It's been over two years since How to Cook Water was born. When I first started this venture, my goal was to help cooks in all stages of life learn to make delicious meals. I created illustrated recipes that transformed complex dishes into easy-to-follow steps. Many of the recipes were my own creations, and others were from favorite chefs and cookbooks I admire.
Over time, this blog evolved into something that has been a bit of a surprise: demand for my artwork! It might seem silly to some of you that a professional artist who makes a living making art would make this sort of statement, but like a lot of artists out there, I'm humbled when people love what I do. This shift in my blog has brought new ideas and opportunities that I'm excited to share in a whole new format.
I recently launched my new Instagram, Anne Mann Studio, which is where my illustrations live. Many How to Cook Water illustrations will be for sale as prints and on items such as kitchen towels, coffee mugs, and much more. I've also launched my new Facebook page, Anne Mann Studio; this will replace my How to Cook Water Facebook page.
The blog and How to Cook Water Facebook page will be off into the sunset in a few weeks, but don't fret — if you would like one of your favorite recipe illustrations, you can contact me through my Instagram account or my Anne Mann Studio Facebook page and I'll work hard to accommodate your request. I'm very excited to embark on this new adventure. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to get weekly updates on new, original art and the latest news on what’s available in my store. If you're not on Instagram, be sure to follow me on my Anne Mann Studio Facebook page and you will get weekly updates on the latest art and news there.
One of the first items I’m making available will honor the memory of one of my favorite chefs.
The unexpected death of acclaimed writer and chef Anthony Bourdain has brought sadness to the culinary community. Not only did I admire him, but I met Anthony a couple of times when I was working at Barbara Jo’s gourmet cookbook shop in Vancouver, Canada, and he happened to be in town.
Anthony stopped by one afternoon. He had met me only once before, and with sincerity he remembered my name, asked how I was doing, how my art was coming along, and demanded I called him Tony, which I had a hard time doing — this was Anthony Bourdain for cryin' out loud!
I remember Anthony and the rest of our staff made espresso. Mark, our store kitchen/baking wizard, was baking crumpets from scratch. We sat around poring over cookbooks, talking art, gardening, philosophy, even silly politics. Barbara Jo closed up shop that evening, and we all went out to dinner at some dive bar Anthony picked.
I will always remember that day fondly.
When the news of his suicide surfaced, I, like many people, was very shocked and sad. With many of you, there may have been also emotions of guilt, and for some, anger. I think these are all normal reactions when a heart is broken.
Wanting to do something to help others who are struggling with suicide, I took to my pen and started to draw a bouquet of flowers. But flowers weren't appropriate in this case of a fallen culinary giant. They had to be kitchen utensils—but what kind of utensils? Anthony Bourdain used to wear a chef's jacket with his famous Bourdain Skull drawing on it; the artwork was a skull wearing a chef’s hat wielding a knife in its mouth. With that inspiration, I went with a bouquet of knives and kitchen tools wrapped in barbed wire flanked by a red heart. It is appropriately named Tony's Towel.
This illustration will be for charity in memory of Anthony Bourdain. This drawing is printed on a kitchen towel for sale on my Anne Mann Studio storefront located on Zazzle.com. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this towel will go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help ease the pain of others suffering from suicidal thoughts.
Tony, I’m so sorry you were in a deep hole you couldn't escape—damn! R.I.P., Chef, you were a special person who made a positive difference in my life.