Features & Stories

Newsletter: Meet authors Rena Salaman and Mark Studley + we get ready for autumn

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 Revisiting a classic of Greek cuisine from Rena Salaman

“Greek food for Greeks is never simply food. It is always a celebration – of country, family, friends.” Rena Salaman
With the release of an updated and expanded edition of her bestselling book The Food & Cooking of Greece, ckbk spoke to author Rena Salaman about her life and work. Salaman was born in Athens, and is an authority on Greek food and culinary tradition. She is a regular contributor to radio and TV, and in addition to several books, she writes for House & Garden, BBC Good Food Magazine and The Financial Times. 

In our author profile: Rena Salaman introduces us to old favorites and new trends in Greek cookery.

Her passion for the eating customs and dishes of Greece is palpable, and there are treats to discover, including her ‘desert island’ dish.
Try baking a batch of Cretan Almond & Olive Oil Biscuits – “everyone loves them and they are so easy to make.” Or why not plan a family feast of Beef & Aubergine Casserole, followed by an indulgent Sifnos Cheese & Honey Tart – a local take on a cheesecake.
Find all 85 recipes from The Food and Cooking of Greece
Pictured above: Aubergines with Tomato Topping from The Food & Cooking of Greece by Rena Salaman

Get down and "Dirty" with Mark Studley

Watermelon with lime, chile & saltWhen self-taught chef Mark Studley quit the day job to focus on a life in food his primary aim was to have fun with it. And his food is resolutely, magnificently, fun. ckbk co-founder Matt Cockerill caught up with Studley to talk Dirty – Dirty: Food for Your Filthy Chops is the chef’s debut cookbook, and won the YHangry cookbook of the year award 2022.

In our author profile, chef Mark Studley, fills us in on his first six years in food, how to get in touch if you want him to cook for you, and what advice he would give someone lacking in experience but who wants to start cooking. “Embrace it and don’t be afraid to try making stuff.”

Take Studley’s advice and get started with some of his recipes. Try Pizza Hasselbacks and send your potatoes to another level. Or elevate the humble fish finger with his Fishy Finger in a Joe Exotic Bun.

Cooking for autumn

As the season turns, our thoughts turn from the bright, light, and leafy, to dishes that are a bit more warming, a bit more substantial, and that make the most of the abundant autumn harvest. Roots, squashes and grains come into their own. Blackberries are still around. Figs, pears, and apples, are at their best.
If you have a glut, or want to ensure you have this delicious bounty in your larder for months to come, think of preserving and pickling.Take a look at our collection of recipes for Autumnal Jams & Preserves, and these ideas for Preserving Autumn’s Bounty – and enjoy the sharp colour of Pickled Beets, or some Blackberry Jam with your breakfast, when the harvest has long gone. 
For recipes to both cook and eat now, cook from Autumn’s Vegetable Harvest, and Autumn’s Finest Fruit.

Warm up with Curried Pumpkin and Swede Soup with Feta and Caramelized Red Onion, followed by Double Two-Apple Pie. Just two of many delicious reasons not to mourn the passing of summer into cooler weather.
Our cookbook showcase has four books filled with recipes to keep you going through the cooler months, including Valentine Warner's What to Eat Now: Autumn and Winter & Riverford's Autumn & Winter Cooking with a Veg Box.

Ingredient spotlight: ground beef

A supermarket staple, that many of us have in our fridges or freezers, ground beef is often the thing you have on hand when you come to make supper.

Watermelon with lime, chile & salt It has its place in many cuisines, from Spaghetti Bolognese to Chili Con Carne to Cottage Pie. But what to do when you want some new ideas?

We have put together a collection of 12 Ways with Ground Beef to get you started – all great ideas to make this accessible meat into a wonderful meal.

Try South American favorite Empanadas (little beef turnovers), or get a little spicy with Malaysian Stir-Fried Ladies Fingers with Minced Beef.

6 of the best recipes for Oktoberfest

The annual celebration that is Oktoberfest, this year held in Munich from September 16 to October 3, is an opportunity to drink beer, and to enjoy traditional German foods. Here are some classics.

Lebkuchen and Printen

from Dark Rye & Honey Cake by Regula Ysewijn

Pumpernickel Bread

from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking by French Culinary Institute

Traditional Pretzels with Horseradish Mustard Dip

from The Spirit of Alsace by Gabriel Kreuther

Pork Schnitzel

from Peace, Love and Pasta by Scott Conant

Aunty Birgitta’s Sauerkraut

from Fermentation by Asa Simonsson


from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking by The French Culinary Institute
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