Why are most summer berries red, and what does that redness do to you? Why is pink grapefruit more fun than yellow, and blood oranges more appealing than their common cousin? What is our problem with blue food? Allegra explores the significance of the colour of food we eat and, interestingly, how it is connected to the season we eat it in - the oranges, golds and browns of autumnal food, the forest greens of winter, the revitalising yellows and new greens of spring and the vibrant reds and pinks of summer. She found that to ignore this natural system of colour and especially season just doesn't make sense - a strawberry eaten mid-winter will cost twice the price and contain less than 10 per cent of the iron, vitamin C and antioxidants than in summer, let alone the sacrifice you are making on taste. "Allegra's Colour Cookbook" contains a chapter for each season, with its own palette of colours, and recipes that use ingredients that are at the top of their game. Enjoy yellow courgettes, broad bean and Fresh pea tartlets in spring or duck and baked plums with pumpkin puree in autumn. At the end of each chapter there's a run-down on what it is exactly that each season's produce can do for you, and why adding it to your diet will make you, and those you cook for, feel bouncier and bonnier than before.
Described by The Independent as "a caterer with a conscience", Allegra McEvedy has been cooking professionally for 20 years, working her way through a clutch
of London's best restaurants as well as an eighteen month spell in the States.
She got her first Head Chef position at Tom Conran's The Cow, in Notting Hill, at the age of 24. During a spell in the USA, Allegra ran the kitchen at Robert De Niro's New York restaurant Tribeca Grill, regularly doing 500 covers a night.
In 2003, Allegra co-founded LEON, the award-winning, healthy, fast-food restaurant group, which opened its first outlet in Carnaby Street in 2004. Allegra gave up her role at LEON in early 2009 to focus on writing and broadcasting, though she remains a keen shareholder in the business.
Allegra was Chef in Residence at The Guardian for 3 years until 2009, as well as hosting a quarterly "cookalong", the internet's first live, interactive and illustrated cooking class.
Over the summer of 2009, Allegra co-presented Economy Gastronomy, a six-part BBC prime-time series about planning ahead, shopping well, spending less and using ingredients wisely.
In 2008, Allegra was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry, with the citation of promoting healthier eating and ethical sourcing in the UK.