Deep Dive: Alice Feasts by Pierre Lamielle

Posted by Jasen Robillard on

StumpCraft Wooden Puzzle: Alice Feasts by Pierre LamielleArtist: Pierre Lamielle
Puzzle Designer: Siri Olson, Jasen Robillard
Dimensions: 27.5 cm x 27.5 cm
Piece Count: 277
Difficulty: 3 out of 5

"If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there."

- Cheshire Cat


About the Artist

Pierre A. Lamielle is an award-winning cookbook author, chef and illustrator.

Pierre’s Calgary culinary connections started when he scored a sweet side gig writing a sporadic food column for Swerve magazine. The column combined Pierre's knack for offbeat writing and irreverent illustrations with great recipes.

The success of his column and the desire to write a cookbook led Pierre to enroll at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. After finishing his program, Pierre returned to Canada and wrote Kitchen Scraps, a humorous illustrated cookbook. Kitchen Scraps went on to win the International Gourmet Cookbook Award for the best-illustrated cookbook in the world. Pierre was also a Chopped Canada champion and Top Chef Canada competitor. As a follow-up, Pierre published the delectable Alice Eats, a collaboration with long-time friend Julie Van Rosendaal.

Pierre teaches cooking in Okotoks and is a culinary schemer with his wife Vanessa at Preserved YYC.

Jasen & Siri's Puzzle Design Notes

When we placed Tea from the Void in our puzzle vault, we did it knowing we’d be searching for another fun piece of Alice in Wonderland art for our puzzle collection. That void was quickly filled after we met a fellow Calgary artisan at a local craft market. Local craft hustle & networking at its finest!

Jasen met Vanessa (Chef & Boss Lady @preserved.yyc) at Little Modern Market in 2022. Vanessa was there next to us, hawking her delicious jarred preserves & Mighty Pine Cocktail mixes. By the way, the habanero rhubarb mix is top shelf. 

Vanessa mentioned that her husband and co-conspirator Pierre was a big fan of Alice. He had recently published Alice Eats, a collaboration with long-time friend and Calgary culinary phenom Julie Van Rosendaal. We loaned Pierre and Vanessa a copy of Tea from the Void, and before long, Pierre started working on a fresh piece of art for us.

Unlike many colourless snoozefests posing as books, Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook is filled with Pierre's colourful, whimsical illustrations along with delightful recipes based on the characters and events within the unabridged story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. If you don’t yet have a copy in your personal library, we’d highly recommend this one. The illustrations and simple tea-time treats really bring the story to life.

Inspiration from Lewis Carroll's Classic

Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland continues to resonate with audiences. Our own familiarity with the 1951 Disney version had tilted some of the narrative and themes of the story, so it was really quite enjoyable rediscovering the original source material.

As many have observed before, the tale is a trippy, dream-like exploration of the tensions and challenges of childhood, growing up among puzzling parents and other curious characters. 

Life can be quite puzzling, especially with all those bunny-like thoughts multiplying, bouncing in and out of our awareness. Siri and I pulled out a few of our favourite quotes to help you navigate through your own Wonderland.

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what is is because everything would be what it isn’t. And, contrariwise, what it is, it wouldn’t be."
- Alice

“You don’t know much - and that’s a fact.”
- Duchess to Alice.

“Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
- Alice to herself.

Whimsy List

  • 7x Teapots (including the Dormouse’s favorite)
  • 3x Arrows
  • Potion
  • Cake
  • Dinah the Cat
  • Alice Falling
  • March Hare
  • Mock Turtle Soup Ladle
  • Large Key
  • White Rabbit with Pocket Watch
  • Crocodile of Gold with Fish in his smiling jaw

Multi-piece whimsies or Whimwhams

  • Queen of Hearts
  • Mad Hatter
  • Roast Turkey

Hidden Whimwham: Broken Pocket Watch Gears

  • 1 Large Gear
  • 1 Small Gear
    + White Rabbit

Fun Locks

  • 3x Hedgehogs
  • 3x Rabbits
  • 2x Tiny Keys
  • 2x Locks
  • 2x Paintbrushes
  • 2x Lightning Bolts
  • Flamingo Mallet
  • Tea Sandwich
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme*

*As an homage to Pierre’s culinary escapades, Siri included puzzle locks of parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme. Did you know?

For the Romans, parsley was a symbol of death and rebirth often used to decorate tombs; sage was a healing herb and thought to impart immortality and wisdom; rosemary was the herb of remembrance used both at weddings and funerals; thyme was said to give courage.

Our Favourite Alice in Wonderland Links

Link to Alice Feasts Reference Image

Themes and Motifs in Alice in Wonderland

The Guardian: Alice in Wonderland - What Does It All Mean

The Guardian - The Dodo Bird Verdict

The Marginalian - Salvador Dali and Alices Adventures in Wonderland

Wikipedia - Alice's Adventures in Wonderlands

Wikipedia - Lewis Carroll

Wikipedia - White Rabbit

  • In The Matrix, Dujour (also known as the White Rabbit Girl) was a young woman in Goth apparel who visited Neo with her boyfriend, Choi, at his apartment to pick some illegal software that Neo wrote in his spare time for extra money. (aka Time of Day and Choice)

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