It was on a cold and sunny day when I stumbled over Chad Robertson and his Tartine bread. After I saw his brilliant video on vimeo I had the urge to quit my job and do nothing but baking and cooking. I was always interested in baking bread but beside the sunday "zopf" it was never really worth the effort. Our local organic baker does much better bread than I managed to do. But I had this vision of a very moist and very fragrant bread. Immediately I ordered the book. I couldn't wait for it to arrive. It arrived more or less on christmas. After reading it I was even more convinced to give it a try. Chads bread gets a very long resting time which I find key to good bread. Once I was to tired to bake my "zopf" bread in the evening so I let it sit over the night in a cool place. The next morning I baked it, and was more than pleased with the result. Not only had it a very nice structure, it's also perfect to have fresh bread on a  sunday morning. Since that day my "Zopf" always gets at least a 10 hours rest.

Short after new year I started with setting up my own starter. After a long 10 days I baked my first bread. I knew it wouldn't work because there was not enough air in the dough but I gave it a try anyway. As expected the bread did not rise enough but it tasted delicious. I decided to speed thing up and ordered a starter online. I will still try to make my own starter but for now we are more than happy with our little french one.

The result was stunning and we basically spent a whole sunday sitting in the kitchen eating bread.

Tartine bread is a beautiful, inspiring book that teaches you a lot about baking and bread. It's what if been waiting for, for a long time. So if you like baking and have things to do while your bread is resting go for it - it's well worth it!

the floating leavenrest
bench restready for the final rise
in the ovenfreshly out of the oven
from the insiderecommendation

If you need more inspiration I recommend starting here:

tartine bread

oh and check the video

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A good friend of mine showed me the Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook back in December and I immediately ordered it . It arrived before christmas, I had a short look through it and wondered why I ordered it -  didn't speak to me at all.

Months later, when the days were getting longer and warmer, I picked it up again and had the immediate urge to start cooking. This is the sort of cook book that inspires me , I only have to look at the pictures and my brain starts cooking. For several weeks I was cooking Ottolenghi style with out ever reading a recipe - only looking at the pictures.

Plenty is Yotam Ottolenghis second vegetarian cook book and it's a must have !

Ottolenghi's Guardian
"the new vegetarian" column is always a good read too.

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Salz and the city

The "Salz & The City – Kochen für Freunde" cookbook is out. "Coeur de sel" is featured with a recipe.
The book is in german.

«Salz & The City – Kochen für Freunde» ist das brandneue Kochbuch von – mit den besten Rezepten, mit Küchengeschichten und Tricks; mit vielen Bildern und Videostills.

Seit 2002 sammelt Rezepte bei Freunden und Mitgliedern der Community. Die Rezepte sind alltagserprobt, einfach und doch frisch und speziell. «Salz & The City» serviert die besten Rezepte von Das Buch ist genauso knackig, urban und mittendrin wie die fast gleichnamige TV-Serie. Es gibt Einblick in Küchen der Rezeptautoren aus Schweizer Städten, mit Bildern aus Web-Videos, mit Alltags-Tricks, persönlichen Geschichten. Kurz: genau die richtige Inspiration für eine Tafelrunde mit Freunden.
Das ideale Geschenk für Leute, die gerne Freunde bekochen, jedoch nicht immer Zeit haben, stundenlang in der Küche zu stehen. Mit vielen Bildern und praktischen Tricks.
Das Buch kann online bei gekauft werden.


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Tom Aikens Fish

Another cook book I recently bought is Fish by Tom Aikens. I can only recommend it, especially to people who like fish but are concerned by the state of our oceans and fish stock.

"We are constantly being told about the benefits of eating fish and seafood - high in protein, low in fat and rich in nutrients. Yet we also know that species like cod and tuna are in danger of extinction while unscrupulous trawlers are over-fishing waters around the world. In this stunning new collection of fish recipes, Tom Aikens takes readers with him on a voyage of discovery. Having travelled to fish markets and spoken to fishermen worldwide, his recipes include new takes on ever-popular fish, such as sea bass, scallops and oysters, as well as ideas for lesser known but underfished, species like megrim sole, ling and gurnard. While urging us to ensure that we eat only sustainably sourced, line and net-caught fish." randomhouse books

Read this interwiew with tom on seafood choices an organisation mobilizing and connecting world leaders who support action for a sustainable supply of seafood and healthy oceans through responsible business, management, policy, and regulation.

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Nigel Slater "Tender"

I just bought the new cookbook from Nigel Slater and adore it. All about vegetables in the kitchen and in the garden. The perfect book for a cook with his own vegetable patch like myself.
It's the first cookbook I read like a book. I like the way he writes, the stories on his garden and his experiences as a gardener.  His cooking I always loved, healthy, down to earth food made with lot's of passion.
The book is full of beautiful pictures by Jonathan Lovekin. No doubt this is my cook book of the year.

"Tender is the story of my vegetable patch, how it came to be and what I grow in it. The book is published in two volumes, vegetables and fruit. Nearly a thousand pages in length and taking five years to write, Tender is a memoir, a study of fifty of our favourite vegetables, fruits and nuts and a collection of over five hundred recipes. Photographed, as all of my books, by Jonathan Lovekin in my own kitchen a metre away from the vegetable patch. Volume One is out now, Volume Two is to be published in 2010. For more details, click below."

more on nigel slater

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The pedant in the kitchen

pedant in the kitchen

I'm already was a big fan of Julian Barns, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters is among my favorite books. Of course I was very pleased to find that he wrote a "food book".
The pedant in the kitchen is a collection of essays on the preparation, consumption, and enjoyment of food. I read it in one go and can only recommend it. It's about the trouble that comes with cookbooks. So funny.

"The Pedant's ambition is simple. He wants to cook tasty, nutritious food; he wants not to poison his friends; and he wants to expand, slowly and with pleasure, his culinary repertoire. A stern critic of himself and others, he knows he is never going to invent his own recipes (although he might, in a burst of enthusiasm, occasionally increase the quantity of a favourite ingredient). Rather, he is a recipe-bound follower of the instructions of others.

It is in his interrogations of these recipes, and of those who create them, that the Pedant's true pedantry emerges. How big, exactly, is a 'lump'? Is a 'slug' larger than a 'gout'? When does a 'drizzle' become a downpour? And what is the difference between slicing and chopping?

This book is a witty and practical account of Julian Barnes' search for gastronomic precision. It is a quest that leaves him seduced by Jane Grigson, infuriated by Nigel Slater; charmed by the recipes of Edouard de Pomiane; and reassured by Mrs Beeton's Victorian virtues. The Pedant in the Kitchen is a perfect comfort for anyone who has ever been defeated by a cookbook."
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Heat by Bill Buford

A brilliant book on cooking and restaurant kitchens. This book goes down like a chocolate dessert.
Funny, intelligent and thrilling.

read more

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Tagliatelle with figs and chili

A simple and very nice pasta dish adapted from the river cafe pocket cook book recipe.

Mix 100 ml double cream with the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of one. Wash and cut off the fig stalks and cut into quarters.
While cooking the tagliatelle fry the figs very shortly (just to caramelize) on each side. Set aside and season with chili flakes (from two chillies).
Drain the pasta, put back in the pan, ad the cream mixture and the figs season with salt and pepper.
The different tastes and the spice of the chili works beautifully in this dish.

The river cafe pocket cook books I keep in my office, the place where one really needs cook books - I think. After work I usually have no Idea what to buy and cook for dinner. I think with every cook book one buys, one should get a login to an online recipe service...

Related Entries:
Autumn caprese
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Kitchen Books

Just recently I read the following kitchen books. So if you are in the mood for some food stories read these:

Anthony Bourdain: Geständnisse eines Küchenchefs

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain


"Kitchen Confidential is for diners who believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal. More likely, writes Anthony Bourdain, that elegant three-star concoction is the collaborative effort of a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths," in all likelihood pierced or tattooed and incapable of uttering a sentence without an expletive or a foreign phrase. Such is the muscular view of the culinary trenches from one who's been groveling in them, with obvious sadomasochistic pleasure, for more than 20 years.

Bourdain, currently the executive chef of the celebrated Les Halles, wrote two culinary mysteries before his first (and infamous) New Yorker essay launched this frank confessional about the lusty and larcenous real lives of cooks and restaurateurs. He is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller--a Jack Kerouac of the kitchen. Those without the stomach for this kind of joyride should note his opening caveat: "There will be horror stories. Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices. Talking about why you probably shouldn't order fish on a Monday, why those who favour well-done get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, and why seafood frittata is not a wise brunch selection.... But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it." --Sumi Hahn --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. "

Sunday Times
'More gripping than a Stephen King novel.'

You will read it like you were reading a thriller. All sex and drugs and rock'nroll . Great fun!

After hthis book I immediately had to read this:

Kulinarische Katastrophen weltberühmter Köche. Nicht zur Nachahmung empfohlen. Bloomsbury Auflage: 1 (Oktober 2006)

I bought this book because I already knew the story of Ferran Adria of "el bulli "and the lobsters.
The story is just superb and I loved it. Unfortunately it is the best story in the book and it is always a bit disappointing if you know the best bit already. Never the less I enjoyed the book. It contains some very funny short stories.

For dessert I suggest this:

Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany. Ben Schott
Schotts Sammelsurium Essen & Trinken
Bloomsbury; Auflage: 1 (September 2006)

"From the mind that brought you Schott's Original Miscellany comes a collection of vital irrelevance and uncommon knowledge surrounding the worlds of food and drink. Schott's Food And Drink Miscellany is a snapper up of unconsidered trifles (in both senses of the word) - from food history to cooking terms; cocktail recipes to dining etiquette; grace before meals to after-dinner toasts. What other book can tell you the accepted procedure when drinking from a Loving Cup; which potatoes are best for mashing; how to fold your napkins into a variety of pleasing shapes; the correct technique for lighting a cigar, or a Christmas pudding; or how to make the legendary 'Monster Egg'? Schott's Food And Drink Miscellany offers all this - and more. It will inform you of the King who served foie gras to his dog; the feast where guests ate in fear of their lives; the socialite who spiked his punch with benzedrine; and the dining club whose members ate their meals in reverse. An 'olla podrida' of all that is pertinent to wining, dining and socialising, Schott's Food And Drink Miscellany offers everything for the food-lover, wine-drinker, gastronome and glutton."

Related Entries:
Nigel Slater - The kitchen diaries
Made in Italy - Food & Stories by Giorgio Locatelli
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Nigel Slater - The kitchen diaries



The latest addition to my cook book collection. A must have! Voted the best cook book 06.
I have almost all of Nigels cook books - he is great. This one is made like a diary very nicely written and full of simple recipes.

Related Entries:
Made in Italy - Food & Stories by Giorgio Locatelli
Kitchen Books
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