To complement the results of our recent Harris Poll online survey around menu terminology, we wanted to create a #menudecoded glossary to help educate and delight people who might be confused about certain words. As with any compelling glossary or dictionary, illustrations are key to enhancing a user’s (or in this case, a diner’s) experience. The OpenTable design team looked to the creative community to help with this aspect, partnering with well-known illustrators Ping Zhu, Keith Shore, Harrison Freeman, Brianna Harden, and Eddie Perrote, who share a combined client list of The New York Times, Penguin Books, Dwell Magazine, American Express, and Vice, among others. Here, each artist shares a few insights about themselves, their process, and the terms they worked with.
Keith Shore (Yuzu, En Brodo, En Papillote, Primi, Terrine)
Keith Shore is the art director for Danish brewery Mikkeller and works from his home studio in the Philadelphia suburbs. His favorite term to illustrate was yuzu. He says, “I’ve made many beer labels that center around this awesome fruit. It’s a great shape to draw and has a fun, loud color palette.” Follow Keith on Instagram @keithashore + Twitter @keith_shore.
Brianna Harden (Okonomiyaki, Gougère, Harissa, Lardo, Crudo)
Brianna Harden is an illustrator, book cover designer, and self-proclaimed adventurer living in Brooklyn, New York. She notes, “My creative work involves making paintings (usually of food or people) primarily for editorial clients and designing book jackets for Penguin Random House. When I’m not drawing or designing, I embark on frequent travels to just about anywhere that allows me to rock climb and eat good food.” The terms she most enjoyed bringing to life? “The gougères and the crudo. There’s something about the delicate crudo that reminds me of floral arrangement — every ingredient is carefully considered for size and balance. It was a compositional challenge to depict a perfectly arranged little piece of fish. The color scheme also turned out to be my favorite, as the vibrant pinks and greens were delightful to paint. My other favorite was the gougères — not so much to draw but to sample. Shortly after I received this illustration assignment, I went to visit my friend where he bartends at the Brooklyn restaurant French Louie. Without knowing about this project, he brought out one of their appetizers — a basket of warm gougères with cheese. It was my first time trying the delicious pastries, and I’m obsessed with them now.” Follow Brianna on Instagram @brianna_harden + Twitter @brianna_harden.
Eddie Perrote (Piri Piri, Shiso, Meuniere, Amuse Bouche, Semifreddo)
Artist Eddie Perrote is a professional illustrator, designer, and, he adds, amateur food eater. He resides in Brooklyn, New York. When asked what term he liked tackling best, he revealed, “I’d say the Amuse Bouche was my favorite to illustrate because of the unique role that appetizers play in terms of food pairings — I could get wackier with it!” Follow Eddie on Instagram @eddieperrote.
Harrison Freeman (Gochujang, Guanciale, Patatas Bravas, Romesco, Croustade)
Harrison Freeman is an illustrator and graphic designer who hails from Portland, Oregon, and who loves baseball. “My favorite drawing was ‘Croustade.’ Of the five drawings I did, croustade had the most unpredictable texture, which offered a bit more freedom as far as the variety of mark-making went.” Follow Harrison on Instagram @harrisonefff + Twitter @Harrison0304.
Ping Zhu (Bibimbap, Ballotine, A La Plancha, Pavlova, Cremeux)
Ping is an illustrator who calls Brooklyn, New York, home. It was easy for her to name the term most suited to her appetite. “It’s ballotine — because who doesn’t like meat wrapped in more meat?” Hard to disagree. Follow Ping on Instagram @pingszoo + Twitter @pingszoo.
You can view the full experience of our menu decoder glossary here. And, you can learn more about these creative individuals by visiting their portfolio sites at the links above.