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The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes, and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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"I can't imagine anyone as perfect as Aleksandra for the task of capturing the amazing spirit (and surprises) of the new gastronomic London. A celebrated food writer in the U.S., she also happens to know our city like the back of her hand, writes beautifully, and has the wit and imagination needed to uncover the city's best kept culinary secrets, its variety, and its flavors. She has great taste--in every sense of the word. It doesn't hurt that she's a great cook, too. This is the moment for her book, and I guarantee it will be the one everybody wants to own."
—Ruth Rogers, owner of The River Café
"Thank you, Aleksandra, for The London Cookbook. I'm ashamed to admit I once avoided London as a dining destination at all costs - but I am equally proud to acknowledge that it has become my single favorite culinary destination, in no small part due to its remarkable community of hospitality professionals, many of whom are featured in this beautiful book. This winning collection of recipes will keep me yearning - and satisfied -between my trips to London!"
—Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group, New York
When I say this cookbook does justice to one of the world’s most delicious cities, that’s no small feat. Aleksandra Crapanzano deftly captures the pulse and vitality of London’s new food landscape while honoring its culinary architects.
—Dan Barber, co-owner and executive chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and author of The Third Plate
Aleksandra Crapanzano takes you by the hand, leading you on a whirlwind tour of one of the world's great food cities. Irresistible portraits of the fascinating people who are changing the way we eat. And recipes that make you want to run right into the kitchen.
—Ruth Reichl, author of Delicious, and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine
“London’s favourite restaurants offering their favourite recipes: what a delicious idea! This is as much about the vibrancy of eating in London as it is a working cookbook. Great stuff!”
“Aleksandra Crapanzano’s celebration of the new, vibrant, immensely creative, joyful, London restaurant world, of the best chefs behind it and their glorious dishes, captures so well the spirit and the flavors that have made the city a real capital of food.”
"Food writers and journalists increasingly agree that British food has shed its bad reputation, and Americans are clamoring for cookbooks from London eateries such as Ottolenghi and the River Café. In this superbly written and photographed cookbook, award-winning food writer Crapanzano surveys significant shifts in London cuisine, noting the influence of chefs such as Fergus Henderson and Ruth Rogers. Readers need not have traveled to London to appreciate recipes such as Korean steak and shoestring fries, farro and porcini soup, scallops with corn puree and chile oil, and garam masala Christmas pudding with nutmeg custard. These and other dishes have been sourced from many popular restaurants and adapted for home kitchens. VERDICT Crapanzano perfectly captures all that’s exciting about the people, places, and foods that make up London’s modern culinary scene. After reading this cookbook, home cooks may find themselves planning a London vacation."
- Library Journal STARRED Review
"Crapanzano’s book takes readers on a journey through the current London restaurant scene. The book is filled with impressive and tempting recipes, along with engaging stories of the chefs behind the restaurants. Crapanzano, a food journalist and winner of the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Fisher Award for distinguished writing, engages the reader with wit and warmth. She starts her delightful book with an intoxicating history of the modern London restaurant scene—a useful reminder that the capital city has been an exciting place to eat for more years than naysayers might admit. Flavors from all over the world—Mexico, India, Italy, Japan—have made themselves at home in London and are reflected in the broad range of recipes that fill the book. Travelers to London would do well to choose this cookbook as a guidebook for touring the city’s restaurants. For those resigned to armchair travel, don’t despair: head for the kitchen. This book offers many unexpected and innovative recipes, and the directions and procedures have been modified to suit the American home kitchen."
- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"The tired old sterotype of bad British food is being dispelled. The London Cookbook shows how, with recipes that are sophisticated yet cook-friendly from the city's best chefs and restaurants."
- COOKING LIGHT
"Food writer Aleksandra Crapanzano, recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Award for Distinguished Writing, sure has been around the block — her words have appeared in the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Marie Claire, andTravel & Leisure. Her latest venture has taken her to Ten Speed Press, where she’s captured what she calls the "soul" of one of the most diverse food landscapes in the world — London — for The London Cookbook. More than 100 recipes are laid out in the book, featuring renowned restaurants ranging from corner spots to fine dining establishments. Crapanzano promises to deliver an experience for experts of London’s gastronomic scene as well as travelers new to the city."
- EATER NATIONAL
"Like the best city-oriented cookbooks, The London Cookbook captures the culinary topography of the British capital in a carefully curated collection of recipes culled from the city’s best chefs. Each recipe is preluded by a description about the restaurant and the chef responsible for the creation. After being relegated to the lowest rungs of the world dining scene for generations, today’s British culinary traditions—as interpreted by London’s most talented chefs—demonstrate a whole new world view: one that embraces the many facets of the city’s vast diversity."
"In this superbly written and photographed cookbook, award-winning food writer Crapanzano perfectly captures all that's exciting about the people, places, and foods that comprise London's modern culinary scene. Home cooks may soon find themselves planning a London vacation."
- LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST COOKBOOKS OF 2016
About the Author
ALEKSANDRA CRAPANZANO is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation M.F.K. Fisher Award for distinguished writing, and her work has appeared in several anthologies including Best Food Writing 2013. She writes the "A Little Something Sweet" dessert column for the Wall Street Journal and frequently writes their lengthy "Mega Meal" page. She has written about food for the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Travel & Leisure. Now in New York, Crapanzano spent much of her childhood living in London, and continues to visit many times a year.
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That she is an award-winning food writer is obvious after reading this book. Cheerful banter abounds. A trip to Ottolenghi's restaurant for tahini cookies ends up with the recipe instead. Unlike most cookbooks featuring restaurant recipes, the ones here are easily made at home and are not fussy. What a joy! The recipes range from lighter fare to cocktails.
A brief history of British food is included. Elizabeth David is discussed as well as Crapanzano's "The London Culinary Tree." One main branch features Fergus Henderson's classic St. John's restaurant and the chefs it spawned. The other main branch begins with Ruth Roger's River Cafe, Crapanzano's absolute favorite. This would be a fun book to use as a London's restaurant guide.
The useful brief section on ingredients includes her "ten commandments." One is to use cooking wine good enough to drink. I was also pleased to see her provide substitutions such as powdered gelatin for leaves of sheet gelatin in the Orange Blossom and Milk Pudding recipe.
I made the TAHINI COOKIES. Why was Crapanzano looking forward to getting them? They are like peanut butter cookies only made with tahini instead: interesting and tasty. I made the BAKEWELL TART from Rules because Lady Mary of Downton Abby called it her favorite London restaurant. (!) Can you imagine that this restaurant opened the same year Napoleon began his campaign in Egypt? The tart was quite nice and definitely needed the creme fraiche to cut the sweet and add moisture. Pork belly! It seems everywhere I turn these days, there is a recipe using pork belly, so I made KAKUNI, Japanese braised pork belly using the Koya Bar restaurant's recipe for braising liquid. The dish was tender and quite flavorfull. We enjoyed it with mashed potatoes.
This user-friendly book has many interesting recipes which beg trying. More pictures, about half of the recipes are without, would be appreciated. I highly recommend this book. Review Copy Gratis Ten Speed Press via Blogging for Books.