Category: Read

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Zarbo Zest by Mark McDonough

Intriguing combinations of flavours and techniques New Zealand cafés do fantastic salads and whenever my tastebuds need a kick and I’m looking for an unusual salad recipe, I turn to former café owner (now cookbook writer) Julie Le Clerc or one of Mark McDonough’s Zarbo books. Zarbo is the name of a popular Auckland-based delicatessen, fresh food store and café but its name is familiar throughout New Zealand from being emblazoned on its own range of dressings, marinades, rubs and chutneys. The shop also stocks an exceptional range of imported food products, meaning – if you’re in Auckand, of course – that you’ll never be stuck for any of the ingredients mentioned in Zarbo Zest.

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A Paradiso Year: Autumn and Winter Cooking by Denis Cotter

Inspiring flavour combinations To my sorrow I must admit that I have only once eaten in Denis Cotter’s award-winning Café Paradiso restaurant in Cork. But that one time, nearly ten years ago now, was mostly memorable for my first taste of polenta. My sociologist student friend felt it was deeply ironic that I should be writing my thesis on the Irish Famine at the time and eating what was known in 1840s Ireland as “Peel’s Brimstone” – the Indian meal imported by British Prime Minister Robert Peel to help the starving Irish. All irony aside, that day I fell in love with Denis Cotter’s cooking and a return trip is long on the cards.

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Jenny Bristow: A Taste of Sunshine **

An inviting and unthreatening recipe book Northern Irish cookery writer, radio and UTV television presenter Jenny Bristow has chosen to concentrate on Mediterranean food in her latest book, A Taste of Sunshine. With an emphasis on variety, simple ingredients and cooking meals from fresh raw unprocessed ingredients, Jenny comes firmly down on the side of healthy cooking. She doesn’t go overboard, though, and the recipes certainly don’t suffer.

Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends by Rachel Allen

Well worth a browse First there was Myrtle Allen who was responsible for raising the profile and quality of Irish food through her work abroad and in her country house hotel at Ballymaloe. Daughter-in-law Darina backed her up, beginning the Ballymaloe Cookery School and, with her Simply Delicious television series and books, started pushing the message through to the wider public in Ireland. Now it’s the turn of a third generation and Rachel Allen is successfully following in the television footsteps of mother-in-law Darina.

Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends by Rachel Allen

Well worth a browse First there was Myrtle Allen who was responsible for raising the profile and quality of Irish food through her work abroad and in her country house hotel at Ballymaloe. Daughter-in-law Darina backed her up, beginning the Ballymaloe Cookery School and, with her Simply Delicious television series and books, started pushing the message through to the wider public in Ireland. Now it’s the turn of a third generation and Rachel Allen is successfully following in the television footsteps of mother-in-law Darina.

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Unwrapped: Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes edited by Caroline Jeremy

Will not disappoint Since I first saw this book in our local Oxfam shop in Dublin I’ve been having lustful thoughts about it. Green & Black’s produce fabulous organic Fair Trade chocolate – their spice/orange Maya Gold bar heading the list of my all time favourite chocolates – and the photos that I saw on a brief browse through the book were mouth-watering. It’s taken some time but I finally bought my own copy and my first impressions did not deceive.

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Unwrapped: Green and Black's Chocolate Recipes edited by Caroline Jeremy

Will not disappoint Since I first saw this book in our local Oxfam shop in Dublin I’ve been having lustful thoughts about it. Green & Black’s produce fabulous organic Fair Trade chocolate – their spice/orange Maya Gold bar heading the list of my all time favourite chocolates – and the photos that I saw on a brief browse through the book were mouth-watering. It’s taken some time but I finally bought my own copy and my first impressions did not deceive.