Is Sally Clarke the coolest chef in London? The answer would depend on a number of factors: the austere elegance of her restaurant / bakery / food shop in South Kensington; the fact that she was among the first, if not the very first, to import the subtly hedonistic, visionary Californian style of Alice Waters; that she herself would probably never even contemplate the question, and now Sally Clarke's Book. Clarke's cooking is of disarming simplicity, everything depending (rather unfairly, the supermarket-reliant home cook might feel) on absolute freshness and quality of organically grown ingredients. Famously, following the example of Waters at Chez Panisse, her menus offer no choices. But who would turn down "Parsley Soup with Morel Mushrooms and Crème Fraiche", "Slow-Baked Duck Leg with Onion Marmalade, Duck-Fat Roasted Potatoes & Bitter-Leaf Salad", or "Baked Vanilla Cream with Armagnac Prunes & Ginger Florentines"? Or "Soup of Five Tomatoes & Three Beetroots"? Or "Wild Mushrooms Baked in Cream with Gorgonzola Mascarpone"? Or "Baked Beans"? (Baked beans!) This is simplicity arrived at by distillation to essentials, by stripping away the non- essential. Clarke's food is seriously pleasurable. Any cook will learn a great deal from her book. The answer? Of course she is, but the question is meaningless. -- Robin Davidson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"'The essence of simplicity and balance' Rowley Leigh, Sunday Telegraph; 'Modern cooking at its best.....seasonal, simple and dead sexy' Matthew Fort, The Guardian"
About the Author
Sally Clarke has been actively involved in cooking since her early teens. She studied at the Cordon Bleu School in Paris and then spent four years in California and it was there that she met the legendary Alice Waters of the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley who became her mentor and friend. 1984 saw the opening of Clarke's Restaurant in Kensington Church Street, offering her now famous 'no choice' menu.