Rhubarb & Black Pudding
is a rare find among books about food. It not only provides fabulous recipes, but it is also a good read. Written by award-winning journalist Matthew Fort, the book serves three functions: it paints a portrait of Michelin and Egon Ronay star chef Paul Heathcote, it records his recipes, and it describes the atmosphere in his restaurants, Manchester's Heathcote's and Preston's Heathcote's Brasserie.
Stunning colour photographs have been used to illustrate the food and emotive black-and-white pictures are used with reportage on kitchen activities, the landscapes of the Ribble Valley and the changing seasons in Lancashire. The book is divided into seasons and clear, concise and very detailed instructions are included in the recipes.
Heathcote's food has been described as similar to the French cuisine du terroir, but it remains distinctively British or even Lancastrian. His approach, in his own words, is to use seasonal ingredients and to avoid fashion trends. He is quoted as saying: "One of the bees in my bonnet is that too many chefs want to cook what's in fashion. They want to put plenty of olive oil and roasted peppers on to their menus, and every restaurant you go to has a similar kind of feel to it. Why can't we use things the same way chefs do in France and Italy, in the villages and bistros. They cook what their suppliers have in season."
The result is pig's trotter filled with ham hock and sage, jellied eel terrine, roast breast of Goosnargh chicken, roast duckling with mead, broth of quail with wild mushrooms, baby leeks and artichokes, and black pudding. Desserts are just as good: apple tarts with gingerbread ice- cream and cider butter, hot banana soufflé, or deep fried Stilton fritters. --Dale Kneen
From the Back Cover
Paul Heathcote is a phenomenon even among the élite band of Britain's master chefs. Not only has he resolutely stayed put in his native Lancashire to become one of the few Michelin-starred English chefs north of Watford but he has also achieved this while pioneering his own special brand of haute cuisine, which is quite distinctively British, if not English – even Lancastrian.
Deconstructing and elevating traditional dishes like black pudding, roast duckling with mead, pig's trotters stuffed with ham hock, apple crumble soufflé and deep-fried Stilton fritters, Heathcote has created the sort of cuisine du terroir so characteristic of the great French chefs but hitherto virtually unknown amongst their British counterparts.
In Rhubarb and Black Pudding, Paul Heathcote and award-winning food writer Matthew Fort have gathered together the best of Heathcote's recipes. Arranged by seasons, they include dishes as varied as Pressed Ham Terrine; Fillet of Red Bream Marinated in Whisky and Dill; Roast Rack of Spring Lamb with Hot-pot Potatoes, Braised Lentils, Roast Shallots and Rosemary Juice; Compote of Caramelized Rhubarb with Elderflower Cream; and Creamed Rice Pudding Scented with Hazelnut. Matthew's colourful introductions to each section also vividly convey the changing seasonal landscape and the creative processes as they unfold in the kitchen.
With stunning colour photography of the food, clear black-and-white reportage of the kitchens, portraits of the suppliers in their milieu and evocative landscapes of the Ribble Valley through the changing seasons, Rhubarb and Black Pudding provides a unique picture of a great chef at work.