Having worked for a number of years with Ian Middleton (Brand Commander) on a variety of designs for Jon Croft of Absolute Press, we were asked to design, art direct, produce & deliver a new cookbook for The Cinnamon Club. This became a project I delivered for our then London-based design agency: Design United Ltd.
For those that don’t know about it, The Cinnamon Club Restaurant, housed in London’s Old Westminster Library building, was set up by Iqbal Wahhab and Vivek Singh, and remains to this day at the heartbeat of Westminster life – even boasting a Division bell – one on only 4 outside of the Palace of Westminster.
The book was published in 2003
Iqbal Wahhab was & is a distinguished food journalist and restaurant publicist who famously edited Tandoori Magazine and claimed that most Indian restaurant staff were ‘miserable gits’.
Perhaps not surprisingly, he was sacked from his editorial post and so he decided to put his (and other people’s) money where his mouth was and set about creating the one of the greatest Indian restaurants in the world using the stunning talents of India’s leading young chef, Vivek Singh who he poached as then head chef of The Taj Mahal and who has helped transform Indian food in the UK.
Initially, and in conjunction with legendary two-star Michelin chef Eric Chavot they devised a completely different way of cooking and presenting it, combining both French and Indian cuisine that has transformed the traditional view of Indian restaurant food.
Making it Happen
After sitting down with Iqbal and Vivek to discuss their thoughts they gave me a completely free reign and blank canvas.
As creative director I selected the amazing food photographer: Jean Cazals for the book’s photography and working with Jean (as well as with Iqbal and Vivek) this was to be the start of a fantastic professional relationship, which has lasted for many years.
The book was published in 2003, and has since had a seafood version and 2 separate smaller book off-spins. I believe Vivek now has a much deserved Michelin Star.
The Cinnamon club cookbook.
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