Real food from near & far, Stevie Parle ~ A review

So with a quick announcement on Twitter a few weeks ago, ‘New voices in food’ is a new range of cookbooks from up and coming talent. The obvious curiosity got the better of us and we were duly dispatched the first 2 copies from this new series, ‘Real Food from Near & Far’ by Stevie Parle and ‘Alice’s Cook Book’ by Alice Hart.

Hats off to the Quadrille publishing house for this bold step, instead of playing it safe with recognised names that appear on TV, which would almost certainly guarantee sales. They have launched this new range of previously little known cooks, with Alice’s and Stevie’s books being the first to be published.

Real Food From Near & Far ~ Stevie Parle

Stevie Parle’s book is a real food cookbook, not some kind of food porn of the El Bulli or Fat Duck cookbook type book. It is about cooking for friends and casual dining with the influences of his career at places like Moro in Farringdon, The River Cafe and Petersham Nurseries and his travelling. With a pedigree like that it wasn’t long before he would catch somebody’s eye & in 2009 along with Joesph Trivelli, he launched  pop up Moveable restaurant. He now cooks at the Dock kitchen in Portobello docks.

He says in his introduction, that;

“The recipes collected here have nothing to do with menus dreamed up in basement kitchens by sleep- and light-deprived chefs. They are made by and cooked for real people”

With dishes such as Artichokes pilaf, Apricots baked with Sauternes and Lentils ~ Toor Dahl, there is a dish for every occasion. The book is laid out in a twelve month format so the reader can utilise produce at its optimum. Stevie uses terminology which we can all relate to, a splash of milk, a thumb size piece of ginger, a slim wedge of red onion, the list goes on. But it’s all measurements that we can relate to.

This book isn’t just a collection of recipes, but you feel it is a recollection of experiences from Stevie and the recipes that he encountered during various periods in his life. We like the occasional coloured page that sets a scenario for a dish, such a great idea. There are pages like ‘Champagne, crab & broad beans ~ celebrating our engagement’ and ‘A Cold wet night. A Quiet night by the stove’, all beautifully illustrated by Ros Shiers.

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It is a book you will want to revisit time & time again for inspiration, the only criticism that we could level at the book is that due to the very nature of it’s usability that we fear that it’s raw card hardcover won’t wear quite as well as say a laminated one. But this is a small price to pay for such a well thought out & produced book.

We have no reservations in echoing some of the quotes from the PR blurb, from such people as Sam & Sam Clarke and Ruth Rogers. Stevie Parle is clearly an emerging talent in the Jamie Oliver mould of good, honest, easy to do food based on his own experiences.

So here you go, our attempt of making the naan bread from the book, it’s a really easy recipe and in the book Stevie says cook it on a BBQ. We cooked ours on a griddle pan with excellent results.

From Book review
From Book review
From Book review
From Book review
2 Responses to “Real food from near & far, Stevie Parle ~ A review”
  1. chumbles says:

    Thanks for this – a great review and I’ve now got this on order! I don’t buy many books nowadays, but this looks like one worth getting!

    • chefhermes says:

      Thanks Chumbles,

      We’ve also got the other book in the series to review which we’ll probably post in a week or so’s time.
      Different layout, but equally as good we think.

      Many thx for continuing to support us.

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