For Warhol, food was a real passion. He ate mainly Italian, French, and Chinese cuisine
For Andrew Warhola Jr., aka Andy Warhol, food was a real passion. In The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and Back Again (1975), the icon and symbol of Pop Art describes himself at the table: “I must admit I tend to pamper myself and then try to compensate by always stowing my leftovers to bring them to the office or leave them in the street where they can be recycled. My leftovers are generally very luxurious, and my hairdresser’s cat eats pâté at least twice a week.
They are mainly meat leftovers, because I often buy a very large piece of meat, start to cook it for dinner, and then, when it is almost ready, I give up and eat what I wanted to eat from the beginning: bread and jam”. Warhol loved steaks, pickled vegetables, sweets, and fruit jams; he loved Italian food and his favourite restaurant was Ballato’s, in Little Italy; however, he did not disdain French and Chinese cuisine. The most important thing for him was not having to cook. The son of Lemchi emigrants, Warhol started drawing graceful figures in pastel tones at an early age. He was scouted by Carmel Snow, then editor of some very famous fashion magazines. She noticed his talent and hired him as an advertising graphic designer for Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Vogue in New York.
His first illustrated book after Wild Raspberries (he published it in 1959 in collaboration with his mother, Júlia, and Suzie Frankfurt) is called Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook (1961). In this handbook of gastronomy, Warhol (who still signed himself as Andrew Warhol) proposes blackink illustrations of kitchen tools, objects, and foods drawn with pen lines of disarming simplicity. Those almost dreamlike and surreal drawings, which differ so much from the colourful and impressive Pop Art vision that would become his daily bread, already revealed the talent of an artist who was able to grasp the uniqueness of things and gestures - even the most common ones, such as cutting a chicken or a steak - and make them extraordinary.