Monday 13 November 2023


Photo Courtesy: Mary McCartney

















Mary McCartney, chef and photographer publishes ‘Feeding Creativity’, a cookbook with more than 60 plant-based dishes and guest stars.

Her new book, Feeding Creativity is a cookbook for friends and family, is a love letter to her passions: healthy cooking, photography, and her friends from the worlds of film, fashion, music, and art.

In this cookbook, she prepares 60 plant-based dishes for her famous friends: a tomato soup for Cate Blanchett, sheet pan pancakes for actress Cameron Diaz, a vegetable polenta for Stanley Tucci, a leek and sweet potato soup for Cindy Sherman, or a chickpea tuna and vegetable sandwich for Elvis Costello. 



















Each recipe is accompanied by a portrait by Mary McCartney. The most cherished photo in Feeding Creativity is definitely the one of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr together, eating a plate of green pasta prepared by Mary.

“Ringo doesn’t live in London. So it was great to see him catch up with my dad. They’re like brothers and when they’re together they talk a lot, laugh, and make jokes,” she explains. “But Ringo doesn’t eat much. He’s allergic to garlic and onions. So I always like to ask him what he’s eating.”

About her photos: “I always feel a little bit nervous when I’m about to portray someone famous. It’s more like excitement, like butterflies in my stomach. But it’s not nerves about the person themselves, it’s about making sure the work comes out well,” clarifies McCartney, who has been portraying celebrities in intimate moments since the 1990s."


A key moment in her career as a photographer was when she was with the Queen of England. “That was the job where I felt the most pressure,” she admits.

Buckingham Palace invited me to photograph the Queen because they liked my style. They didn’t want a portrait with pomp and circumstance, but a portrait of a working woman. I was terrified, it was a huge responsibility because I only had one chance to get it right. Fortunately, Her Majesty was funny, kind, and pleasant to me.

During the development of Feeding Creativity, a process that took almost seven years, there were also some difficult moments. “I burned the first batch of pancakes I had cooked for Cameron Diaz.”

I started talking to her and forgot to set the timer. So I had to cook the dish again. It was quite stressful,” she reveals. That recipe is a tribute to her mother, Linda, who died in 1998 from breast cancer. “I think about her every day. I became a photographer and started cooking thanks to her. We spent a lot of time together. I would call her all day or meet up with her to ask her questions about photography or cooking. There is not a single day that I do not remember one of her phrases, one of her advice, one of her anecdotes, or one of her recipes... like the one for pancakes. Many times I would go to her house in the morning, we would make pancakes, and we would go back to bed to eat them.”

Elvis Costello agreed to be photographed while recording an album at Electric Lady, the legendary studios founded by Jimi Hendrix in New York. “I knew that my mother had photographed Jimi several times.

While I was there, a sound engineer told me that Jimi adored her. He liked having her in the studio because of her way of working, he considered her a calm and creative person,” she recalls.

The book also allowed her to return to Abbey Road Studios in London, where The Beatles recorded almost all of their discography. There, she cooked a salad for the legendary musician Nile Rodgers.

Feeding Creativity is a cookbook, but it is also a family album and a tour of the homes and studios of some of the most important living artists of our time. 

From George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in California to Sir Peter Blake's London studio (the painter, author of the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover by The Beatles, is Mary's godfather). 

"I like cooking for people, I like photographing people, I like going to people's houses. So I had a lot of fun making this book," she admits.


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