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Today is a cozy, rainy day and I’m thrilled to show off my book cover. My little beauty, Food with Friends – the Art of Simple Gatherings is on sale and available to pre-order so it arrives on your doorstep the day it comes out, March 29. My publisher, Clarkson Potter, and I went through A LOT of back and forth on this issue and in the end used an out-take, an absolute second glance quick, whiff of an image — crazy, huh? it almost didn’t make it though, here’s a run down of a few of the contenders and why we ended up picking the beet-pickled eggs.

Here’s a mock up from the designer of a few different images of mine all cobbled together, this was our idea going forward — a sweet jumble of sweets and savories with text in the center. You’ll also notice my subtitle was different for a while (my title started in a completely different direction and that’s another story!) I shot a version of this outside at the beach at sunset and while I loved it, pubs deemed it too real and imperfect — so it was onto something else. I was but a girl when this process began . . .

Next up, we moved into the world of the Faloodas (one of my fav recipes in the book, it’s a crazy concoction of tapioca, pineapple, sherbet, rose water, sweetened condensed milk, whip cream and grenadine!). I loved this idea, it encompassed my passion for pink, desserts, gold shiny-ness and roses. I loved the drama of the image as well, I don’t often use slate colors, but in this case it really makes the sweets pop and I find I cannot stop looking at their pink inky, swirliness. I grew really attached to this cover and it was our number one contender for a few months when at the last minute, publishers felt it was “too dessert book.” My book covers sweets AND savories and that needed to be communicated, tear. I reluctantly understood, bye faloodas!!!

*Also this subtitle was golden for a while and also had a shift in the end . . . but it was fun while it lasted.

Now we’re getting somewhere. We had collectively honed in on a different subtitle, which I loved in the end and feel it is more all-encompassing and appealing to people of all ages. And we contemplated tartines for a hot minute. I loved the color and the simplicity of this cover, but a book on toasts just came out and we wanted to stand out so we scrapped it — another bandaid ripped off my heart. Where would this book end up I wondered? After 6 months of debating,  I felt like eating only these toasts, drinking hot chocolate and not going out of the house.

In the 11th hour, my designer La Tricia, went digging into the archive of ALL the imagery, including the b-roll extras I threw in to the mix. She suggested and mocked up the beet pickled eggs. We all loved the idea that eggs are timeless, savory (so get out of the “desserts-only” category I was trying to avoid) and were intriguing with their pops of pink and dusting of herbs. They were almost dancing across the parchment paper, twirling about a little in all their hot pink glory. From a graphic standpoint, I enjoy their polka dot pattern and wildness. I’m so grateful they found this photo and brought it to light, as the COVER, funny how that works in such a round about way because I never set out to shoot this scene to be the face of my book.

I’m happy with the end and there were many twists and turns to this story, a lot of negotiating, tears and happiness. It was a roller-coaster I didn’t expect to be quite so topsy turvy — would I do it again for this final result? ABSOLUTELY! fwf-2-back-cover
And here’s a peek at the back too — funny that the faloodas made the other side of the book, huh? Overall I love that the front and the back involve a lot of pink (my power color) and they contrast/compliment each other in a nice way — cover is closer and shot overhead, back is farther back and has that slightly dramatic wall and luxe marble. A peek at the inside of the book soon, I promise.

The book is available for pre-order now!

59 Comments / Post A Comment
  1. This is such a stunning book; I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and cook, cook, cook from it. x S

  2. what a fun inside scoop on the process! I always wondered how anyone picked covers and loved how yours turned out xoxo

  3. From Patrick melroy * February 18, 2016 / Reply

    So fun to see the process. Crazy roller coaster. Congrats on the new book, can’t wait to eat from it. Again.

  4. I’m so over the moon excited for you Leela! And me! Because I get to own something lovely and wonderful you created. :) xo Karista

  5. I can’t wait to see the real book! when are you coming back to Italy?

    1. From leela.cyd * February 18, 2016 / Reply

      i hope to come sometime soon, no plans for this summer but maybe next!!

  6. Cannot, cannot, WAIT!!!!

    1. From leela.cyd * February 18, 2016 / Reply


  7. From Lindsay Blatt * February 18, 2016 / Reply

    So excited to try out the recipes while looking at the beautiful photography!

    1. From leela.cyd * February 18, 2016 / Reply

      awh, hope you love em lindsay!! xo

  8. From Kristina * February 18, 2016 / Reply

    Gorgeous! I love knowing the backstory!

    1. From leela.cyd * February 18, 2016 / Reply

      thanks darlin!!

  9. Honestly, I love all of these covers. Can’t wait to see the book when it comes out! xx

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