Written by Marcus Wareing together with Chantelle Nicholson (a former Acorn Award winner) and now GM of his celebrated restaurant the Gilbert Scott, the book is a tribute to the traditional British dishes served at the restaurant, located at the Amazing St Pancras Renaissance hotel near Kings Cross London.
It begins with a short history of the hotel, starting in 1865 when the Midland Railway company held a competition to design a hotel with the brief that it needed to "add luster" to its soon-to-be-completed St Pancras station. Several architects submitted plans, but it was leading Gothic revivalist
George Gilbert Scott's remarkable 300-bedroom design that was declared the winner.
In the run-up to the opening of the Gilbert Scott in 2011, Nicholson and Wareing spent many hours poring over books and archives selecting dishes and recipes to be served in their brasserie and, having done such extensive research, it seems only resourceful that their hard work is recognized with the publication of a book.
The Gilbert Scott Book of British Food is based on the menu at the Gilbert Scott restaurant and bar, which, in turn, pay homage to the historic charm of the 19th century building.
Split into seven chapters, it begins with:
1. The "Bar" section, which features recipes for a selection of cocktails and bar snacks including salt and pepper squid and Countess Morphy's croquettes.
2. Following this is the "To Begin" section of the book - a selection of dishes which Marcus Wareing suggests can be used as not only starters, but perhaps a light lunch as well as all can be served either as a starter or as a lunchtime meal with bread or salad. Recipes in this section include ubiquitous British dishes such as prawn cocktail, pork pie, English asparagus with burnt butter Hollandaise, and potted shrimps.
3. `The main event' continues the salute to British produce with Gower Peninsula fisherman's stew made with prawns, mussels, scallops, cod or pollack and salmon or sea trout fillets, Cumberland sausages and mash, and Lancashire hotpot using boneless lamb neck - a nod to Wareing's Southport roots, and a range of dishes suitable for a sharing board, with a beef platter made up of ribeye, tongue, bone marrow and calf's liver
4. `Kitchen table' includes a selection of recipes suitable for sharing boards and precedes `Puddings', which includes the expected - spotted dick, Eton mess and treacle tart - and the unexpected, such as lemon cream ice with salted caramel popcorn.
5. For dessert lovers especially, the "Puddings" section is a real delight, with recipes for an array of sweet treats including banana sticky toffee pudding, Cambridge burnt cream and peanut butter ice cream.
6 & 7. The last two sections - Brunch and Afternoon Tea - include classics such as Bakewell tart, spiced French toast with burnt honey and lemon drizzle cake
I just love the stunning pictures by Brazilian photographer Sergio Coimbro.
The Gilbert Scott Book of British Food is a valuable cookbook for any lovers of all things local, and it wouldn't look terribly out of place on a coffee table, either!