Next semester, Penn students can look forward to a mouth-watering new student publication: Penn Appétit’s first cookbook, Whisk.
Penn Appétit is a student-run magazine at Penn that covers food. It publishes one print issue each semester and maintains an online blog. For the first time next year, Penn Appétit is publishing a cookbook which will be available in late spring.
The inspiration for Whisk came this fall, while the magazine was preparing for Penn Appétit’s 21st anniversary issue, which came out this week. After observing the group's enthusiasm and talent for creating the magazine, Culinary Director and Wharton sophomore Rachel Prokupek said she decided that creating a cookbook would be a logical next step.
“Penn Appétit has all these amazing recipes, and people are so passionate about food and cooking in this club," she said. "So what if we do a step up, and create a cookbook, and use all these recipes and the talent that we have?”
Whisk is a “cookbook for social occasions," according to its website. In the coming issue, the magazine will explore the ways people socialize around food. The book contains five sections, including brunch, dinner party, and picnic. Each section includes a forward written by a Penn graduate currently working in the food industry.
Recruitment for the cookbook began in September, when Prokupek, who is leading the yearlong project, selected a committee of around 14 people to create a Penn Appétit cookbook. Since then, the team has been developing and photographing recipes, reaching out to alumni, and building Whisk’s social media presence.
The cookbook will be almost entirely the work of Penn students, from cooking and photography to design layout and site building. Twelve student cooks contributed original recipes, revamped family recipes, and updated Penn Appétit recipes. The culinary team tested the recipes at least three times.
A crash course food photography workshop with Alex Lau, staff photographer at Bon Appétit Magazine, helped the Whisk team better envision what they wanted the cookbook to look like, said College junior Isabel Zapata, the club’s current photo editor and one of Whisk’s contributing photographers.
Departing from Penn Appétit’s usual photography style, the photography team decided to take inspiration from Lau’s tutorial and focus on studio shoots.
“We thought it was a good idea to kind of mimic [him] but add our own style,” Zapata said.
Prokupek said she hopes to send a final draft of the book to a publisher at the end of the spring semester.
“[People] can hopefully buy it at the end of the year and be just as excited about it and want to use the recipes we’ve been developing,” Prokupek said. “I think it’s so cool that we have this community in a school that’s so academically rigorous, that we can come together and develop these amazing recipes.”
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