Edible Selby

100% Positive Reviews


Pros: Beautifully produced with content that matches

Cons: This is not a cookbook, so don't expect a recipe collection

Edible Selby

Todd Selby


Reviewed by Jim Berman



Todd Selby is not a chef. Rather, he is a photographer and illustrator. Since food really is the universal language, not being a chef didn’t stop Selby from culminating a book bursting with great food, interesting characters responsible for that food and whimsical dialog that runs droll and, often, irreverent. I like a little cynicism  sprinkled on my eggs; it awakens the taste for digesting some different writing. Edible Selby is definitely different; it is not a cookbook and really will not fit neatly into your kitchen collection. Part travel, part food, part photo collection, Edible Selby speaks to me like few other books in the ‘food lit’ category have. Not shockingly pretentious or lavishly produced with way too many filtered pictures and hands-all-over-the-food shots, Todd Selby writes and shoots with an honest voice and wide-angle eye.


What is Edible Selby all about? Take a camera, a willing food adventurer and a crafty pen and spread them all over street food, awkward kitchens, artsy eateries and shake liberally over the myriad colors that usually make up the sect called Cooking. That would be a start.


Each ‘story’ opens with a photo or two of the kitchen characters in their native surroundings, usually artfully decorated with a Selby-drawing. A face to each story, there is a vignette on who we are going to meet and a little on their operation. The photo captions are hand-written and simple; not rustic, but concise and honest. A telling written interview is next, with questions about one or two well-known facets of the particular character’s life we are exploring. This little tell-all has a bit about the philosophy of our character’s psyche as well as some technical insight.


What are the two kinds of pizza on your menu?

“Margherita and Marinara.”

Why just two kinds?

“People -> Man. Woman.

Pizza -> Margherita. Marinara.”

What do you like about Italian women?

“They’re beautiful. And scary.”


Selby is a visual instructor. There is a enough verbiage to curate the illustrations that don’t necessarily need curating. The photos are conspicuously composed and frequently, in keeping with theme of the collection, candid. The honesty Selby uses comes through in his voice and visual aids, much as the food and food creators of whom he opts to focus.


Food and psyche, with a glimpse at the tools that make the food that make the people make them want to make food for you.  In just under 300 pages, there are eclectic (and even illicit... if food can be illicit) looks at urban food experiences, craftily made cheese, subterranean urban fishing, tattooed bakery operators,  and hippie foodies. Mostly all of the contenders in Edible Selby are hippie-ish in their collective food beliefs. There are a handful of ‘prescriptions’ for food along with some recipes. But that isn’t the point of Edible Selby. No, gratefully, this is a primer for that common language and those that are fortunate enough to live vicariously through Selby’s lenses.



My capture of Selby's Mountain Man Miso Soup




































(C) Selby, Todd. "Recipe." Edible Selby. New York: Abrams, 2012. N. pag. Print.

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Edible Selby

Photographer Todd Selby is back, this time focusing his lens on the kitchens, gardens, homes, and restaurants of more than 40 of the most creative and dynamic figures working in the culinary world today. He takes us behind the scenes with Noma chef René Redzepi in Copenhagen; to Tokyo to have a slice with pizza maker Susumu Kakinuma; and up a hilltop to dine at an inn without an innkeeper in Valdobbiadene. Each profile is accompanied by watercolor illustrations and a handwritten questionnaire, which includes a signature recipe. Reveling in the pleasures of a taco at the beach, foraging for wild herbs, and the art of the perfectly cured olive, Selby captures the food we love to eat and the people who passionately grow, cook, pour, and serve these incredible edibles every day.Praise for Edible Selby:“Todd Selby has turned his curious eye to the kitchens of some of the world’s most imaginative cooks, artisans, and foragers. Far too often, food and the people who produce it are hidden behind closed doors or lost in an industrial food system, so it’s heartening to see this book champion those who have nothing to hide. With Todd’s trademark good humor and disarmingly quirky style, Edible Selby is a pure celebration of the creativity and authenticity of the wonderful individuals who are bringing real food to the table.”- Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant“Todd Selby’s foray into the world of food is every bit as intriguing as his eccentric take on the world of interiors. Long live Signor Selby!”- Simon Doonan, Barneys New York creative ambassador“Edible Selby captures the energy and excitement of today's food world. This book is pure Selby.”- Thomas Keller, The French Laundry“Books On My Gifts List…Photographer Todd Selby’s scrapbook reportage on passionate cooks and famous chefs around the world. Messy, magnificent, inspiring.”—Food & Wine magazine“Exploring the world for food, that’s what Edible Selby is all about…and hopefully, you get really hungry when you read it.”—New York Daily News“Photographer Todd Selby has an uncanny eye for the beauty of the unconventional kitchen; in his second book, he features cooks, chefs, and other culinary creative types in their workspaces—complete with recipes and witty hand-drawn illustrations.” —Saveur“This is a book to read on the couch and leave there. Next you’ll want to go to the kitchen and get crazy and make a mess. You will let your hair down, and the meal will be infused with life.” —TheKitchn.com

AuthorTodd Selby
TitleEdible Selby
FeatureSize : 28.61 x 21.01 x 3.61 cm
Item Height10.98 inches
Item Length7.99 inches
Item Weight3.75 pounds
Item Width1.3 inches
Languages - Original LanguageEnglish
Languages - PublishedEnglish
Package Height1.42 inches
Package Length11.26 inches
Package Weight3.7 pounds
Package Width8.27 inches
Creator - ForewordSally Singer
Creator - IntroductionChad Robertson
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC