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Is This the Most Expensive Pizza Recipe in the World? Solmentes Press Announces the Publication of Pizza from Scratch

First, you have to burn a field of weeds, sow some wheat and plant Amish Paste heirloom tomato seeds. Meanwhile, you build the oven . . . then you can make pizza from scratch.

Decorah, IA, January 17, 2018 --( English artist David Esslemont is passionate about food and obsessed with cooking. In Pizza from Scratch, a visual narrative in woodcuts and linocuts, he explains how to make what could be one of the world’s most expensive (and delicious) pizza recipes.

Why would this pizza recipe have a four-figure price tag? Because first you have to grow the ingredients and build the oven; and secondly, the "instruction manual" Pizza from Scratch is a unique limited edition book with 36 original prints and was handmade by an artist with an international following. This new book is available in two variant bindings: the “Deluxe” Pizza will cost you $4,800 (plus materials and ingredients – $200).

Weeds, fire, cultivating, seeds, seedlings, broadcasting, harrowing, harvesting, threshing and construction details are all depicted together with a diagram proving Pythagoras's theorem (used to make a right angle when laying out the foundation for the walls).

Esslemont grows the oven from scratch. The cement block walls support a reinforced concrete plinth and a layer of firebricks. He then makes adobe bricks with clay dug from his farm, and forms the oven around a mound of sand. After adding a layer of insulation, more clay bricks, a chimney, and a roof, it's ready to fire up.

As the oven takes shape, the artist appears in a number of self-portraits that reveal his growing obsession with the project. The book concludes with instructions for making the dough, cheese, and tomato sauce and cooking the pizza. Finally, there is an extraordinary multi-color print of a pepperoni pizza.

Solmentes Press published Pizza from Scratch in a limited edition of 40 copies, 10.5 x 15 inches, landscape, 68pp. Thirty-six images together with a separate plan, printed from the original blocks. Five deluxe copies bound in white alum-tawed goatskin – $4,800, and thirty-five copies in cloth-covered boards – $2,400.

Full details and images on

David Esslemont is an artist, designer, printmaker and bookbinder who makes books from scratch, most recently about food, and published under his Solmentes Press imprint. He was Artistic Director of the University of Wales Gregynog Press from 1985–97 and has won many book design awards including the Felice Feliciano International Award in 1991. Esslemont’s work can be found in both private and public collections worldwide. (His archive to 2005 is held at the University of Iowa.)
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Solmentes Press
David Esslemont

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