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of London's best restaurants as well as an eighteen month spell in the States.
She got her first Head Chef position at Tom Conran's The Cow, in Notting Hill, at the age of 24. During a spell in the USA, Allegra ran the kitchen at Robert De Niro's New York restaurant Tribeca Grill, regularly doing 500 covers a night.
In 2003, Allegra co-founded LEON, the award-winning, healthy, fast-food restaurant group, which opened its first outlet in Carnaby Street in 2004. Allegra gave up her role at LEON in early 2009 to focus on writing and broadcasting, though she remains a keen shareholder in the business.
Allegra was Chef in Residence at The Guardian for 3 years until 2009, as well as hosting a quarterly "cookalong", the internet's first live, interactive and illustrated cooking class.
Over the summer of 2009, Allegra co-presented Economy Gastronomy, a six-part BBC prime-time series about planning ahead, shopping well, spending less and using ingredients wisely.
In 2008, Allegra was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry, with the citation of promoting healthier eating and ethical sourcing in the UK.
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'Leon serves food that is fresh, seasonal, locally sources and really good. The twist is that your food is served really fast. The double twist is how delicious it is.' - Vogue
The first Leon restaurant, in London's Carnaby Street, opened its doors in July 2004. For its founders - Henry Dimbleby, John Vincent and Allegra McEvedy - the aim was to change the face of fast food, by bringing fresh, wholesome cooking to the high street. Six months later, Leon was named the Best New Restaurant in Great Britain at the Observer Food Monthly Awards. The menu is based around bold flavours, using simply-cooked fresh, local, natural ingredients with an emphasis on seasonal dishes; it also reflects how our eating habits change as the daylight house get longer and shorter.
This is a book of two halves. The Ingredients Book arms you with everything you need to know about the basic building blocks of any recipe. LEON chooses its ingredients above all for their flavour and healthiness but also with a view to the world we live in, so that such shark-infested waters as sustainable fish are tackled and easy to navigate. LEON's top 250 fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, dairy and store cupboard ingredients are all given their own entries. Nutrition, a bit of history, flavour and the best way to get the most out of them are all covered, seasoned with a fair amount of random miscellany.
The second half is The Recipe Book, where you can put your newly found knowledge of ingredients to great use with over 140 recipes: some are familiar favourites taken from LEON's menus such as the Original Superfood Salad, Moroccan Meatballs or Magic Mackerel Couscous and, for LEON Lovers everywhere, at last a recipe for the coveted LEON Better Brownie. Plus there are some recipes from the founders, their friends and those who helped make LEON what it is today, like Fred's Millennium Octopus and David Dimbleby's Spanish Omelette.
LEON's food message is a simple and honest one - cook and eat with the best ingredients available and don't forget the naughty bits that are so necessary for a fully-rounded life.
Top chefs Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett not only show us how to cut our food bills in half, but how we can eat like royalty at the same time. Economy Gastronomy is about planning ahead, shopping well, spending less and using ingredients ingeniously to create flavour-packed food every day.
The 100 delicious recipes cover breakfasts and lunches, snacks and treats, with chapters to show you how to achieve expensive-looking meals without spending a fortune so you can entertain in style and make something from nothing. Detailed recipes reveal versatile skills you can use in a range of recipes. Form meal planning to seasonal shopping, from loving leftovers to store-cupboard basics, the economy gastronomy system combines traditional skills with restaurant flair.
Big Table, Busy Kitchen is the ultimate celebration of food, home, love and life by renowned chef and bestselling food writer Allegra McEvedy. Inspired by her mother's handed-down recipe collection, the source of so many happy meals and memories, Allegra lovingly created this extraordinary cookbook not only for her own daughter but for all families to turn to and treasure through a lifetime of cooking and eating.
This is a delicious journey through 200 glorious recipes, from first bakes to first loves, feeding the family to feeding your friends, compulsory veg to nursery puddings and everything in between. With recipes that are as achievable and delicious as they are inventive and engaging, accompanied by stunning photographs, vibrant page design and charming hand-drawn illustrations that will make you smile, this is everything a family cookbook should be.