumptuously draped handkerchief pasta; a web of diaphanous, vegetable- threaded Korean noodles; and, the silkiest dessert of all, a chocolate mousse, here permeated with cardamom and coffee. All beckon; all will prove hard to resist.
The Brooklyn-based photographer from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England originally trained as a graphic designer before getting behind the lens. He has published three books (Apt. 301, Death in a Good District, and Garden) and his clients include Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors and Nylon. See his work at willandersonphotography.com.
Photographer Barton-Ballentine uses her work to explore the idea of “home.” Her clients include Urban Outfitters, Wilder Quarterly, Nylon, and Dazed and Confused. When not making beautiful images, you can find her dancing, eating, or singing alongside her parents in the Roadhouse Revival Band. See her work at winonabartonballentine.com
Brandon studied art, with an emphasis on painting, at California State University, then Mills College, where she happens to now be a teacher; she also teaches at San Francisco State University. Her work has been included in exhibitions in San Francisco, L.A., and San Jose. See her work at jenniferbrandon.com.
Photographer Cornett lives by a lake in upstate New York with his great loves: a beautiful, pregnant, inspiring wife, and two standard poodles. He is currently shooting for Vogue, The New Yorker, and Cadillac, among others. You can get a glimpse of his life’s goings on at thelivest1.com. See his work at grantcornett.com.
Partners in photography and life, Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers first met while students at the Parsons School of Design. Focused primarily on food, travel, interiors, and portraits, their clients include Condé Nast Traveler, Bergdorf Goodman, and Grey Goose, and they’ve picked up a number of SPD awards. Martin is also a fine-art photographer. His work can be seen at hyersandmebane.com. Andrea shoots and writes the blog hungryghostfoodandtravel. com. See the couple’s work at gentlandhyers.com.
Writer Hartman is an incurable multi-hyphenate. She writes about culture, style, and design for T and Dwell; has held editorial positions at Nylon and Vogue; and was a sustainability columnist for the Washington Post. Hartman is the designer of Bodkin, which won the Ecco Domani Sustainable Design award. Currently she is also at work on two screenplays (both feminist comedies) with a partner and a book about textiles and fashion with Mood Fabrics.
Originally from Philadelphia, writer Mennies moved to Boston to study journalism, and ended up sticking around. After a stint at The Feast, she landed her current post as food editor for Boston magazine, where she covers the local dining scene.
Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Miller came to New York to study photography at Parsons; after graduation he went on to assist Mary Ellen Mark. Nowadays Miller’s clients include West Elm, Common Good, Martha Stewart, Target, Field + Stream, Texas Monthly, and Stella Artois; and his work is part of the permanent collection
at The New York Historical Society and the George Eastman House. Miller is also the co-author of Coney Island (Trans Photographic Press). See his work at johnny-miller.com.
The Brooklyn-based, New York City-raised photographer decided on his chosen craft early on. As a young boy, Monaghan could be found late at night at the bodega on the corner of 35th and Third Ave perusing the magazines on display. It was while paging through copies of Hit Parader and Circus that he first considered his passion for photography. See his work at keirnanmonaghan.com.
Born in Malmö, Sweden, Nilsson moved to New York to attend culinary school. After working as a chef, he decided to pursue a degree in photography. Since 2006, when Nilsson first combined his passions, making food his subject, his client list has grown to include Bon Appétit, Departures, New York, Travel + Leisure, Swallow, and The New York Times Magazine. When he’s not shooting, the avid wine collector enjoys throwing dinner parties in his Bushwick digs. See his work at marcusnilsson.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 the kitchens of a number of the city’s most esteemed restaurants before shifting her focus to food styling and recipe development. Simply put, she lives to style food for print and video, and cook. See her work at maggieruggiero.com.
Gather’s co-recipe editor, Shuster started off her career in publishing at Harper Collins before changing courses completely 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 Australia-born, New York-based image maker started out creating avant- garde, glam rock-influenced clothes before he turned his attention to documenting them instead, working as a fashion photographer in Paris, then moving to London and into the world of interiors. He is a founder of “the Tree,” a New York art collective; contributes to Architectural Digest, W, The New York Times Magazine, and British Vogue; and authored the book Interiors (Hardie Grant). Thompson’s most recent book, Working Space: An Insight into the Creative Heart, an intimate look at a diverse collection of work environments, was published by Rizzoli in October. See his work (and sign up for his newsletter) at martynthompsonstudio.com.
The longtime fashion designer and creative director changed paths for a photography career four years ago. Besides shooting for herself, Lin counts Urban Outfitters, Oysho, and Doo ri as clients. See her work at wailintse.com.
Canada-born, Brooklyn- based Vamvounakis studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology before embarking on a career as a prop stylist. Her clients include American Express, Anthropologie, West Elm, Estée Lauder, and Bon Appétit.
The Brooklyn-born trio (Heather D’Angelo, Erika Forster, and Annie Hart) are known for their wispily beautiful harmonies, electro undercurrent, and keyboard flourishing. And on their latest album, they are more self-assured than ever, experimenting with new sonic territory to infectious result. Move in Spectrums (Instant Records) was released in September.
The singer-songwriter with the lilting, soulful voice that seems to defy her age first caught the public’s ear with her 2009 debut Bible Belt, a series of thoughtful sweeping ballads. On her latest effort, Birch’s rhapsodizing feels even more emotional and, in turn, powerful. Her new album, Speak A Little Louder (S-Curve Records), was released in October.