From the recipe competition to the cook book

Almost half a year passed between the judges meeting for the Alnatura "Mein Alnatura 3erlei" creative competition and the completion of the new Alnatura cook book. The time was spent on photo shoots, numerous ideas on food styling and props, drafts for graphics and illustrations and an enormous amount of creativity and commitment by all involved. Take a look behind the scenes at what it takes to create a cook book.

Can you remember what you were doing on 1st August 2012? A few of our colleagues will still be able to provide a very precise response to that question. This was when the judges met for our recipe competition, "Mein Alnatura 3erlei". The range of delicious dishes that we were allowed to taste have remained etched in our memory. You, our customers, are constantly surprising us with fantastic recipe ideas. We have frequently thought that we would have to come up with an even better way to express this creativity. Ultimately, you are actively helping to shape Alnatura with your ideas. So we took the opportunity provided by the competition contributions to draft a cook book with the best recipes provided by our customers – by customers, for customers.

Spoilt for choice: with over 700 tasty recipe ideas, it was extremely difficult to choose which dishes to include in the cook book. Obviously, the winners had to be included, but how could we decide on the other recipes? Diversity was one of our main criteria. The recipes also needed to be quick and easy to prepare. Another goal was to make sure that we met our customers' needs – so, in addition to predominantly vegetarian dishes, a number of vegan recipes were also included. We finally decided on 37 recipes that we then divided into the following five categories: salads & soups, pasta, risotto & co., vegetables, tofu & soy and meat & fish and desserts. We are convinced that, overall, the selected recipes best reflect the creativity of our customers and are sure to provide countless tasty and delightful moments.

After making a few minor refinements to the recipes and standardising the amount of ingredients to four persons, it was off to the photo shoot. Our photographer, Oliver Brachat, spent about two weeks displaying and photographing the different recipes. He was supported by chef and food stylist Christoph Maurer, who recreated all the dishes in the photo studio to prepare mouth-watering photos. Steffi Neff provided the matching props with delightful plates, bowls, cutlery and accessories.

The next step was to find a suitable design concept for our cook book. Our graphic artist, Ute Marquardt, together with illustrator Katrin Wolff, used our ideas and expectations to develop a number of suggestions from which we then selected our favourites. This was followed by a page by page drafting and revision process, during which many dishes were prepared a second time – the delicious dishes meant that it was always easy to find a colleague willing to act as a test cook. We wanted to make doubly sure that the selected recipes tasted great and provided pleasure and enjoyment.

Finally, it was time for fine-tuning, the recipe order was reviewed again and the editorial office made a few final corrections. After almost half a year of hard work we had the final drafts in our hands – and we liked them even better than we could have imagined at the start of the project. We hope that you are just as impressed with the cook book "Die besten Rezepte unserer Kunden" as we are and find that the fantastic recipe ideas provided by Alnatura customers not only taste great, but that they also make cooking an absolute pleasure.

››› Viktoria Hübner, Sabine Stübner