All posts tagged books

Essential Equipment for the Kitchen

essential equipment for the kitchenFor anyone who cares about good design on a daily basis, this book is a bible. Essential Equipment for the Kitchen is about ‘ultimates’ – the ultimate tools designed for the kitchen, from potato peelers to cheese graters, to toasters and oven ranges – well designed and beautiful objects that have superior performance and durability. Regardless of prices they are all the best of their kind. Many are innovative products recently designed by today’s leading talents, while others are acknowledged design classics that have stood the test of time.

The all consuming search for the best deisgnes has spanned the world of domestic tools, from Japanese knives and Finnish cooking pots to French storage jars and English teapots.

Essential Equipment for the Kitchen is a comprehensive sourcebook showcasing over 300 beautiful products. Each selected design is in current production and can be purchased. Listed with detailed descriptions of their historic relevance and design excellence and full stockist details.

Essential Equipment for the Kitchen: A Sourcebook of the World’s Best Designs (A Sourcebook of the World’d Best Design) is currently listed at Amazon for £12.79.

Celebrity Vineyards by Nick Wise

celebrity vineyards by nick wiseFrom the hills of Napa to the mountain slopes of Piedmont, wine writer Nick Wise went in search of great wine, and the new yet prolific modern trend of ‘celebrity turned winemakers’ – a collective group of actors, musicians, directors, artists and sports figures who have en masse entered the wine-making arena as a second profession. Celebrity Vineyards endeavours to illuminate the serious fruit aficionados from the label profiteers, and the reasons behind their personal decisions to produce fine wines.

Intrigued by this trend, Nick wanted to not only explore the reasoning behind their winemaking, but also demonstrate how much fun learning about and experiencing wine can be – and to open up the process to those less interested in the technicalities of winemaking. Exploring celebrity vineyards seemed to him an exciting place to start, and this book tells the fascinating story of the colourful characters he encountered, and their passion for wine.

Nick journeyed around the world, from Central and Northern California to Canada’s Niagara Wine Valley and on to the hills of Italy and Spain, to visit the vineyards of, and in most cases interview, winemakers such as composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, screenwriter Robert Kamen, acclaimed chef Charlie Palmer and actor Dan Aykroyd, among others. Celebrity Vineyards highlights only those who have become hands-on in their winemaking process, and the tasting notes and reviews in each chapter immediately trigger the senses and uncover brilliant wines that have gained industry recognition.

“After almost a year of travelling and research, we found some very amazing people who were incredibly dedicated to making great wine….The sixteen celebrities we ultimately selected were those people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the actual winemaking, and others who stayed clear of the technical aspects but nonetheless invested their heart and soul in the process.”
— Nick Wise

The labels on the bottles, the nuances between each glass – Nick remembers every single wine he has tasted. His extraordinary travels and encounters are revealed in this fully illustrated and captivating book. Whether you are a wine connoisseur, or can’t tell your pinot from your merlot, Celebrity Vineyards will delight, charm and educate your palate.

Celebrity Vineyards by Nick Wise available for pre-order on Amazon for £15.70.

Great Yorkshire Beer By Leigh Linley

Great Yorkshire Beer By Leigh LinleyYorkshire. Green hills, jagged drystone walls, flat caps, Yorkshire puddings, and – of course – pint upon pint of tawny Yorkshire Ale. The Yorkshire pint is revered across the world, a mark of quality and a guarantee of satisfaction and craftsmanship.

Except there’s much more to it than that – much, much more. The current boom in Craft and Microbrewing that the UK is seeing has exploded across Yorkshire, and the Yorkshire beer of today is more than just a pint of Best.

The new generation of Yorkshire brewers are breaking rules and traditions, resurrecting lost dynasties, soaking up influences from food and brewing in other countries and bringing a wave of fresh ideas to our beloved Yorkshire beer.

Leigh Linley has spent time with a handful of the region’s newest and most critically–acclaimed brewers, from the south to east ridings – and Great Yorkshire Beer is their story. Each brewer is interviewed and their most successful beers are profiled. Food pairings for the beers run throughout, along with recipes for complementary snacks and main meals.

Brewers featured in Great Yorkshire Beer By Leigh Linley include

The Brew Co (Sheffield)
Ilkley Brewery (Ilkley)
Kirkstall Brewery (Leeds)
Leeds Brewery (Leeds)
Little Valley Brewery (Cragg Vale)
Magic Rock Brewery (Huddersfield)
Mallinsons Brewery (Huddersfield)
Revolutions Brewing Co (Castleford)
Rooster’s Brewing Co (Knaresborough)
Saltaire Brewery (Shipley)
Summer Wine Brewery (Honley)
Wharfebank Brewery (Pool in Wharfedale, nr Leeds)
Wold Top Brewery (Hunmanby)

There is also a feature on breweries in the Dales.

“With great knowledge, obvious passion and an appropriate sense of Yorkshire pride, Leigh takes us round to meet the men and women who are making Yorkshire beer top of the national chart, as well as giving us great recipes matched with some of the county’s top new brews.“
From the foreword by Greg Mulholland MP – Chair, Parliamentary Save the Pub Group and one of CAMRA Top 40 Campaigners

Great Yorkshire Beer: Good Beer. Good Food. Good People

The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy

Fruit Herbs and Vegetables of italyA new edition of a classic early 17th century work – The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy, written by the Italian refugee Giacomo Castelvetro.

When he came ot England he was horrified by our preference for large helpings of meat, masses of sugar and very little greenstuff. The Italians were both good gardeners, and had a famililiarity with many varieties of vegetable and fruit that were as yet little known in England.

Castelvetro takes us through the gardener’s year, listing the fruit and vegetables as they come into season, with simple and elegant ways of preparing them. Practical instructions are interspersed with tender vignettes of his life in his native Modena. He writes of children learning to swim in the canals of the Brenta, strapped to huge dried pumpkins to keep them afloat; Venetian ladies ogling passers-by from behind screens of verdant beanstalks; sultry German wenches jealously hoarding their grape harvest; and his intimate chats with Scandinavian royalty about the best way to graft pear cuttings and discomfort the Pope.

An entry for Spring:

And so I start the year with hops, the first shoots to appear at this time of year. These we never eat raw, but serve as a cooked salad. We wash them in several waters and then cook the desired amount in water with a little salt, when done we take them out and drain very well and serve in a nice clean dish seasoned with salt, plenty of oil, and a little vinegar or lemon juice and some crushed, not powered, pepper. Alternatively, once the hops are cooked, some of us flour them and fry them in oil and serve sprinkled with salt, pepper and bitter orange juice, and very tasty they are”

The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy. is availble from for £9.12.

London Oyster Guide

london_oyster_guideTo chew or not to chew? Is it a rock or a native? How do I open them?

Where can I get decent oysters for under £10 in London? Is it wrong to cook oysters?

Oysters are no longer the preserve of over-priced Champagne bars and cigar-smoking gentlemen. A new generation of oyster eaters can be found grabbing a glass of wine and a plate of oysters on the hoof between business meetings in the City or shopping trips in the West End. Celebrity chefs including Mark Hix and Richard Corrigan are including oysters in their menus, and more and more people are prepared to give them a go.

However, ordering oysters can be a daunting experience for first-timers, and it is difficult to know which to choose, let alone how to open and eat them.

The London Oyster Guide is a book written for (both wannabe and well-versed) oyster lovers by an oyster lover.

Colin Presdee certainly knows his oysters. He has magnanimously taken on the enviable task of reviewing more than 150 restaurants, bars, merchants, retailers and producers serving oysters (including a selection outside of London for a foodie daytrip). He’s delved into the history of oysters, sampled drinks with oysters and handpicked some exquisite oyster recipes, making this the definitive guide to oysters.

The London Oyster Guide is “invaluable for anyone taking their first steps towards realising how very good oysters can be. I would urge anyone to stop when they scan a menu featuring bivalves and choose some oysters that they have never tried before,” writes Charles Campion in the foreword.

“I believe that an oyster should be chewed exactly as any meat or fish. The succulent flavour as the teeth sink into the firm and creamy flesh is an explosion of mineral nuances with the flavour of the seashore on the lowest spring tide. Merely to swallow an oyster misses this essential part of the oyster experience, but everyone to one’s own.”

Presdee, originally from the village of Oystermouth in Mumbles in south Wales, opened the Oyster Perches restaurant, followed by the Drangway, both in Swansea. These specialised in food and oysters from fisheries including Colchester and Cornwall. Now a food writer and consultant living in London, he retains close links with Wales. He has written several books including ‘Food Wales – a second helping’ and ‘Food Wales – eating out guide’.

The book contains:
A guide to the different types of oysters and how to identify them (“The Rock is more elongated with a crinkly shell, with a flat top shell and deep cupped bottom shell; the native is fairly round with a flat top shell and a cupped bottom shell”).
Advice about when is best to eat oysters (the traditional season for native oysters was September to April (or the winter months with an ‘r’) and a list of oyster festivals and merchants.
How to open and present oysters, and a guide to which drinks and accompaniments are best served with them.
Original recipes including oysters with chilli and celery crumbs and oysters crisp-fried in breadcrumbs.
A directory of more than 150 places where oysters can be enjoyed in London segmented by region including Sheekey, Randall & Aubin and Livebait.

London Oyster Guide is available from for £10.80.