Middlewest Style

An artistic new Chicago-made food publication

Middlewest is not your prototypical glossy food publication.

"I'd be happy if people knew Middlewest as [the project that's] fucking with what food magazines look like," says the biannual publication's creator, David Tamarkin, the dining editor of Time Out Chicago.

Sure, there are recipes, enticing photographs and a few stories. But they're presented in an unusual format: 10 oversize recipe cards and a pull-out insert, with art from local photographer Erica Gannett and edgy, conceptual design from Chicago artist duo Sonnenzimmer.

Middlewest is Midwestern in its creation, but not in its focus; recipes are eclectic, and tied to no particular culinary tradition. It's a collectable design piece, but one that's intended to get sauce-splattered.

Six of the recipes in this inaugural, spring-themed edition come from Tamarkin, including verdant pea pâté with fennel seeds, shallots and tarragon, and roasted chicken with preserved-lemon gremolata. Chicago food writer Emilie Zanger masterminded spiced lamb hand pies with a drizzle of herb-packed mayonnaise, and pasta with asparagus-pistachio pesto. We'll be busting out the Bundt pan to bake the cinnamon-buttermilk coffee cake, a recipe from Tamarkin's mother.

All but 200 copies from the initial print run are promised to the project's Kickstarter backers, so don't dally; snatch up a copy ($18) online.