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The Cake Café Book, by Michelle Darmody

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

If the great graphic novelist Chris Ware, author of the monumental Building Stories, and Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid On Earth, were to write and illustrate a cookery book, then it would, I suspect, look and feel pretty much like Michell Darmody's Cake Café Book.

That is to say, it would be obtuse, gorgeous, it would feature diagrams, it would be unapologetic about itself, and it would be a bit of a nuisance for anyone who doesn't have perfect eyesight. And it wouldn't be like anyone else's cookery book.

The CCB is different. There is very little narrative, and what there is is extremely personal. Not air-brushed personal, just personal personal – the death of a parent; work-life balance in a real working life; running a business when you don't know how to run a business. Ms Darmody has no professional facade: here she is, and here are her ginger hugs; her butter kisses; her jam tarts, and drop scones.

Niall and Nigel of Pony Ltd did the design and illustration, in a style which older folk may compare to the great illustrator Brian Cronin. It all adds up to the strangest, most personal, most idiosyncratic and most delightful cookery book I have seen in years.

Cult status, then.

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