Alice’s Cook Book, Alice Hart ~ A review

This is our 2nd review of the new range of cook books from publishing house Quadrille, called ‘New voices in Food‘ . Alice Hart was the youngest ever Food Editor at Waitrose Food Illustrated so you would probably be thinking that she has come from the more journalistic side of the catering industry ~ you’d be wrong.

With a BSc in Physiology and Neuroscience and a stint as a chef at The Griffin in Sussex, she has many strings to her bow. But it is clear that she is passionate about food & Winnie the Pooh. Last year she enjoyed tremendous success with her pop up restaurant called ‘The Hart and Fuggle’.

So the book, well it’s laid out around occasions like ‘Breakfast & Brunch’ and ‘Supper & Lunch to Share’ which are then broken down into 4 or 5 menus. It’s a well thought out concept, whether you cook the entire menu, just one dish, or like we did, part of one dish.

Again the books in the series follow a theme of simple food and great flavour combinations. Reading through the book it’s hard to follow where Alices’ influences come from. There are far eastern influences as in the ‘Black rice & charred prawn salad’, or british dishes such as ‘Raspberry barley water’. Either way they are well thought through and put together. As Alice puts it;

It’s not just about cooking, it’s about enjoying life.

We’ll definitely be using the book for inspiration during the summer, especially the barbecue section, which is what we did last night. We cooked the ‘Skirt steaks with red chimichrri sauce’ from page 180. It was simple, tasty and required minimal effort for stunning results. Ok we didn’t stay faithful to the entire recipe, we had naan bread from Steve Parles which was equally tasty and simple to prepare, rather than the tortillas. But hey, it tasted great!

Yes we could level the same criticism at this book as we did at Stevie Parle’s concerning the cover, but to be honest it’s a small price to pay. I’m sure over time it will become well thumbed. After all we can only echo the sentiments that Alice uses in her introduction from a Winnie the Pooh book:

It is more fun to talk to somebody who doesn’t use long difficult words but rather short easy words like

“What about lunch?”

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