Cover Image: The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones

The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Inspirational Food Art

What a gift daughter Wendy Jones has given us by sharing a few photographs of her mother Josephine's culinary creations. In the introduction, the author shares how the series of photographs came about. Her mother was the employee cafeteria supervisor for what is now Kraft Foods in New York City. When the cafeteria moved to a new floor, it needed art on the walls, but they couldn't find anything suitable. So she crafted culinary art, which was then photographed by a pro. These photographs then hung in the new employee cafeteria. Josephine certainly had an eye for color and balance, and a unique flair for the dramatic. The Apple Birds especially impressed me; the woman had some serious paring knife skills! The author states most of what her mother created was crafted using just a paring knife and a meat slicer (how she got paper-thin slices of food she could then manipulate into shapes). While this is not a cookbook, the author does share the ingredients in each picture as well as her thoughts about how her mother created the photo and sometimes a story about it. If you're a foodie like I am, you might find yourself becoming a little more creative in your food presentation after reading this book like I have. Highly recommended book to simply savor.
Was this review helpful?
This book contains a collection of 16 pictures of Jones with details for each along with anecdotes to art and her take on food art and life.

The pictures were taken in 1977 by John Turner and the food was done by Josephine E. Jones. Both worked for the company that is today called Kraft: Turner as their professional photographer and Jones as the employee cafeteria supervisor. The book notes that Jones “may have been the first black woman in management at a Fortune 500 company.”

The works were printed as art on the walls on the cafeteria. Looking at these pictures is like stepping back in time. The book was compiled by Jones daughter, and I think, a loving tribute to her talented mother. Each photo has the ingredients of the whatever dish is showcased on the next page along with the process which could be anything from her mother’s food notes, a funny story, or a historical note.

A great book looking back in time to what was haute cuisine a generation ago, and praise to a talented and respected black voice in the culinary world.
Was this review helpful?
This is not a cookbook, it is a book of food photography and is a companion piece to "An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones" although they can be read separately. The physical copy allows you to take the pictures out and hang them.

I was unfamiliar with the life and work of Josephine E. Jones but after seeing some of the amazing plating she did I want to learn more. The photography featured in this book is perfect for vintage food lovers.
Was this review helpful?
The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones offers a look into the artistry of Josephine E. Jones, one of the first African American women to own a fortune 500 company. The image showcase Jones' expertise as a chef and offers the reader a glimpse into culinary trends of the mid-20th century. The images are accompanied by educational text written by Jones' daughter. This would be a great reference book for anyone interested in culinary history or modern culinary arts. The only unfortunate aspect is the yellowing of the photos--as most older photographs do, the images have a yellow tone throughout which makes the reader question the accuracy of the photographs.
Was this review helpful?
Whilst this is a lovely book, I do feel this is a commemorative book for a family member.
The book shows some wonderful pictures of food from the 70's, showing the social history of America at that time.  But it also draws on the history of the culinary artist too, being possible one of the first black female managers in the US at that time for a Fortune 500 company.
I'm not too sure whether it is really a book that people will frame the pictures of now? I feel it needed far more content and perhaps should have stuck to a coffee table book format.
Was this review helpful?
A sweet glimpse into the life and work of Josephine E Jones, who was likely the first Black woman in management at a Fortune 500 company. This book, compiled by her daughter, offers us an intimate look at the food she created, and the creativity behind it.
Was this review helpful?
The first word that pops in my mind when reading this book is wholesome. There's something soothing in knowing that a woman's work of art is so much valued by her own family that they put it to press some decennia later. However, I must be honest (that's why I started reviewing in the first place, after all) and admit that I did not really like this book. 

Based on the description, as well as my extensive background in the arts, I expected to be a bit more. Not in quantity, but in the quality of the photos and the accompanying texts. The photos are dated and remind me of the photos my family members showed me when they talked about the seventies. The texts are quite brief, often not more than half a page per photo, and offer a tiny bit of insight, some background, and a description of what is pictured. Overall, it feels more like a family album than anything else.

On top of being biased, I think I'm not really the target audience for this book. I feel I'm too young to understand the nostalgic value of this book, that it will undoubtedly have on an older audience. I also think the removable photos are pretty innovative, which I appreciate very much.
Was this review helpful?
Some very interesting photos of food. Great descriptions of the process and thought behind each of the food sculptures, which provide you with a list of the item used and stories to go with the process.  I feel like this book would pop more with a black background and white text so that the photos can really show up better.  They show up fine on a white background, but there's something about a black background with photos that seems to lend a more artistic look to it, and these photos really are amazing displaying true food works of art.
Was this review helpful?
A very sweet and loving book but not really my style photography-wise. The actual pieces are great and sound amazing. I'm just not a fan of the photographs. I feel like they don't do the pieces justice.
Was this review helpful?
**I received and voluntarily read an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

The pictures were great, and brought back memories of growing up and eating at my grandmother's house. 

This book isn't for everybody, but would be a great coffee table book or a nice gift to the foodie/chef/photographer in your life.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting and wonderful collection of photos. I loved the food arrangement and the uniqueness of each one. The backstory and commentary was a delightful touch to the photos!
Was this review helpful?
--Loving Memoire in Words and Food--

I received an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, and here are my thoughts.

This book is like a slice of corporate culinary history. Josephine E. Jones, a black woman, worked in management at a Fortune 500 company (that later became Kraft) in the 1960s. In this short book of less than 70 pages, each spread has a photograph of a food design arrangement, accompanied by her daughter's memory of what her mother told her about the preparation and presentation of food. Taking time to present food in a beautiful way was one of the important lessons she passed on.

The "lessons" or comments on each food arrangement are the biggest charm of this book. Each little story is a treasure in itself.

While the food photography will look dated (and it is from the 1960s!), you'll realize this is WHERE IT BEGAN, so to speak. But the highlight of the book for me, are the lessons of food, love, and caring between a mother and her daughter.  This is not a cookbook, but a lovebook.

Lots of wonderful in this precious book.
Was this review helpful?
Ms. Josephine E. Jones not only knows how to cook but also how to present the food to make it more appetizing even to the pickiest of picky eaters. Her creations are interesting, showing such character and creativity. I enjoyed reading this book with the catchy, curious title. I sure would want to read more about Ms. Jones' creations!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Ida Bell Publishing, LLC for providing this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
This is not a cookbook, but a portfolio of beautiful food photographs.  The author does provide the ingredients and basic processes that were used to create the photos.  The photographs are stunning and this would make a great coffee table book.  The prints are also ready for framing. 

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  My review is voluntary.
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to the author, publishers and Netgalley for a free ARC of this ebook.
This is a glorious book. Its is lovingly produced even in e-format its clear to see that it is a work of art in itself. 
The hard copy had removable pages so that the artwork can be framed. 
The quality of the pictures is beautiful, and the descriptions so engaging. 
Highly recommended for art and food lovers alike.
Was this review helpful?
The history of culinary art would never be complete without including the work of Josephine E. Jones. As possibly the first African-American woman to work in management at a Fortune 500 company, Ms. Jones went from a temporary worker at Standard Brands (now known as Nabisco) to a 31-year career as supervisor of their employees’ cafeteria. The care, effort, and attention to detail in the designs she created made her groundbreaker in so many ways. 

This portfolio makes a great gift for people involved in the world of culinary art, for foodies, and even those who just love food art. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book provided by the publisher and Net Galley but the thoughts expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
In The Culinary Art Portfolio, Wendy Jones showscases the culinary art photography of her mother Josephine E. Jones. Josephine may have been the first African American woman in management at a Fortune 500 company in 1967.

The photography is gorgeous and I would love to buy a printed book. The photos are printed on glossy paper and can be removed and framed.

A true must have for food and photography enthusiasts.
Was this review helpful?
Date reviewed/posted: December 6, 2020
Publication date: May 20, 2021

When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us,  superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

There is no one movie, song, or book that will make these troubled times disappear, but The Culinary Art Portfolio of Josephine E. Jones—where art and food intersect--will give you welcome relief.

Wendy Jones—whose text accompanies John Turner's colour photographs—showcases the culinary art of her mother, Josephine E. Jones.

Josephine, in 1967, may have been the first African American woman in management at a Fortune 500 company, Standard Brands, now Kraft.

Neither a cookbook nor a how-to book, the portfolio's 16 photos, printed on glossy paper, are perforated so they can be removed and framed. The text on each facing page includes the ingredients used, the processes employed, and not only Josephine E. Jones's comments on food presentation, but also the wisdom of her positive approach to life—despite obstacles—which she overcame.

The photographs will give you the pleasure derived from any art book. The text will inspire you to create your own culinary art. And framing your favourite photos will give you, your family, and your friend's enjoyment for many years to come.

Admittedly, I have never heard of Josephine E. Jones, but certainly thank her daughter Wendy for writing this book.  It was interesting to read bout her life and Fortune 500 position but these photographs are the heart and soul of the book so I was surprised to see that she did not take the photo, but that's okay.  It was hard to appreciate said photos 100% in a digital format on a Kindle but I can see.  wanting to buy the book, ripping out the pages and framing them. (Thank you Mr. Turner for those amazing photos!

A great book for lovers of photography and food alike - a beautiful book.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube  Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🧁🧁🧁🧁🧁
Was this review helpful?
There is a lot of love in this book from the author to her mother, Josephine. I really loved reading the kind words, wholesome relationship and in general the passion for food passed down from one generation to the next. This is really a nostalgia book and I think it will talk to people who lived in the 70s. I was not born then and I find that culinary photography has evolved and improved a lot. Still, Josephine's work with her photographer was ground-breaking at the time, maybe they started the whole love for food photography, and revolutionary when you see how little African-decent  Americans were seen in managerial positions. All this makes me put a high emotional value on this book, but sadly I can't say I was truly taken by the photographs. They lack the modern freshness and  colour vibrancy that I enjoy. I know it is highly subjective and probably a result of me being exposed mainly to new cookbooks, but I had hoped to like this book better than I did. There are no recipes in here, just a lovely commentary about the composition and snapshot memories of the writer. I recommend this book to people who have lived through the 70s and are passionate about food and the history of its preparation.
Was this review helpful?