Book Review Time

Louise’s Book review:  The Art of Flavour

I have a large collection of cookbooks, all packed with recipes, only a small fraction of which I have actually made with 100 per cent fidelity.

Instead, I use them for reference, inspiration and guidance. The Art Of Flavour is a cookbook that’s designed to work in exactly that way. Created by chef Daniel Patterson and perfumer Mandy Aftel, it encourages a total reappraisal of how we assemble dishes, approaching ingredients as basic building blocks with varying properties and characteristics. The book is structured around what the authors call The Four Rules Of Flavour, as well as techniques and principles that fall out of these. It’s peppered with straightforward recipes that show the theory in practice through familiar ingredients used in unexpected ways. Often enlightening and occasionally a little whimsical, it mightn’t be a must-have kitchen shelf staple, but it’s a useful tool for home cooks looking to up their game and better navigate the complex terrain that is flavour: striking balances, creating combinations, and tinkering between amplification and damping of elements.

Three of the best…… food books that aren’t recipe books

Kitchen Confidential
Anthony Bourdain

The late Anthony Bourdain’s insight into some of New York’s most prestigious kitchens is so good it might inspire you to quit your job and become a chef.

Hamburger America
George Motz

An odyssey through the finest food stands, diners, and mom-n-pop stores hawking the best burgers on the other side of the Pond. You might need to wear a dribble bib.

Where Chefs Eat

A hefty volume of eateries recommended by those who know better than any sniffy restaurant critic: chefs. If you like eating, this should basically be your bible.

Editor’s Picks

Clerkernwell Post editor, Josh Burt, surveys the foodie landscape. I like food, I like eating it, thinking about it, and also looking at it.  Two things have caught my attention these past months – Visual Feast, a sumptuous (that’s right!) photography book published by the peerless designers at gestalten. And Sarona, a new restaurant on Clerkenwell Road plying a fine trade in Middle Eastern dishes. I dropped in and ate a wonderful lunch, almost entirely curated from waiting staff recommendations, all of which were bang on. Particularly large props  go to the Crispy Cauliflower, and the chocolate and tahini Brownie. I could honestly eat that brownie every single day of my life.