Cook Wif Lub: The Tiny Chef Book Review


In the decade since animator Rachel Larsen created The Tiny Chef with writer Adam Reid and cinematographer Ozi Akturk, they’ve managed to turn their clay friend into a viral phenomenon.

According to the New York Times, The Tiny Chef “stands only six inches tall, like an enchanted ball of moss sprung to life. Made of wood, foam latex and metal, he preps vegetables, simmers sauces and bakes pies the size of bottle caps, all while chattering in a lispy singsong that is mostly incomprehensible.”

The character became recognizable through stop-motion videos posted online, and has just released a book, The Tiny Chef and da mishing weshipee blook.

“The Tiny Chef often cooks his famous vegetable stew for his friends, and whenever they’d ask where he got the recipe from he’d tell them about this legendary day he lost his recipe book,” The Tiny Team said. “He told that story so many times that when [Penguin Random House] approached us about a book we KNEW we had to re-create that day with The Chef, and of course share his famous recipe too!”

Reid and Chef spent hours making sure the wording was perfectly crafted on each page while Akturk and Chef focused on the lighting of each image. Larsen and Chef would take long walks and think through how to tell his story, and Chef’s “interior designer” Jason Kolowski made sure everything in Chef’s tree stump was what he needed to recreate that fateful day.

The Tiny Chef and his Tiny Team wanted everything just perfect; to make sure they were capturing the essence of the day and that every detail of every page truly expressed his feelings in that moment. It involved long, grueling hours, but those hours paid off with a blurb from friend Kristen Bell on the back cover jacket and RuPaul as the narrator of the audiobook.

“We love how committed Chef was to the project and how all of us came together to help him make it," The Tiny Team said. “It was a true team effort and we’re SO happy people get to actually cook and try his famous stew.”

From The Tiny Chef himself: “cook wif lub, cook fo your fwens, an blawaysh twy shomefing new."