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Why We Cook

Women on Food, Identity, and Connection

With more than one hundred women restaurateurs, activists, food writers, professional chefs, and home cooks—all of whom are changing the world of food. Featuring essays, profiles, recipes, and more, Why We Cook is curated and illustrated by author and artist Lindsay Gardner, whose visual storytelling gifts bring nuance and insight into their words and their work, revealing the power of food to nourish, uplift, inspire curiosity, and effect change.

“Prepare to be blown away by Lindsay Gardner’s illustrations. Her gift as an artist is part of this fluid conversation about food with some of the most intriguing women, and you’ll never want it to end. Why We Cook highlights our voices and varied perspectives in and out of the kitchen and empowers us to reclaim our place in it.” —Carla Hall, chef, television personality, and author of Carla Hall’s Soul Food

“This book is a beautiful object, but it’s also much more than that: an essay collection, a trove of recipes, a guidebook for how we might use food to fight for and further justice. The women in its pages remind us that it’s in the kitchen, in the field, and around the table that we do our most vital work as human beings—and that, now more than ever, we must.” —Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life and The Fixed Stars


About the Author

Lindsay Gardner is an illustrator and mother of two daughters (her favorite sous chefs). Her watercolor and gouache illustrations have appeared in cookbooks and editorial projects, advertising campaigns, and stationery and interior design collaborations. This wide-ranging artistic sensibility makes her a gentle interrogator of the world around her. Her food art has appeared in the Cookie Advent Cookbook (Chronicle, 2016), Pies, Fries & Ice Cream (Chronicle, 2016), and The Rituals (Chronicle, 2019). 

You may have also seen her work in Uppercase Magazine, Architectural Digest, StyleCarrot, Decorist, Vogue, among others. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, she’s been fortunate to live in the beautiful and vibrant locales of Oakland and San Francisco, CA, Chicago, IL, New York, NY and Middlebury, VT. Why We Cook is her first book.


You can purchase here!