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Bought, Borrowed & Stolen: Recipes and Knives from a Travelling Chef [Hardcover]

Allegra McEvedy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: £25.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Oct 2011
It doesn't matter where you are in the world, to any chef worth their salt, knives and ingredients are the most important things. Bought, Borrowed & Stolen brings them together, as they should be, for the first time. This book is an authentic glimpse into food and cultures, and is filled with Allegra's favourite dishes eaten over 20 years of travelling, tasting and scribbling.As a chef Allegra had developed a healthy admiration for the tools of her trade, and searching for a knife that reflected the country she was currently eating in became her quest. Allegra tells the stories of her travels through the knives she has collected on the way, from aesthetically-crafted filleting knives from Scandinavia to simple, effective and impressive African tools, and includes several recipes inspired by each country. From Spanish pea and ham croquetas and Malawian pumpkin curry to Brazilian breakfast juice and Cuban banana daiquiri's - these are straightforward and interesting recipes you will have never cooked before but will want to eat again and again.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Conran (3 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840915773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840915778
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 3.8 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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.

Product Description


The book is a joy to devour, literally and visually. --Diva, November, 2011

It's both a collection of delicious memories and a dedication to a life-long love of food, interwoven with a passion for collecting knives. --BBC Olive, October, 2011

The new book from Allegra McEvedy is a delectable delight.
--Tom Parker Bowles The Mail on Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Allegra McEvedy is a magpie in human form." --The Independent, November 25, 2011

"It's both a collection of delicious recipes and a dedication to a life-long love of food." --Olive Magazine, October, 2011

"Her animated writing will put a spring in the step of any foodie tired of same old, same old" --Lancashire Evening Post, November 26, 2011

"a delectable delight." --Live - Night & Day(Supp. to the mail on Sunday), November 2011

"Allegra McEvedy's fifth cookery book is a joyful gastronomic tour"
--Tablet Magazine

Book Description

Each country features a specialist kitchen knife and the story behind it, collected from over 20 years of travelling, tasting and scribbling. This culinary trip around the world includes 100 recipes inspired from 18 countries. Celebrated cook Allegra McEvedy's writing is warm, witty, charming and full of anecdotes. Every recipe has been specially photographed by award-winning photographer Andrew Montgomery. Allegra's first book with Conran Octopus, LEON: Ingredients & Recipes, has sold more than 50,000 copies.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the cooking enthusiast 15 Dec 2011
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bought, Borrowed & Stolen is definitely an enthusiasts book. It's an unusual set of recipes, connected by a collection of knives and places where those knives where from. Part cookery book, part travelogue and part food appreciation guide. It's not one that you would use to plan your everyday cooking but it's one for inspiring and trying new things. I've only tried one recipe (cheese puffs, delicious) so far but have enjoyed just flicking through and stopping to read when something catches the eye. The visual and photography aspects are interesting and make for a beautifully put together book.

Recommended for the cook who is just as happy just reading cookery books as cooking from them, but it is more of a coffee table book than a working recipe book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks BEAUTIFUL. But how much will you cook? 30 Oct 2011
By Chris Widgery VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you think of this book as part travel-journal, part memoir, then you're probably closer to the core of it than regarding it as a cook book. In it, Allegra McEvedy shares her travelling tales and the recipes she has picked up on her various trips and jobs all over the world. And very entertaining those bits are, too. She has the nice idea of buying a knife everywhere she goes, and she uses these objects to prompt each chapter.

As with the Leon books, the whole thing looks fabulous. It's beautifully and inventively laid out. And unlike some other reviewers, I really liked the photos.

However, the big but is the food itself. I have the original Leon: Ingredients and Recipes cookbook and there are 15-20 recipes in there that we do regularly (it's one of our most popular books). But this one is, I'm sorry to say, a struggle to find anything that I actually want to cook. Leon has always been up there for the slow food, but there's a difference between investing the time in the meatballs or the long ingredient list tuk tuk salad, and actually wanting to eat cauliflower eggs or brown shrimp coddle.

I love McEvedy's food (Leon is one of my favourite places to eat; every single thing on the menu is delicious) but this book just isn't for me, I'm afraid. It's seems to be more for the coffee table than the kitchen table
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Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a completely delightful, quirky cookbook - and now Allegra McEvedy is my current cookbook crush. What a fun book. I like how the book combines a selection of recipes with photos and stories behind the author's collection of knives. The knives are beautiful, unique - and most importantly, practical. The fabric cover is gorgeous and the book is beautifully produced with thick matte paper and gorgeous colour photos of food and knives, recipes interspersed with stories.

The 'travelogue' part of the cookbook means that the recipes take in a glorious varied array of cultural influences, from Turkey, the States, Burma, Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Cuba, Malawi, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Lebanon, China, France and Spain. Brilliant combination. Not everything appeals but it's a wonderfully readable and engaging treasure trove of inspiration.

I really don't agree with the reviewer below who thinks this is an enthusiast's book. I am a complete amateur and I loved this book and find it really easy to pick out every day recipes to make. In some ways it is a combination of cookbook and travelogue/autobiography. But that's one of the things I like about it most. I mean, do you really remember the food you eat completely out of context? Ok, maybe you do, but I don't. I remember eating things in context - who I was with, how it felt, what it looked like, the smell and taste and noise all combining into one heady memory. And I love this cookbook for sharing the author's memories with me - I can use them as inspiration for making my own new dishes and memories.

Like Leon (the restaurant chain that the author started) the flavours are big and punchy and the emphasis is on taste rather than looks.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Part cook book part part travel journal 25 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'd say this book is part cook book and part travel journal.

Allegra McEvedy writes a lot about her experience (both cooking and cultural) and slots the recipes she has picked up on her various trips and jobs all over the world in between her stories.
The stories are quite funny but not sure how much they relate to the food.

Allegra is one of the founding members of the Leon eating places - and the book looks very much like the places. No non-sense but still a mix of various things from various places.

The food is Leon-ish too - some simple great dishes! No lookers but great on taste.

However the problem is there are only some great dishes. Like Acorda from Portugal (that is superb). But I am unable to find more than 5 dishes that really take my fancy - for example cauliflower eggs or brown shrimp coddle sound a bit strange as does tuk tuk salad.

Not to forget - the author buys a knife everywhere she goes and she makes sure we know :)
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Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Firstly, this is a really beautifully produced book, as so many cookery books seem to be these days. I've always enjoyed McEvedy's writing and recipes in the Guardian and am appy to applaud anyone who opens up a fast food joint cooking decent tasty, food.

Worst things first - the knives, even for a knife fetishist like myself, are a bit of a gimmick and add little to the joy of the book, essentially serving to break the book up into geographically oriented chapters.

The recipes are a little hit and miss, some are interesting and sound like worth cooking, some are rather prosaic and others are pretty obscure. Interestingly my difficult to please vegetarian daughter was quite taken with the whole thing and keen to cook from it: that's a pretty strong plus for me.

So, glad to have it, enjoyed browsing it, but not quite sure how much I'll end up using it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and entertaining book
wound recommend this book its very different and has some great recipes, which i will enjoy making and trying out
Published 10 months ago by Miss M.E. Rowan
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed with the book it self
I'm a bit disappoint about the book expected more Turkish meals. Would not recommend it as it was disappointing.
Charity shop I think!
Published 20 months ago by Peray
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely colour blue on the spine
This book has a lovely shade of blue on the spine and looks fantastic on the shelf next to our countless other unread cookbooks
Published on 24 Jun 2012 by Elliot
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Bought this as a xmas present. Delivery was quick since I used Amazon Prime.
I was very pleased with it. And my partner who received the book was very happy too. Read more
Published on 12 Jan 2012 by TheShiks
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to inspire
I love this book - the beautiful fabric cover makes it so personal(just like a diary) and the collection of knives is so inspiring. Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2011 by Sara
3.0 out of 5 stars Impractical but incredible
Under the guise of a food-of-the-world book, we are treated to what can best be described as a culinary autobiography. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by Mr. M. A. Reed
4.0 out of 5 stars Something special
Lots of beautiful collages made up from photographs and souvenirs from Allegra's travels make this book a wonderful visual feast as well. Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by Basement Cat
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a travelogue in recipes than a cook book
I do enjoy reading cook books as well as using their recipes and as of yet have still to cook anything from this. Read more
Published on 11 Dec 2011 by P. Stokes
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, shame about the recipes...
I lived in West London during the 90s and ate several times at Allegra's Notting Hill restaurant, The Tabernacle. I loved the food, the laid back charm and the prices. Read more
Published on 25 Nov 2011 by butwhatdoiknow
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