Phaidon will stop at nothing to get you to pimp your coffee table with pricey tomes, but we have to admit that its latest gambit aimed at food lovers is pretty compelling. For How to Boil an Egg, a new egg-focused cookbook from chef Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery, book designer Frith Kerr skipped the usual photographic food porn and instead enlisted a botanical illustrator to create hyper-real watercolors of the dishes, from pumpkin cake to Scotch eggs.

How did he find the right illustrator for the gig? “We made a short list of botantical illustrators whose work we liked and asked them each to paint an egg, in what we referred to as The Egg Test. Fiona’s egg stood out for its intense detailing and precision,” says Kerr.

Read more about the project, and find out how illustrator Fiona Strickland executed the jaw-dropping images, over at Creative Review.

[via Creative Review]