The Recipe Box: YVR is a cookbook in a wooden box, with recipes from several popular Vancouver restaurants

Local photographer and food lover Sofia Kuan got the idea from old-school boxes and folders, with recipes appearing on individual cards

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Remember the recipe box your mom or grandma used to have? An actual physical object stuffed with cherished, hand-written recipes? Maybe you even had one yourself.

      They’re a thing of the past—or at least they were, until a self-taught Vancouver-based photographer created one for local food lovers.

      Fittingly, it’s called the Recipe Box:YVR. Made out of ash or walnut wood, each box contains 100 recipes from leading Vancouver restaurants.

      The Recipe Box is a passion project of Sofia Kuan, who got it off the ground via a Kickstarter campaign.

      She wanted to do something creative and food-related other than a regular cookbook. She got the idea after coming across her own an accordion-style folder from years ago, where she kept recipes she had typed out herself. 

      In talking to her friends about cookbooks, many told her that they rarely used their own cookbooks, because they didn’t want to get them spilled on or dirty, or because they found them awkward to prop up in the kitchen. So Kuan went with the old-school concept.

      The cards in the Recipe Box: YVR are spill-proof and user-friendly.
      Sofia Kuan.

      The recipes are printed on spill-proof cards, each emblazoned with one of her colourful photos. They’re filed alphabetically by restaurant name, but the box comes with dividers so you can organize the cards in your own categories. Plus, you can prop the cards up in a slit that’s carved into the top of the box for easy reading while you're slicing and dicing.

      The first chef to come onboard was Pino Posteraro from Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca. According to Kuan, when he asked her who else had agreed to participate, she was a little nervous telling him that in fact he was the only chef she had secured at that point because it was such a small project. He told her “It doesn’t matter if it’s small, as long as the idea is big.”

      Posteraro went on to connect her with Vikram Vij and Angus An, the chef of Maenam, Longtail Kitchen, Freebird Chicken Shack, Fat Mao Noodles, and Sen Pad Thai.

      Spot the Recipe Box.
      Sofia Kuan.

      Among the recipes are those for Chambar’s Cardamom Poached Chicken Salad, Bin 941’s Cinnamon Flank Steak, ad Dirty Apron’s Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake.

      There’s even the lowdown on how to make Earnest Ice Cream’s Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

      The Recipe Box: YVR is available online and sells for $65. Partial proceeds go to Mealshare, which provides a meal to someone in need for every meal purchased at a participating restaurant.