Welcome to Foodesigns. I'm Lisa Golden Schroeder & these are my personal, highly indulgent, and probably not so unique kitchen stories. I’m really looking forward to this fresh new year, full of dreaming and action. After 2 1/2 years of being consumed with writing a book I’m ready to turn my attentions to new projects…doing more writing, styling interesting foods in refreshing ways, exploring unfamiliar vistas & telling stories about people, events, & subjects that are totally new to me.
All this being said, the year is nearly half-way over without much new happening here! I had a busy spring with my co-authors, celebrating some wonderful acknowledgements of our hard work, so please indulge my blowing our horn for a paragraph, then I’ll move on…
In May we were honored with a handful of nominations for 2019 book awards: Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table won a Midwest Book Award for best overall design, was a finalist for best cookbook food photography & styling in the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) awards, and slid in with third-place recognition (out of six wild mushroom books published all over Europe in 2019) at the Gourmand International Cookbook Awards in China earlier this month.
At the IACP conference in Santa Fe, I entered some work in the Food Photo Affair contest. Two images I styled with Dennis Becker, one of my co-authors on Untamed Mushrooms, were finalists—and one won best of category.
Of course I’m not abandoning Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table yet, my collaborative effort that hails from the Minnesota Historical Society Press. It’s a new imprint that is a hybrid guide for foraging for wild mushrooms + a cookbook that finishes the journey from the hunt to the kitchen. If you're interested in paying serious (and somewhat educated) attention to mysterious fungi you stumble over in local woods and fields, you might find it an entertaining and truly useful resource. My co-authors, certified wild mushroom expert Michael Karns & brilliant photographer Dennis Becker, made the process of delivering a book of substance (over 300 pages with exceptional photography + more than 100 recipes) an extraordinary venture. It’ll be worth your while if you need inspiration for getting out in the woods this summer.
On an everyday note, professionally, I'm a hard-working cook, food writer, and food stylist for commercial photography. But in real life I'm generally lazy, so I specialize in low-tech recipes and hopefully simple, stylish food. Revisiting food memories, exploring the shadowy corners of food & culture, and cooking with family and friends makes for the most satisfying times at the table. The biggest compliment for me is that someone actually makes my recipes--or a photograph I styled makes them want to cook.
As a journal-keeper and secret doodler, trifling with food is just an accounting of some of my favorite kitchen experiments, food ideas I've been passionate about for years, or passing food fancies. I guess I've had a history of being a bit of a culinary dilettante (albeit well trained), leading to a fairly wide knowledge of lots of food history and cooking styles, but wisdom that's not always as deep as it probably should be. So I never stop learning.