- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd; 01 edition (2 July 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844008495
- ISBN-13: 978-1844008490
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 816,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
My Kitchen: Real Food from Near and Far (New Voices in Food) Paperback – Illustrated, 2 Jul 2010
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There is an old-fashioned simplicity to 25-year-old Stevie Parle's book that is very much in the tradition of Elizabeth David and Ambrose Heath --Jamie magazine, August 2010
Recipes he shares with us here are a perfect reflection of how we all love to cook
--Country & Town House, October 2010
About the Author
Stevie Parle went to Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland when he was sixteen and has been cooking professionally ever since. He has worked in some of London's top kitchens, including The River Cafe, Moro and Petersham Nurseries, as well as some of the world's hippest restaurants such as The Spotted Pig in New York and Salt in Tokyo. Together with his River Cafe co-chef, Joseph Trivelli, Stevie has created The Moveable Kitchen, secret supper parties that move about London. The London Evening Standard has described them as 'London's hottest young chefs' and reservations at their supper clubs are proving to be must-have tickets. Stevie writes fortnightly for the Observer's Allotment Blog and contributes to Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine. In September, he opened The Dock Kitchen, a restaurant/cafe in designer Tom Dixon's Portobello Docks showrooms which is already receiving rave reviews. Stevie has also won the Observer Food Monthly award for Young Chef of the Year 2010. Author Location: the red barge Avontuur, Hammersmith, London
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Quantities throughout are nicely relaxed; a splash of this, a few of that.
The only photographs were on the inside covers, thumbnail shots of dishes from the book - it's interesting trying to work out what is what - along with shots of Stevie, his wife, houseboat and the Dock Cafe in London.
The other illustrations are line drawings by Ros Shiers - beautifully done and including a very helpful guide on preparing an artichoke, amongst other
Stevie is just 24, but you wouldn't know it from his comments that thread their way through the book - warm and funny, quirky and informative. This is very much a book of its time with a wide sea of influences - Italian, Indian, Japanese and Irish but all of these recipes could be reproduced at home. Most refreshingly, they don't usually insist you use some exotic, expensive, hard - to -obtain ingredients but give sensible alternatives.
Some cookbooks are a joy to read but you can't imagine cooking from them. This is one that has recipes that appeal to the tastebuds and the pocket and is an interesting, informative read. A very good first book from a chef and writer who will surely produce more
The book is divided into chapters by month, providing an emphasis on seasonality of ingredients, as well as ensuring an appropriateness to the season for the recipes in which they are used. The failure in that particular approach here, however, is that each chapter is kept relatively short, with a tendency to do no more than present each month's culinary highlight, so that bounteous months, for instance, feature no more items of produce than the bleaker empty months of winter, consequently omitting much along the way.
As a recipe book, then, "My Kitchen..." presents itself as somewhat thin and most especially so at times of the year when one is overwhelmed with choice and may be looking for new ways to enjoy old favourites, or for information about new discoveries. Nor does its presentation offer much by way of practicality in the kitchen, printed as it is on highly absorbent paper, often heavily coloured and with poor contrast, making some pages difficult to read in a hurry and prone to taking damage from greasy fingers and splashes. Where it redeems itself for me is in Stevie Parle's fresh and exuberant approach to writing (and thinking) about food and the place it should take in our lives. Imbued as it is with an overtly Eastern philosophical, almost spiritual, outlook but applied to an eclectic broad-ranging cuisine, this book provides a thought-provoking base from which to embark on one's own culinary voyage of discovery, be that on the global scale or at the more local and personal level.
Had I based my review purely on the writing, it would have been one star. However, I do feel one must cook from a cookery book to judge it fairly so have to date made three recipes from this. All of them have been excellent, good enough in fact that I will make a point of trying more as well as cooking them again. Just would rather the author stuck to the recipes and avoided the editorial comments and lifestyle writing.