The Sheffield Cook Book
I first started this food blogging lark about three and a half years ago, and, over the years, I’ve watched our city’s food community grow from strength to strength. Of course I’m not naïve enough to think that all is rosey in Sheffield – we’ve had a few blows recently with the closures of Fitzwilliam & West and Platillos – but the indies are still here and we haven’t been overrun by chains quite yet.
And that is something we should be proud of and something we should celebrate which is why I’m especially pleased with The Sheffield Cook Book. Produced by Meze Publishing, Eat Sheffield and Exposed (and written by Adelle Draper), this book is made in Sheffield, about the people of Sheffield and for the people of Sheffield.
See, this cook book is a collection of recipes from some of Sheffield’s favourite restaurants/pubs and producers. And with 50 delicious recipes over 224 pages, I would say that there’s something for anyone. All occasions are covered with the hangover cure in the All Day Baked Breakfast from James Hargreaves, the chef’s dinner party dessert in the Milestone’s Yorkshire Rhubarb with Yoghurt and Cox’s Apple and the healthy mid-week tea in Cutler’s Spices’ Baked Lime and Chilli Cod with Grape Chutney.
It’s also good to see a broad range of cooking skills covered. At one end of the scale, The Florentine has provided a fool proof recipe for BBQ and Honey Smoked Short Ribs and Just Preserves, with a little help from Snap Deli, have a recipe for Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Tart. And, although it’s unlikely I’ll ever try that Milestone recipe (I don’t own a juicer, never mind about a vacuum chamber) it’s interesting to see how much work goes into the dishes that I so easily take for granted when eating in the restaurant.
Having said that, I love the fact that some of my favourite chefs have submitted recipes I might be able to replicate at home. Take Darren Goodwin from Losehill for instance – his Ox Cheek, Celeriac and Spinach Lasagne looks amazing (like no other lasagne I’ve seen), but it all seems perfectly doable. Sure, my plate won’t look as pretty as his, but as long as it tastes good, I won’t mind! Peppercorn’s chef patron, Charlie Curran, has also come up with something that’s doable, if a little fiddly, in his Belly Pork with Sheffield Best Bitter Black Pudding.
So, the selection of recipes gets the thumbs up from me, but what about the rest of the book? Well, it looks good – there are plenty of high quality photographs of each dish along with pictures of the restaurants and chefs involved. It has a nice, easy to follow, layout too – each restaurant/food producer has its own short section with a brief introduction before moving onto the recipe itself. There’s also a helpful contents page listing each contributor, along with their dish(es) so it’s easy to find your favourites.
Of course the proof’s in the pudding and, although I can already see myself using this book time and time again, I really need to put some of the recipes to the test! So, over the next few months, I’ll be trying a few different dishes and blogging about them here. Want to join me? Pop into one of these outlets for your copy.