Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Forget Fads Feast on a Tradition of Local and International Good Taste; Books for Cooks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Forget Fads Feast on a Tradition of Local and International Good Taste; Books for Cooks

Article excerpt

FOOD writers, or rather publishers, are suckers for fashion, so there are cookbooks out there for our obsession with the whole Danish hygge thing. I'm not going to go there, because the gamut of Scandi cooking was wrapped up with Magnus Nilsson's magisterial Nordic Cookbook (Phaidon, PS29.95) last year. You want Danish comfort eating? It's all there.

Back on familiar ground France the wonderful Pierre Koffmann has announced his retirement from his restaurant sad face but on the bright side has left us with not one cookbook but two. His Memories of Gascony (Octopus, PS20), a new edition of his Jean de Florette-style account of his maternal grandparents and their peasant life in Gascony, is a wonderful description of a vanished world interspersed with lovely recipes.

Classic Koffman, 50 Years a Chef ( Jacqui Small, PS30) is a more conventional book, recipes for some of the dishes which made his restaurants the stuff of legend.

Oliver Rowe is an interesting chef; his restaurant, Konstam, in King's Cross, sources its ingredients not just seasonally but locally from around London. Food for All Seasons (Faber, PS20) is his journey through the culinary year, a month-by-month account of produce and interesting recipes for them.

The quirky, distinctive style of Shaun Hill, another brilliant chef, is summed up in Salt is Essential (Kyle, PS25). It's a series of subversive reflections on cooking with recipes organised around them, including "Soya beans are best left for cattle food" and "Budapest is a paradise for the greedy". That last includes a good recipe for Austro-Hungarian trifle with the cheerful reflection "lots of calories". My kind of cook, then.

On a more austere note, Sarah Raven's latest, Good Good Food (Bloomsbury, PS25) is a different take on her previous seasonal cookbooks making the most of garden produce. The focus here is on health and nutrition, but lots of dishes are nice enough not to notice.

If we're talking seasonal, we're talking game, so that means the handsomely reissued The Game Cookbook (Kyle, PS25) by the late, lamented Clarissa Dickson Wright and Johnny Scott. …

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