FOURty seconds with Emilia Terrangi

24 Apr 2014
2 min read
FOUR catches up with Emilia Terrangi from Phaidon publishing house, the mind behind the world’s greatest cookbooks by famed chefs such as Ferran Adrià, Rene Redzepi, Alex Atala and Magnus Nilsson…

Since 2006, you’ve been releasing books with some of the world’s most influential chefs: Ferran Adrià, Rene Redzepi, Alex Atala and Magnus Nilsson, to name a few. What is it like working with such culinary greats?
It is always a pleasure, honour and a learning experience to work with such creative people and, because we both strive for quality, it’s always a great working relationship.
What do you aim to express with each new book?
When I work with a chef, I really want the book to express their creativity, personality and innovation.
Have you had to tell any of the chefs you’ve worked with that their ideas are bad?
We always discuss all kinds of ideas when we do a book. Some are good, some are bad. We never have any problems telling each other which is which.
What has been your most memorable project to date?
There have been so many projects which I have enjoyed for very different reasons that it is hard for me to choose just one so I’ll mention two. It was a challenge to follow the success of Rene’s first book Noma, but I’m very proud of creating a very different and truly innovative experience for the reader with A Work in Progress: Journal, Recipes and Snapshots. The design of the book in three parts was important and I was delighted with it because I think we achieved something particularly unique and beautiful with it. And, although just published, creating El Bulli 2005-2011 was very rewarding and a labour of love – I hope it will serve as a reminder in years to come of just how important and influential El Bulli was as a restaurant and how creative Ferran is in his work.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self just breaking into the high-end cookbook publishing scene?
I wouldn’t give myself any advice as I think that this was one of the reasons of our success – not overthinking what we were doing; just go for it.
Are there any other big names that Phaidon will be working with from now into the near future?
I do believe the people I’m working with now are the big names of the future, otherwise I wouldn’t be working with them.
What are a cross-section of the titles on your bookshelf at home?
Anything creative
If you could take a plane ride to anywhere in the world, just for one meal, where would it be and why?
At home in Italy, there is nothing better than a dinner with family and friends.