Category: Read

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The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander

This distinctive book – its size and multi-coloured stripes will ensure that you won’t mislay it in your kitchen – is a veritable tome but it is surprisingly readable. It sat on my coffee table for a month, chapters to be digested along with meals, and it has so many post-its hanging out of it to mark the ideas that interest me or recipes that I would like to try that it runs the risk of every second of the 1075 pages (not including the index) being marked.

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Take 6 Ingredients by Conrad Gallagher ***

Michelin-starred Irish chef Conrad Gallagher sets out the ethos of this book in the introduction. Each recipe is to contain just six ingredients – not counting salt (Maldon Sea Salt), pepper (freshly ground) and best quality olive oil.

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Irish Cooking: Over 100 Traditional Recipes by Clare Connery ****

As the perfect birthday present for a person on the other side of the world to Ireland, Clare Connery’s Irish Cooking comes pretty close. There’s nothing new about this cookbook – nor does there need to be. With an introduction that brings the writings of Maura Laverty to mind, Connery talks about her grandmother’s farmhouse kitchen and the dishes that came from it.

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Judith Cullen’s Cookery Classes ***

New Zealander Judith Cullen used to run her own café in Dunedin before she changed careers to become a successful teacher of cookery classes, many of which are run from her home. Judith Cullen’s Cookery Classes is her first published book but she has a fresh and simple approach that many more seasoned cookbook writers would envy.

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Judith Cullen's Cookery Classes ***

New Zealander Judith Cullen used to run her own café in Dunedin before she changed careers to become a successful teacher of cookery classes, many of which are run from her home. Judith Cullen’s Cookery Classes is her first published book but she has a fresh and simple approach that many more seasoned cookbook writers would envy.

Never No More by Maura Laverty *****

When I was a little one, with a voracious appetite for books and cooking, one of the books that I devoured was my Nana’s well-used copy of Full and Plenty by Maura Laverty. The distinctive blue and yellow covers contained a treasury of old Irish recipes but the icing on the cake for me were the stories with which Laverty started each chapter.