All-You-Can-Eat Press, an independent publishing company, was co-founded by food fanatic Yuki Matsuo in Brooklyn. And their specialization, as you can imagine, is in all food-related printed matter. Evident in the gorgeous maps available to guide you all around town.
“We celebrate everyday food for everyday people,” says Matsuo. “United by a mutual love for vernacular cuisine and the unique flavor of the surrounding local culture, we follow our hearts (and stomachs) to find new favorite dishes, restaurants and specialty shops, then serve them up in brightly wrapped, easily-digestible portions to food lovers everywhere.” She couldn’t have said it better.
According to Matsuo (who is a prop style artist, writer and photographer), her greatest wish is that readers will “venture out into the world of the foods, exploring new neighborhoods, meeting new people and making delicious discoveries along the way.” With a perfect directive perhaps giving Matsuo her wish could be a double victory all around.
“As you know, the streets of New York are changing too rapidly to document,” shares Matsuo. “Rents are rising with no end in sight, and many symbolic New York restaurants are disappearing. With our maps, we want to help preserve and celebrate New York’s history, and inspire people to discover and continue visiting these establishments well into the future.” With an almost naive beauty (hopeful some might say) Matsuo inspires us all to eat to happiness. And we somehow get to protect our city whilst we are at it: another victory.
“We released our very first map ‘New York Doughnut Map’ in September 2012 and since then we have just continued with the series of New York maps and now some international maps too,” says Matsuo. And, for good measure, she is hoping to really expand it to other cities and even countries.
Her methodology is rather simple. “We only feature tried-and-true spots on our map with spending three to five months (could be longer) to research for every map,” she shares. And then they have their collaboration maps which she calls “deeper and stronger.” With these maps they have a “lifetime resource on a specific food” and so they invite guest writers, which are typically masters of a specific food.
And so the collaboration maps are: the “New York Oyster Map” done with Julie Qiu, “Paris Croissant Map” finished off with Ms. Yuriko Yamamoto, a pâtissière and European pastry researcher originally from Japan, who used to live and work in Paris. Also the “New York by-the-slice Pizza Map” done alongside the NYPP (New York Pizza Project ). And Charlene Wang de Chen and Tiffany Wang sisters worked on the “Manhattan Chinatown Map.”
For Matsuo food was just always her thing. “When I moved from Japan to New York, I was so excited by the unlimited options of international cuisine from around the world.” And so she started keeping a food diary that eventually turned into a book; “A bite is worth a thousand words” published in 2006 in Japan. She calls it “a collection of travel essays with the theme of ‘Around-the-world on your Metro card’. Who knows where she will send us next, to feast some more.
Photos courtesy of All-You-Can-Eat Press.