The London Cookbook: Aleksandra Crapanzano 5 Stars

Author: Aleksandra Crapanzano
Hardcover ISBN: 9781607748137
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pub Date: 11 Oct 2016 
Source: Ten Speed Press/NetGalley
From an award-winning food writer comes this intimate portrait of London--the global epicenter of cuisine--with 100 recipes from the city's best restaurants, dessert boutiques, tea and coffee houses, cocktail lounges, and hole-in-the-wall gems--all lovingly adapted for the home kitchen.
Once known for its watery potatoes, stringy mutton, and greyed vegetables, London is now considered to be the most vibrant city on the global food map. The London Cookbook  reflects the contemporary energy and culinary rebirth of this lively, hip, sophisticated, and very international city. It is a love letter to the city and an insider's guide to its most delicious haunts, as well as a highly curated and tested collection of the city's best recipes. This timeless book explores London's incredibly diverse cuisine through an eclectic mix of dishes, from The Cinnamon Club's Seared Aubergine Steaks with Sesame and Tamarind to the River Cafe's Tagliatelle with Lemon, and from Tramshed's Indian Rock Chicken Curry to Nopi's Sage and Cardamom Gin. Striking the perfect balance between armchair travel and approachable home cooking, The London Cookbook is both a resource and keepsake, a book as much for the well-travelled cook as for the dreaming novice.
The book is set out in an interesting and easy to read style beginning with Author  Aleksandra Crapanzano relating how taking a walk turned in to the inspiration for writing this beautiful and informative book.

This is followed with a little history, of how, following World War One the newly independent ladies of the middle classes took an interest in cooking. I have of course, heard of Elizabeth David (then Elizabeth Gwynne) but had no idea that she had been involved in such a scandalous relationship, and who knew she had been imprisoned under suspicion of being a spy? Discovering these little gems of culinary chattiness in such a book is priceless! 

The author then gives us the inspiration for, and the history of, some of the most famous places to eat, of which chefs have worked there and where they are now. These are not those chefs made famous solely through T.V. shows, but those who by talent and hard work have risen to the top of their field. It makes interesting reading, discovering how these great names started out and the route they followed to learn their craft.

This is followed by the  recipes which are are sectioned according to type, for example: light fare; meat, fowl etcetera, each section is  headed by a menu of selected dishes from various establishments
Each recipe is also annotated with interesting tidbits of information.

Although the author states that each recipe has been chosen so as to be easy to prepare at home, some do look a little complex to an average cook such as myself. I'm sure though that the ambitious home cook will happily find many interesting challenges. Having said that, I love the look of the Indian chicken and pumpkin curry which I may just manage to make. There is also a recipe for Welsh Rarebit which is unlike any other I have seen! 

This is so much more than merely a cookbook, it is generously illustrated with high quality photographs of food, people and places, it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for not only cooks but also those who want to find somewhere wonderful to dine when in London.
Review copy provided by Ten Speed Press and NetGalley for unbiased review

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