With pictures for every finished dish and for many
steps in a recipe, the targeted audience seems to be those who are
visual learners. Furthermore, although the book was printed in Hong
Kong, the instructions for "authentic" Asian cooking are in English.
The language implies that those interested in learning how to cook Asian
dishes are likely foreigners, who are not familiar with the preparation
and style of Asian cooking. Thus, the level of instruction, alongside
with the pictures, suggest that this book is a basic instructional cookbook. One of the
reasons why I bought this book is largely because the pictures seemed
very appealing and upon reading, the recipes for the dishes that
I knew how to cook already, seemed very authentic (as
opposed to "Canadian" or "American"-ized, which I find is a common
flaw in Westernized Asian/Chinese cookbooks).
Using principles of inclusion and exclusion, one can
say that the design choices of including a table of contexts, index,
introduction, and images, but excluding items such as preparation time or dual- language (as some of my mother's cookbooks are in both Chinese and
English), illustrate that the style of the cookbook is
designed with the audience in mind.
Much like many large cookbooks, this cookbook's lists
of recipes, common methods of cooking (e.g. steaming), and primary
ingredients (e.g. cabbage) are found in the index. The cookbook is
divided into sections, as apparent in the table of contents. Notably,
Doeser separates poultry from the meat, as a part of a consideration that some vegetarians would
eat poultry but not red meat. Furthermore, in the introduction, the
editor explains common cooking techniques, equipment, and common Asian
ingredients that may be unfamiliar to the audience.
Each recipe has clear numbers, presented closely with
the instructions, to guide the users through each ordered step of
the recipe. Moreover, the editor provides the users with the option
of using metric or imperial measures (imperial would be from the British
practices in Hong Kong). Doeser even includes a disclaimer in the
publisher information page that says, "For all recipes, quantities
are given in both metric and imperial measures and, where appropriate,
in standard cups and spoons. Follow one set, but not a mixture because
they are not interchangeable." Prior to listing the ingredients, along
with a serving-size guide, Doeser introduces the dish and explains
any culture-related terms (e.g. the name of the dish and where it
is derived from). Some recipes also contain a square box that contains
a "Cook's Tip"--with suggestions from the editor to better prepare
the dish including, but not limited to, alternate methods and/or ingredient substitutions.
The layout of the page for each recipe is framed within
an imaginary border formed by the images working with textual margins,
to provide room for "thumb space" and a clean look. Additionally, the user would
not confuse an image that is meant for a procedure with the image of a finished
dish, as the finished dish's image is almost always at least twice
the size of an image that explains how to do a specific step.
The paper is quite high in quality (heavy
bond and glossy), which endures longer even with frequent use. However, I,
as the cook, would need to place the cookbook away from the food prep,
as I would not want to get any ingredients on it--especially oil, which
would seep through the pages and ruin the "niceness" of the cookbook.
On the other hand, the book has a flat spine and a creased side (near
the spine) so to effectively help keep the pages stay open on the
kitchen counter without permanently creasing the spine. With regards to the design aspect of the bind--because the pages of the cookbook is not coiled
or stitched together at the spine, with frequent use, the glued pages
will likely fall out sooner than if the book was bound with the other methods of
binding, as mentioned above.
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