Oliver Rowe is a Londoner who first learned to cook in Tuscany. He trained and flourished at the award-winning Moro in Clerkenwell and was Head Chef at Maquis in Hammersmith. After a stint in Paris and the South of France he went on to open his café - called Konstam, after his grandmother - followed by his restaurant, Konstam at the Prince Albert, both in London’s King’s Cross. Oliver featured in BBC2's The Urban Chef, which followed his search for local suppliers to provide high quality, seasonal produce for his restaurant. More recently he has worked in kitchens in the UK and abroad, including Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Oliver’s first book Food for All Seasons will be published by Faber in June 2016.
This was the first cookery book I read to read, not just to cook from. The first of many, but still my favourite. She was one of my key influences, especially in the years when I ran my café, Konstam and my restaurant, Konstam at the Prince Albert.
This book perhaps provided me with more information about food than any other. Many of the recipes are outlandishly elaborate, and many simply don’t work, but it is, nonetheless, an endlessly valuable mine of gastronomic knowledge.
Learning to cook at Moro left a huge, indelible mark on my culinary landscape and for that reason, as well as being a brilliant book that introduced two new and exciting culinary regions to Britain, it must find its way onto my list. Wonderful recipes that are as familiar to me as old friends.
With this book Rose and Ruth compiled their first few years experience of opening one of the UK’s most significant restaurants. They ushered in a new era of simple but accomplished cooking that was to influence a generation of cooks.
The lush photos in this are what make it. Freson is one of the fathers of modern food photography, but the writing and recipes are also marvellous – if you can stop looking long enough at the pictures to get to them.
This book’s predecessor is the famous one, but this was the one I somehow bought, and I’ve never been less disappointed. I love Hopkinson’s writing – the chicken pie recipe is a work of high culinary literature – and the recipes not only work, but taste fantastic too.
I’m not sure I’ve ever actually cooked from this book, but its quirky nature and the sense that it provides a snapshot of a time that although faded, we still feel in our bones, make it unique and special in the culinary canon.
This cookbook came with my Grandma’s gas cooker back in the thirties. The cooker lasted for over 60 years and I still have her copy of the book, which contains a recipe for her favourite dessert - castle puddings, a delicious sponge that she always served with warm, lemon zest infused golden syrup.