The new year has started with a bit of a whirl for us here at Creative about Cuisine; there have been a number of projects in the pipeline for a while now and one in particular has just come off.
There is a book on its way!
Many of you who read the blog, follow on Twitter, etc. will know that books have always been a hugely important thing for me. I have always said that reading Pierre Koffmann’s book La Tante Claire was the catalyst to a career in professional cooking and all along the way books have continued to influence, delight and inform. Different books mark milestone times in my career and I still love the sensual, anticipatory pleasure of running my thumb down the opening page of a new book. I relish learning new things and books have been hugely important in that area.
To write a book has been a long held ambition, one that, with co-author Jon Haley, is now going to be fulfilled!
Jon and I were introduced over eighteen months ago now by good friend James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat. Jon had been making a range of seasonal pestos as an adjunct to his full time job as a lawyer, and a website and blog were part of the business. You can take a look at the website here – all about seasonal food, seasonal living and cooking.
To cut a long story short, Jon felt there was the basis of a book in the content of the website and, after the introduction from James, we began to work up a pitch. Now, thanks to our efforts and those of our agent Georgina Capel Associates, we have a publishing deal with London-based publishers Head of Zeus.
My cooking has been driven by seasonal ingredients for years now so Jon and I make a great team. We both love the countryside, share an enjoyment of fishing, the outdoors in general and simple seasonal cooking. Equally we bring our own voices and areas of knowledge to the mix. Jon is writing about seasonal activities, ingredients and festivals, many of which have strong food links and he is educating me about many of them. I am working on recipes and the photography for the book, featuring dishes that are rooted in the seasonality and have some of my chef’s flair but are about cooking at home for family and friends. For both Jon and I, food is all about making people happy. There is crossover, of course, and we have had long discussions about the key ingredients to feature and what, this time, we sadly have to leave out!
Publication is hopefully going to be in March 2018 and we have plenty to get on with in the meantime. We hope to take you on the journey with us and will keep you updated with little teasers from behind the scenes! Click on this link below for a recipe, not one going in the book but an idea of what we are up to!
In other news;
I am delighted to be back at Taste Brasserie in Dorchester for a couple of guest chef nights on March 31st and April 1st 2017. The menu is below and bookings are directly with Taste – please telephone 01305 257776.
TASTE GUEST CHEF DINNER
Canapés and a glass of fizz
Cauliflower velouté with seared scallop
Salad of blood orange, chicory, prosciutto and mozzarella, chilli dressing
Potato gnocchi with wild garlic pesto
Roast loin of venison, crispy venison, potato purée, thyme and juniper jus
Forced rhubarb, ginger cheesecake cream, streusel crumb
£55-00 per person
Last year I did a demo at the Padstow Christmas Festival courtesy of a guest spot with local legend Adrian Oliver, my first time at the event. We were down in Cornwall for a few days and, as many people do, we had the dates in our diary for this year before we left.
The festival is quite phenomenal; if I counted correctly there were the holders of thirteen Michelin stars on the demo stage on the Sunday. The line up of chefs, sommeliers, beer experts, producers and so on is mind-boggling, even to me when I am lucky enough to class some of these people as friends.
Wild Bake wood fired pizza, burgers from the Cornish Duck Truck and a dirty Mexican from El Loco Burrito all went down well with us. Of course, you need something to wash the food down with and the find of the festival for me was the Sharp’s brewery new release, Camel Valley Pilsner. The result of a collaboration with the Camel Valley vineyard, the pilsner is seeded with Camel Valley’s Brut yeast for a final bottle fermentation.
Food and drink are at the centre of the festival but the Christmas market, music and a harbour side firework display all add to the atmosphere and it is really that atmosphere that makes the event.
A weekend in or around Padstow at any time of year is going to be good but a visit for the Christmas Festival is certainly special. And yes, next year’s dates are in my diary!
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Whether you have a passion for food, a desire to learn, are an industry professional, the owner of a catering business or a lover of writing and photography I hope my site is somewhere you will want to explore. Creative about Cuisine is a showcase for my consultancy, writing, teaching and photography. It is however much more than that! Diary dates for forthcoming events such as demonstrations and cookery courses, regular blogs not just by me but a fantastic collection of guest bloggers and video all feature. Make yourself a coffee or pour a glass of wine and take a look around, let me know your thoughts and I will do my best to make Creative about Cuisine somewhere to return to time and again.