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My Kitchen: Real Food from Near and Far (New Voices in Food) [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Stevie Parle
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 July 2010 New Voices in Food
Stevie Parle is a new and erudite young talent who started cooking at 16 and has already worked at three of the UK's most fashionable restaurants: the River Cafe with Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, the renowned Petersham Nurseries for Skye Gyngell and the landmark Moro with Sam and Sam Clark. He has also travelled and worked all around the world, including Tokyo and New York, picking up recipes, magpie-like, wherever he goes. Since setting up his pop-up Moveable Restaurant in spring 09, food lovers have clamoured to join Stevie's twice-monthly word-of-mouth supper club events, one of which was hosted by Nigella Lawson. My Kitchen is the greatest hits collection of his life so far in food, gleaned from his travels and his intimate knowledge of ingredients. This eclectic, quirky book is a charming mixture of anecdote, tales from his Hammersmith houseboat and Stevie's wonderful recipes as well as occasions from his life such as 'A Ligurian supper for friends, who would prefer to be on holiday but have to work' and 'A foggy breakfast wrapped up on the deck'. Divided into 12 chapters for the months of the year, the dishes are based around seasonal bounty and Stevie's global inspirations. Though his influences are incredibly wide, Stevie understands the rules of food and doesn't mess with the classics, instead finding new ways to approach old recipes, using his vast creativity and impeccably trained craftsmanship. Within each chapter, he also gives a masterclass about a single foodstuff, with the aim of teaching readers how to cook better by watching subtle changes in the pan and paying attention to the life cycles of fresh produce. It all makes for a unique cook book from a stunning young talent.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd; First Edition edition (2 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844008495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844008490
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stevie Parle runs and owns Dock Kitchen restaurant in Ladbroke Grove in London. Previously he has worked at River Café, Moro, The Spotted Pig in New York and Salt in Tokyo.

Product Description


There is an old-fashioned simplicity to 25-year-old Stevie Parle's book that is very much in the tradition of Elizabeth David and Ambrose Heath --Jamie magazine, August 2010

Recipes he shares with us here are a perfect reflection of how we all love to cook
--Country & Town House, October 2010

About the Author

Stevie Parle went to Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland when he was sixteen and has been cooking professionally ever since. He has worked in some of London's top kitchens, including The River Cafe, Moro and Petersham Nurseries, as well as some of the world's hippest restaurants such as The Spotted Pig in New York and Salt in Tokyo. Together with his River Cafe co-chef, Joseph Trivelli, Stevie has created The Moveable Kitchen, secret supper parties that move about London. The London Evening Standard has described them as 'London's hottest young chefs' and reservations at their supper clubs are proving to be must-have tickets. Stevie writes fortnightly for the Observer's Allotment Blog and contributes to Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine. In September, he opened The Dock Kitchen, a restaurant/cafe in designer Tom Dixon's Portobello Docks showrooms which is already receiving rave reviews. Stevie has also won the Observer Food Monthly award for Young Chef of the Year 2010. Author Location: the red barge Avontuur, Hammersmith, London

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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable, not overly practical 23 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There seems to be a trend amongst cook book writers to make them replete with glossy photos of glistening mouth watering food which the amateur cook is highly unlikely ever to replicate. This book however has no photos except on the inside covers and a few drawings.

Let me start by saying that the book is immensely readable but I actually found only a handful of dishes I was even tempted to make. There is no one style to the cooking it is in a real sense a travelogue cookbook of dishes picked up from other countries.

Just looking at the recipes again whilst writing this review I am struck by the diverse and occasionally obscure ingredients recommended. If there is one thing guaranteed to put me off a recipe it is the need to track down buttermilk or a tasty ripe tomato (other than out of a tin).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really what I was expecting 22 Sep 2010
By M. Dale
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Primarily I expect a recipe book to be just that, but if I had to give this book a description I'd probably go for "lifestyle". It attempts to take you on a journey as the author describes where and how he came across various recipes and the book is interestingly divided by month rather than by food category, but that means you have to read through the whole book and attempt to find a recipe you like the look of.

A more major problem was that there just weren't that many recipes I was particularly interested in. Soups and salads seem to feature prominently whereas I'm more interested in cooking big, hearty meals.

Having looked through some of the existing reviews the word 'pretentious' has been used a few times, and I'm afraid I'd have to agree. Maybe I'm not the target audience for this book, but I can't really think of anyone I would recommend it to.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very limited readership 22 Sep 2010
By Johnnybluetime VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife was really looking forward to receiving this book, but what a disappointment it turned out to be. We have really struggled to find even one recipe that we would both like whereas usually we would find at least half a dozen worth trying. Half the recipes seem to be for side dishes masquarading as mains and the vast majority require ingredients that will be very hard to source unless you live in or very near a large town with either a very good deli or a decent sized middle and far eastern population.

Overall the tone is very Hoxton pretentious; a recipe can't just include kale, it must be forced sea kale (which apparently more shops are selling now, although not down here on the South Coast by the sea). And how about a recipe that contains himalayan basmati rice - never heard of it?Don't worry because Stevie (someone really should tell him that the only male who can carry off the name Stevie without seeming an utter d*ck is Mr Wonder)tells us that all basmati rice originates in the himalayas, which begs the question, why specify himalayan basmati why not just say basmati?In the end I found the book so pretentious that I couldn't bring myself to try anything.How about some nice japanese food?Well, until Stevie lived in Japan he didn't really understand japanese food so there's not much hope for the rest of us clods who have never even managed to visit Japan let alone live there.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so much a cookery book, more a way of life 19 Sep 2010
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not sure what this book is aiming for. It's not a practical recipe book; more an anthology of diverse reflections by a young chef to tell us what a lot of wonderful culinary experiences he's had all over the world. The book suffers from graphic design over-kill: too many of the pages are difficult to read owing to the use of too small print on dark background colours or simulated sack-cloth: presumably that's also why many of the heading imitate the kind of stencilling found on sacks. The sizing of type throughout the book is strange: very large for headings, but too small for ingredient lists and methods to read comfortably, especially if used while cooking.

The recipes are an eclectic mixture of styles with a predominant Far Eastern influence. It pays lip-service to the seasons by focusing on what is available month by month, or not so available in the case of things like fresh ceps. And how many of us would use four bottles of Chianti to make a shin of beef dish, as listed on page 16. A recipe that is also practically impossible to read as it is printed on dark plum coloured paper: or should I say chianti-coloured paper!

It maybe because there is such a plethora of chefs producing books about food and cooking that new boys on the block have to try and do something more novel than a straightforward cookery. But, if you've got very good near-vision eye-sight and like reading about other people's experiences of exotic food, then this might be a book for you, but, I'm sorry to say this book from one of the "New Voices in Food" is not for me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 star recipes, 1 star writing 29 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is overly pretentious - one recipe specifies "Himalayan Basmati rice" and is accompanied by a note explaining that you shouldn't worry if you can't find rice labelled this way, as all Basmati rice is Himalayan - so why bother to specify that in the recipe? Eating well is all too often a class issue already, and this level of affectation does not help matters.

Had I based my review purely on the writing, it would have been one star. However, I do feel one must cook from a cookery book to judge it fairly so have to date made three recipes from this. All of them have been excellent, good enough in fact that I will make a point of trying more as well as cooking them again. Just would rather the author stuck to the recipes and avoided the editorial comments and lifestyle writing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hunger-Inducing
A very pretty, neatly written cookery book, which I've used extensively since receiving it. It's bound in a handsome rough cardboard, and the photos are excellent, making for a... Read more
Published on 25 July 2012 by Particular Press
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best cook books on my shelf
im very happy to admit that this is one of the best cook books on my shelf !
its full of amazing recipes and usefull information for chef on any level.. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by k
3.0 out of 5 stars A recipe book for a foodie chef
Firstly, I have to say I found this book a bit too fashionable for my taste. I'm afraid I prefer plain home cooking, and cookery books (not recipe books! Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2012 by S. Diment
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange format...
As much as many of the recipes in this book are good I just can't get over the layout of the ingredients... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by M. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars a great addition to your kitchen library
A simple, easy to follow, no nonsense cook book. Seasonal produce is used and great hints and tips included, highly recommended books. Enjoy.
Published on 19 Oct 2011 by L. mckay
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY INDIVIDUAL
I am really puzzled why so many people have contributed negative or luke-warm reviews of this title. It's original, charming and sincere. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by D. HENRY
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of the story
Love the fact is not divided by "courses" but is goes throug seasonal ingredients, and what to do with those. Read more
Published on 26 April 2011 by Letizia
5.0 out of 5 stars a modern imaginative cooks book
This book grows on you and becomes one of your best friends from both a literary and a food front. There are sections on basic cookery e.g. Read more
Published on 23 April 2011 by Helen Rayner
4.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening, almost spiritual approach to cookery
I love Stevie Parle's "My Kitchen: Real Food From Near and Far"; not so much for its recipes (many of which, as a vegetarian, I cannot eat and do not want to prepare) but simply... Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2011 by Steve Benner
3.0 out of 5 stars Of limited use.
It's obvious this boy can cook, but I think this book kinda misses the point of what a cookbook should be. Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by A. Miles
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