The Buenvino Cookbook: Recipes from our farmhouse in Spain Hardcover – 15 Apr 2014
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Spending time at Buenvino with Sam and Jeannie is like a suspension of normal life. Time stands still whilst you eat amongst quince trees and sounds of the forest deep in the heart of Pata Negra pig country. Jeannie's delicious, restaurant-standard food abounds and wine flows freely; they live a life of comforting generosity, and a general feeling of joie de vivre pervades the surrounding hills. I can't wait to buy this book and be transported back to their little corner of paradise. --Thomasina Miers, Founder of Wahaca chain of restaurants, Winner of BBC s MasterChef 2005, writer and television presenter
I went high up in the mountains of Andalusia to the beautiful, comforting home Finca Buenvino of Sam and Jeannie Chesterton, for their week-long cookery course. It all takes place in the Chestertons house. You sleep there, eat there and cook there, round Jeannie s kitchen table. Included in the trip is a day out to Jerez to drink sherry and eat, and many trips into the local pretty towns. We went to a jamón festival but the finca also produced its own Serrano ham, chestnuts, olives and scented honey. --Lucy Cavendish, Observer top ten cookery courses
Jeannie draws upon local ingredients like sherry, pork, and the wild mushrooms that are found in the countryside…Judging by the meal she served on the evening we visited, Jeannie is a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. --Cognoscenti Internet Magazine, New York
About the Author
The daughter of a Scottish naval officer, Jeannie attended 13 schools, before it was discovered that she was dyslexic rather than lazy. Her self-esteem was saved by the discovery that she enjoyed cooking. After a Cordon Bleu training she cooked the Bollinger directors lunches, ran chalets in the alps and cooked for houseparties at remote lodges in the Scottish Highlands. She taught businessmen to cook in Hong Kong, and opened and managed a wine bar there before returning to Scotland, where she ran the kitchens of the Edinburgh wine bar, the first in the city. Throughout the 70s she worked in London for By Word of Mouth whenever she wasn't in Scotland. Born in Dublin Sam was brought up in London until the age of 7 when he was sent away to school in Switzerland to get away from the London smogs. He grew up speaking French and German and learned to cook in his early teens with Viennese neighbours in London during the school holidays. His knowledge of languages scraped him into Cambridge where he lasted for a year, and the 60s and 70s were spent drifting between jobs; unloading trucks in Hamburg, working in the wine trade, in a fringe theatre in London, advertising, translating technical papers, or working as a butler with Jeannie at Scottish shooting lodges. He ended up in rural Spain in the early 80s. Sam and Jeannie were married in 1983 and embarked on a new life together, creating Finca Buenvino.
Top customer reviews
Indeed...this book is far, far more than a collection of recipes simply defined by British authors Jeannie & Sam Chesterton. It is a useful reference, and, a journal, too...interspersed with family stories sometimes so atmospheric it whisks the reader off to that special place - 'Finca Buenvino', their pink-washed residence: '...home to our family for almost 30 years, lies at the heart of the natural park of the Sierra de Aracena, one of the most beautiful parts of Andalusia.'
Measuring in around 19.5 cm x 25 cm, the durable hardboard cover, with simple illustration, opens to 223 matt pages, split over main chapters:
* Picados and pestos (pg 22)
* Tapas (pg 34) :
~ Egg, Cheese and Vegetables (pg 36)
~ Fish (pg 50)
~ Meat (pg 58)
* Jamón (pg 68)
* Soup (pg 70)
* Rice (pg 76)
* Fish (pg 86)
* Poultry (pg 104)
* Meat (pg 118)
* Salads (pg 140)
* Olive oil (pg 150)
* Puddings (pg 152)
* In my storecupboard (pg 184)
sandwiched between a foreword by Darina Allen & an introduction from Jeannie, with 'A Guide for American Cooks', a comprehensive index, gracious acknowledgments and finally winding up with 'Recommendations for Finca Buenvino'.
With chocolate in my mind (not that there is anything particularly unusual in that) and flicking through this lovely book, I was first drawn to page 136 and the unlikely combination of lamb, garlic, chocolate and coffee!
'Roast Lamb with Chocolate' turned out exactly like the unfussy photo, which accompanies it and tasted divine. Sadly we didn't have the recommended 'good hearty Cariñena' to hand to accompany it, but we will next time!
'Beatrice's Gateau' with 'Chocolate Ganache' on pages 176 & 177, proved to be an excellent 1st choice of pud to attempt and accompanied the first course exceptionally well, not surprisingly, perhaps!
Each chapter opens with appropriate narrative, e.g.:
The dilemma, when writing about Spanish food, is to find the right section of the book for your dish: is this a tapa? A starter? Perhaps a main course? Quick tapas can be simplicity itself, barely a recipe, more an idea.....
.....I have tried to be accurate about quantities and servings in the following recipes...but, as there are usually 8-12 people on a summer's evening (a mixture of house guests, neighbours, drop-ins and tenants from holiday cottages) gathered on the terrace, sitting around the tapas table and talking over their discoveries of the day or watching the swallows swoop and the dragonflies dart, we tend to do things off the cuff.
A handful of this and a slurp of that.
I shall try to pin things down for you... Fingers crossed!'
Each recipe is clearly laid out with the titles in Spanish/English, the number of servings, the list of ingredients, an introduction - and - the uncluttered, often humorous, method is simply unassuming.
Often included are 'Cook's Notes' with recommended accompaniments or serving ideas.
Some dishes are also accompanied by unfussy, colour photography, from Tom Clinch who is accredited with the photography throughout this delightful publication.
'Spicy Tomato Ketchup', page 212, which I am hoping to try next (as my home-grown toms show no sign of petering out in the near future - at the time of writing) and will be heeding the warning therein:
'.....remove it from the heat before you have to redecorate the kitchen entirely......'!
A small taste of some of the other recipes contained within:
* Wild asparagus and scrambled eggs
* Tiny potato omelettes
* Broad bean and potato soup
* Salt cod with chilli and garlic
* Chicken pepitoria
* Duck breasts with orange and sweet Oloroso sherry
* Chestnut and potato purée
* Iberian pork fillets with Cabrales sauce
* Warm green tomato relish
* Courgette salad
* Baked octopus and potatoes
* Kid with red peppers and mint
* Lemon Oil
* Olive Oil ice cream
* Moorish custard cream
* Rosemary-flavoured shortbread
* Quail's eggs on Burgos black pudding
and for the more patient than me:
* Aubergines candied in honey
In a nutshell, this is warm and passionate cookery dedicated to the use of fresh, local ingredients...but it is far more than just recipes...it is living the Spanish life with this charming couple.
I really hope I get the opportunity to visit 'Finca Buenvino' sometime in the not too distant future.
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