"The Tiny Mess" is a cookbook about people, places, small kitchens, and the delicious meals that come out of them. It is a whimsical hodgepodge of recipes, culinary adventure, medium-format photography, and, of course, petite and inspiring cooking spaces that prove constraints are nothing but an invitation for creativity.

From buses and tree houses to sailboats, off-the-grid mountain cabins, converted rail cars, and the refrigerator of dumpster-diving urban freegans, The Tiny Mess is alive with the story of people, the meals they love, and the anything-but-ordinary places they cook in. It is a collection of tasty and unique recipes, personal stories from the cooks themselves, storage solutions, illustrations, and photos of everything in-between.


Every recipe in The Tiny Mess is accompanied by a short profile about the person or people who created it. We visited each contributor in their home and had them cook their favorite recipe for us in their tiny kitchen. We took the recipes home with us, busted them out in our own little kitchens, and tested them meticulously until they were just right for the purposes of this book. This was a crucial step, as many of the contributors, just like us, are intuitive and versatile cooks that are more inclined to wing it than follow some rigid recipe. Through careful reverse engineering, trial and error and, of course, tasting - lots of tasting - we translated each dish into real life, easy-to-follow methods.


three of us ID.jpg

Maddie Gordon (left) is an illustrator from rural Sussex, England with a serious passion for healthy cooking, hot tea, and foraging for food. Her home kitchen is in the belly of 36’ sailboat that she lives aboard with her husband Trevor in the waters off Santa Barbara, CA. Whether it is mushrooms from the forest, sea weed from the shore, or fish from the sea, Maddie always makes a point to use the resources around her when it comes time for cooking. @maddiegordonart

Mary Gonzalez (middle) is a vegan baker, farmer, and all around culinary rebel from Carpinteria, California. She lives on a secluded mountain top avocado ranch in a 30’ travel trailer with her dog Rose. Surrounded by organic gardens, fruit trees, and a sweet outdoor kitchen, Mary makes the rigors of off-the-grid life look elegant and oh-so edible. @sweetmountaintop

Trevor Gordon (right) is a photographer and professional surfer who grew up on the beach in Santa Barbara, CA. He loves sailing, fishing and getting knee-deep in boat projects. He has been a brand ambassador for Patagonia, Teva, and Cliff Bar and now works with Poler Stuff. Working primarily with medium-format and 35mm color film cameras, Trevor’s food and kitchen IQ has grown exponentially since falling in love with Maddie. @tearevortrevor-gordon.com