The Making of a Recipe Book


In 2015, artist Helen Krayenhoff wrote and illustrated 12 Simple Seasonal Vegetable Recipe Ideas, which she published in collaboration with Berkeley’s Autumn Press. When the idea arose to do something for 2016, Helen realized she had used up all her best recipes, so she turned to her friend, local pastry chef Siew-Chinn Chin, for help with 12 Simple Fruit Recipe Ideas.

“Siew-Chinn and I have an auspicious relationship, meaning that the days we can make time to meet for a cup of tea are auspicious indeed,” says Helen. “Since we met in the mid 90s, I’ve watched her rise from a kitchen assistant at the now-defunct Cafe Fanny, to Chez Panisse as a pastry cook, and onto the Ramen Shop as the resident pickle chef. She spends her ‘free time’ either baking for clients or traveling the globe, stopping along the way to collaborate with chefs who all love her as much as I do.”

One evening last September, Helen sat frantically taking notes as 12 wonderful seasonal fruit recipes just rolled off Siew-Chinn’s tongue. “I returned home and made them all and brought them back to her for feedback,” says Helen. “Between many cups of tea and editing, I madly painted the fruit and within two weeks we had a book to take to the printer.”

The book is available at Helen’s Etsy store (HelenKrayenhoffShop) or at the Ramen Shop.
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An avid natural dyer, Helen Krayenhoff also does illustrations of produce and food subjects. Find her work at She co-owns Kassenhoff Growers, a certified organic plant nursery based in Oakland.