on 25 January 2007
Ever wondered why people willingly join the legendary long queues outside the Magpie Cafe that have become a feature of life in Whitby, that beautiful little North Yorkshire fishing village that proves such a magnet for visitors?
Or why a cafe that built its name on plain old fish and chips has attracted admiration from the Good Food Guide, Rick Stein, and numerous other celebs and television programmes?
Maybe here's the answer. The little cafe that shot to world fame now has its own book. The style of this 160-page colour volume is much like the food at the Magpie; homespun, unpretentious, accessible. This is not a foodie book full of complex recipes made from esoteric and impossible-to-find ingredients. It does what it says on the cover. This is a cookbook proper - one to keep by the stove and use till it's dog-eared.
The chef and owner outline their cooking theory, summing it up in barely a sentence - spare the frills and let the flavours of good natural ingredients, particularly fresh fish do the talking.It's tasty, it's healthy, and with this book, it's easy.
At under a tenner, I reckon it's the cookery bargain of the year.