Cooking Light's 25th Anniversary Issue

Cooking Light's 25th Anniversary Issue
This November Cooking Light celebrates its 25th anniversary with a double issue that's out on newsstands now.   We spoke with the magazine's creative director Carla Frank about putting together this delectable issue.  

How did you go about choosing the images and recipes that would be on the anniversary cover?
We searched for recipes that looked delicious, but that you could actually make. The dark background was a bit of a departure for us, but I wanted them to look classic and be sure the food popped.  It was an anniversary issue, so taking a little departure was nice.  
In general I want the magazine to be beautiful, vibrant, fun, approachable, and conversational.  I hope that this issue, the culmination of 2 years effort, shows that.

They look delicious, and that mousse cake on the cover has only 151 calories!
I've tasted it several times and its so good. It's really hard to tell the difference between that and a full fat mousse cake.  The test kitchen really pushed themselves to reinvent how we create our recipes and to achieve an iconic taste that we all love and expect when we think of certain foods.

In the issue you worked with a great group of photographers. How did you go about choosing who you wanted to feature? 
I wanted to hit extremely varied notes and capture all of our personality through the photography.  in a double issue you really get to show many different characterisitics.  
In the Happiest Recipes feature, Levi Brown did a fun shoot with sizzling color.  In every piece we wanted to get to the core of an emotional connection with the food. 
When I was shooting the deserts feature with Nigel Cox, we tried to make things look not too perfect and give them some character.  For instance, the brittle topping on the cheesecake has a crack and a chip.  Messing it up a bit and giving those tiny imperfect details catches your eye.  Sort of like the model with the slightly odd nose that you can't stop staring at. You don't now why you're staring at her but you are!

There is a lot of great type illustration in the issue.  
I think Cooking Light needs to feel vibrant and whenever we can give the look an exuberance through type it's fun. So this felt right.  It's actually all by one illustrator in the feature well.  Erik Marinovich, he's great and multi-talented!

Whats your favorite dish in the issue?
All the deserts, they were so good! To prepare for the shoot, the test kitchen created 18 different deserts for us to look at .  We had a run through to narrow them down and talk about how to make them prettier or more monumental without compromising the nutrition.  They were all laid out on the table.  It was such a Marie Antoinette moment!!

Creative Director: Carla Frank
Photo Director: Kristen Schaefer
Art Directors: Fernande Bondarenko, Shawna Kalish
Senior Deputy Art Director: Rachel Cardina Lasserre
Senior Designer: Anna Bird
Designer: Hagen Stegall
Assistant Designer: Nicole Gerrity
Acting Photo Director: Helen Cannavale
Assistant Photo Editor: Amy Delaune
Senior Photographer: Randy Mayor
Senior Photo Stylist: Cindy Barr

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