This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah food lovers may not be familiar with Traci O'Very Covey's name but they have likely seen her unique illustrations.
The Salt Lake City artist has created work with a culinary flair for Salt Lake City's Downtown Farmers Market, Bambara restaurant, Fresco Italian Café and the Chow Truck.
This month, several of Covey's illustrations can be found on the cover and inside Cook the Part, a new cookbook by Karin Eastham.
"I'm really passionate about food," says Covey. "Illustrating Karin's book was right up my alley."
It's not Covey's first cookbook. Several years ago she provided artwork for a publication produced by The Sante Fe School of Cooking. Eastham admired the art in that book and contacted Covey for her project.
Cook the Part is both recipes and entertaining guide, offering readers a way to plan and cook a four-course meals with their friends where everyone has a role to play. Covey's illustrations represent the different ethnic or regional theme for each of the eight different menu suggestions. For example, she painted the Parthenon for the Dinner in Athens, boats for a Pacific Northwest seafood meal and tropical plants for a taste of Indonesia.
To better understand the concept of interactive, team cooking, Covey traveled to Eastham's San Diego home where they and several guests prepared the Tuscan farmhouse dinner in the book. In her illustrations, Covey made sure to include images of people to reflect the fun, social aspect of cooking.
Covey explores many elements in her brightly-colored illustrations, combining them in a way that communicates a story in a single image.
The artist, a Utah native and graduate of the University of Utah, has a distinctive style, full of color and abstract features. But she is unable to nail down a definition of her art.
"It's just my style," she said. "I love color and I love composition."