By Fernand Point
The Guardian recently asked a number of authors, actors, artists and chefs to nominate their books of 2009. Fergus among them nominated Fernand Point's 1969 semi-autobiographical cookbook which was republished earlier in the year.
Here's what Fergus had to say about Ma Gastronomie...
"My nomination is Fernand Point's Ma Gastronomie.
It's a collection of the great man's (he truly was a great man) recipes, thoughts, menus. Point was the chef of La Pyramide restaurant near Lyon, a legend and mentor to a generation of chefs.
He started his day with the barber coming to shave him and two magnums of champagne. Not bad."
By Blandine Vie and Giles MacDonogh
‘It's a load of bollocks, wonderful!’ Fergus Henderson, chef and author of Nose to Tail Eating ‘Something to cook not just to scratch. The recipes may bring tears to your eyes.’ Shaun Hill, chef-proprietor, The Walnut Tree Inn ‘For those who love offal, this handbook is written for you.’ Gilles Pudlowski • Winner of the Prix Litteraire de la Commanderie des Gastronomes Ambassadeurs de Rungis • This sparkling book was first published in France in 2005 and has been magnificently translated into English by the food writer and historian Giles MacDonogh. It is part cookery book, part dictionary and part cultural study of testicles: human and animal. Their culinary use is the bedrock, although it would be impossible to ignore the wider implications of these anatomical jewels. Blandine Vié has a delicious way with words, and a delight in exploring the furthest corners of our vocabulary, both scurrilous and euphemistic. The book opens with a discussion of balls, of pairs, of virility and the general significance thereof; it then delves more deeply into the culinary use of testicles, in history and across cultures; there follows a recipe section that ranges the continents in search of good dishes, from lamb’s fry with mushrooms, to balls with citrus fruit, to the criadillas beloved of bullfighters, and Potatoes Léontine, stuffed with cocks’ stones. (There are, however, no recipes for cannibals.) To close, there is an extensive dictionary or glossary, drawing on many languages, which illustrates the linguistic richness that attaches to this part of the body. It is in this section particularly that the ingenuity and intelligence of the translator is on display as he converts the French original into something entirely accessible to the English reader. Blandine Vié is the author of many cookery books in France. Giles MacDonogh has written extensively on the history of food (especially his biographies of Grimod de la Reynière and Brillat-Savarin) as well as on the history of Germany.
The Forager Handbook - A Guide to the edible plants of Great Britain
By Miles Irving
At any time, in any place, food is there for the taking - if only we knew how and where to look.
Miles Irving is forager of choice for James Lowe, formerly head chef at St. John Bread and Wine and if you dine at our Spitalfields restaurant, odds are you'll have eaten a leaf or flower from Miles.
This beautiful book is an in depth guide to foraging, fully illustrated and with recipes from the many notable kitchens that Miles sells to.
Visit Miles online at www.forager.org.uk for more information including details of his excellent foraging courses.
You're All Invited
By Margot Henderson
Margot Henderson's first cookbook will completely change the way we think about entertaining and family food - perfect for anyone who loved Nigella Lawson's How to Eat, or Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories
Want to cook dinner for fifteen? Have fifty people for drinks and canapés? Feed your family comforting food at lunch time? Make an elegant dinner for eight? Transport quantities of food to a picnic so it doesn't spill and crumble
In You're All Invited, Margot Henderson, who cooks for between 30 to 200 people every day, shows you how: using her panache as a caterer for Arnold & Henderson and restaurateur at London's Rochelle Canteen, and drawing on her family life with Fergus Henderson and their three children, she provides 165 easy and delicious recipes for all occasions.
Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient
By Jennifer McLagan
Duck fat. Caul fat. Leaf lard. Bacon. Ghee. Suet. Schmaltz. Cracklings. Jennifer McLagan knows and loves cooking fat, and you'll remember that you do too once you get a taste of her lusty, food-positive writing and sophisticated comfort food recipes.
Fat is hot, as public consciousness shifts away from fatphobia, and foodies embrace high-quality fats like lardo and artisanal butters. Sumptuous food photos throughout make for a plump, juicy, satisfying read for food lovers.
Fat in its many forms is often to be found on our menus. This fine book celebrates its finer qualities.
The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
By Marcella Hazan
During his recent interview with Rowley Leigh, Fergus spoke of three books and food writers who either greatly inspired him on his journey to becoming a chef, or whose approach to food and cooking he greatly admires.
We have decided that these books, along with others we admire or that have a particular bond (occasionally not at first that obvious perhaps) with St. John and Fergus's approach to dining and cooking deserve a spot on our websites.
This book includes recipes from the author’s two previous books on Italian cooking, as well as more than 50 new ones, and incorporates advice on the use of kitchen equipment and ingredients.
The Kitchen Revolution
By Rosie Sykes, Polly Russell & Zoe Heron
Tired of deciding what to cook? Want to maximise your meals with minimum time in the kitchen?
Recent surveys have shown that around a third of the food produced in the UK for human consumption ends up in the bin. This means that every adult is wasting hundreds of pounds worth of food a year!
So, the time is right for a kitchen revolution. This is the life-saving cookbook you've been waiting for - home cooking using fresh seasonal produce, with weekly planners, recipes and shopping lists that will enable you to maximise the weekly shop for you and your family.
Using their fantastic system, Rosie, Polly and Zoe have come up with a recipe for every kind of occasion, they'll guarantee that you're making the most of your cooker, fridge, freezer and store cupboard to create healthy and economical meals.
Frugality is a quality we're much in favour of at St. John as well as supporting anything that celebrates seasonality and that promotes good housekeeping and common sense in the kitchen.
Rosie is an old friend of our restaurants' and has also cooked at the Rochelle Canteen (see the event catering page) for Margot Henderson, Fergus's wife so we're only too happy to offer her first book for sale through our site.
Black Pudding and Foie Gras
By Andrew Pern
Winner of the 'Best UK Chef Book' at the 'Gourmand World Cookbook Awards' 2008. Black Pudding & Foie Gras is the first book from Michelin Star chef Andrew Pern of The Star Inn at Harome, North Yorkshire.
The book tells the heart-warming and often humorous story of Andrews life growing up near Whitby, and is full of anecdotes about his local food suppliers.
Andrew gives away the secrets of a large number of his signature dishes which are scattered throughout the recipe section of the book. The narrative is rich, the photography is stunning and the recipes are mouth watering.
It is a 400 page book that is beautifully put together with a tactile suede cover, using award-winning photographers Antonio Olmos and Sam Bailey. Written by Andrew Pern and designed by Face, it is a truly unique book in the in the food market.
Everything But The Squeal
By John Barlow
John Barlow, a self confessed glutton, finds himself in the meat-lovers paradise that is Galicia in Northern Spain.
Observing that the locals, out of deep respect for the animal, consume the whole pig, John sets about considering our relationship with food - what's 'nasty', delicious and what obligations we should observe to the animals we slaughter.
Not only a great account of living with the nose to tail mantra, but also a great travel book - highly recommended by many.
Cooking of South West France
By Paula Wolfert
This cookbook presents a selection of classic dishes from South West France. The recipes make use of ingredients which the region has in abundance, such as wild mushrooms, truffles, duck, walnuts, chestnuts, hams, cheeses and wines.
The way in which ingredients indigenous to the country and locale the author inhabits are put to good use is an inspiration to Fergus in his efforts to ply the same husbandry at both St. John and Bread & Wine.
The Crisis Cookbook Volume 1
By Nick Lander (Editor)
The Crisis Cook Book has been edited by Nicholas Lander who has had the enviable job of being the Financial Times restaurant correspondent for the past 18 years and is a long time supporter of Crisis, the homeless charity.
During this period he has made the acquaintance of many of the top chefs around the world who have generously donated three recipes - their favourite starter, main course and dessert for this book.
The Crisis Cook Book comprises 84 recipes from 28 top chefs including Mario Batali, Paul Bocuse, Sally Clarke, Alain Ducasse, Chris Galvin, Mark Hix, Ken Hom, Simon Hopkinson, Tom Kitchin, Joel Robuchon, Rick Stein and Alice Waters, which have been converted into an easy-to-follow format by cookery writer, Silvija Davidson.
The second section includes ten introductory essays on wine by Jancis Robinson.
Nick is an old friend of St. John's and Fergus contributes a recipe for Steamed Treacle Pudding.
All proceeds from the book go to Crisis - the national charity for the homeless.
The Fifth Quarter
By Anissa Helou
Fergus and Trevor spent some time in Lebanon a few years ago and much enjoyed the culture of cooking, eating and drinking there. Anissa is an old friend of theirs and St. John's, and having already found a home on their own bookshelves, Fergus and Trevor thought The Fifth Quarter deserved a home on our book pages. Anyone cooking from the pages within will see the shared bond with Fergus's approach to offal at both his restaurants.
The Taste of France
By Robert Fresson
Fergus had this to say about Robert Fresson's classic book during his recent Financial Times interview...
"...there was another book that had no recipes but it is just the best food book ever: The Taste of France by Robert Fresson. To sit and look at the pictures gets you going and makes you want to cook. There are marvellous big ladies with rosy cheeks holding some buttery, yeasty doughs and things..."
Available again in hardcover, this glorious celebration of regional cuisine presents the beauty and traditions of the farms, markets, and tables of France. With 375 full-color photographs, 100 recipes, and a narrative description of the culinary customs of the fourteen great food regions, The Taste of France conveys a sense of the color, flavor, variety, and imagination of a meal in France. From Brittany to Lyons, Provence to Normandy, The Taste of France is a tribute to the legendary pleasures of French cooking.
IDEO EYES OPEN LONDON
By Fred Dust and IDEO
Trust one of the most inventive companies in the world to come up with an entirely fresh take on travel books.
World-renowned design firm IDEO shifts the attention of the traveler and everyday observer from mere sightseeing toward looking - really looking - at their surroundings.
City by city each book in the series reveals authentic discoveries at every turn.
Culled from the experiences and observations of the IDEO's designers, cultural anthropologists, and architects, these first two volumes delve into the social, architectural, and epicurean scenes of London and New York.
Insightful, easy to use, packed with photographs and presented in a convenient on-the-go format, "IDEO Eyes Open" rekindles curiosity and invites visitors - and residents - to see these cities with fresh eyes.
St. John features in what is, we think, a smart and attractive little guide to some of London's lesser known or overlooked highlights.
Eat London: All About Food
By Terence Conran, Peter Prescott & Lisa Linder
London is a city brimful of culinary possibilities from great gastropubs to trendy bars, lively markets and chefs (Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, Jamie Oliver) at the top of their game. "Eat London" is not a restaurant guide - it is a book all about food and the people who make, sell, cook and care about it. From cafés to delis, the Indian food markets of East London to haute cuisine in Mayfair, food quality and originality is the main criterion alongside recognising good, interesting decor, comfortable furnishings, pleasant and interesting surroundings, a convivial ambiance, a sense of history or tradition, consistency and wonderful amusing personalities. Each chapter encompasses a specific area of London with full address listings for every entry and suggestions of itineraries or fun things to do. More than 60 recipes will appear throughout the book by some of Britain' s top chefs including Peter Gordon of Providores, Georgio Locatelli of Locanda Locatelli, John Torode of Smiths of Smithfield, Fergus Henderson of St. John, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of The River Cafe, Tom Conran of The Cow and Richard Corrigan of Lindsay House as well as recipes from some of the capital's favourite restaurants such as Fifteen, Le Gavroche, Coq d' Argent, Moro, Bibendum, Gaucho Grill, and Racine amongst others. All photographs are specially shot throughout and the text is full of anecdotes, stories and a sense of London streetlife.
Hog: Proper pork recipes from the snout to the squeak
By Richard H. Turner
Hog is a celebration of all things pig - from breeds and rearing, to butchering and preparing, with techniques, features and more than 150 recipes for nose to tail eating. The comprehensive range of dishes includes hams, bacon, sausages, charcuterie, pates, confits, roasts, grills, hotpots, ragouts, pies, casseroles, scratchings, crackling, trotters and much more - with a foreword from Josh Ozersky and guest contributions from a range of British, American and International chefs and cooks including Diana Henry, Meredith Erickson, Judy Joo, Valentine Warner, Neil Rankin, Mitch Tonks, Fergus Henderson and Aaron Franklin.
Inside Chefs Fridges, Europe. Top chefs open their home refrigerators
By Carrie Solomon & Adrian Moore
Ours is the era of the celebrity chef. Like never before, we re fascinated by fine food and the personalities who create it. Newspapers follow the antics of our favorite cooks both in and out of the kitchen, bake-offs of all kinds become hit TV shows, and chef-owned restaurants have lines trailing around the block. Amid this media frenzy, the world of fine dining can feel removed from our lives.
Inside Chefs Fridges brings the heavenly cuisine back down to earth. Touring the European Continent, it profiles 40 of Europe s top chefs alongside their personal home fridges. The result is a revelation, through images and words, of the inner sanctum of culinary creativity, with each chef revealing their dependable fridge contents, their favorite local ingredients, as well as two of their most treasured home recipes.
Stars of this European edition include Joan Roca, Massimo Bottura, Fergus Henderson, Yotam Ottolenghi, Marco Pierre White, Hélène Darroze, Inaki Aizpitarte, Mauro Colagreco, Thierry Marx, and Christian F. Puglisi. Eschewing the media dazzle, this book is instead an inspiring and accessible collection of exclusive insider secrets in which culinary genius meets domestic reality.
Pork and Sons
By Stéphane Reynaud
Winner of the 2006 French Cookbook Award
This May, Phaidon will publish Pork & Sons, by Stephane Reynaud. An authentic and intensely personal cookbook, Pork & Sons presents the reader with a multitude of ideas on how to cook fine and succulent pork, while giving a rare glimpse into the daily life of a small family business in rural France. Above all, Pork & Sons is a tribute to the pig: its 150 recipes are wholesome and rustic, encapsulating the flavours and taste of a region with stunning photography by Marie-Pierre Morel and charming, humourous illustrations of the pig by Stephane’s close friend Jose Reis de Matos. Pork & Sons is Phaidon’s third cookery title, following hot on the heels of the successful Breakfast Lunch Tea and The Silver Spoon. It was originally published in France to great acclaim where it has become a bestseller winning the French Cookbook Award for 2006.
Author Stéphane Reynaud grew up in the French town of Saint-Agrève where he was born into the long family tradition of working in the meat business. Both his grandfather and father were butchers in the region and Stéphane was introduced to the art of rearing and handling animals from a young age. When he was seven, Stéphane was taken by his grandfather early one winter’s day to buy a lamb. He was led into a restaurant where, even in the early morning, the room was full of locals enjoying steak. Stéphane believes this poignant moment was when he discovered his passion for meat and his desire to work in the family trade.
Stéphane, who is self-taught as a chef, owned and cooked in a bistro in Paris before returning to his roots at Saint-Agrève. He now splits his time between his home there and his acclaimed restaurant Villa9Trois in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil. The recipes featured in Pork & Sons are based on dishes served at Villa9Trois and, since the book’s success (Winner of the 2006 French Cookbook Award), Stéphane is now known as the ‘King of Pork’ across France and not just in his native Saint-Agrève.
In Pork & Sons Stéphane shares his recipes with us, invites us to indulge in his family’s age-old passion for the pig and celebrates the long, delicious history between man and swine. He is keen to stress his passion for the whole pig, stating, “I Iove the pig and like the pork”. Indeed, his genuine enthusiasm for the animal is a key feature of the book. Throughout Pork & Sons, Stéphane’s evocative family photographs introduce us to his grandfather and a somewhat eccentric collection of other relatives and workers on the farm in the mountainous Saint-Agrève, creating an atmosphere rich in ancestral tradition.
The 150 recipes are divided between 13 chapters, including one devoted to black pudding, another to sausages and another to ham. Recipes are interspersed with photography of the dishes by Stéphane’s close friend Marie-Pierre Morel as well as information about the various relevant culinary regions of France and delightful hand-drawn illustrations of the pig itself.
Pork & Sons is a colourful and vivid cookbook with a huge range of possible approaches to the selection, preparation and cooking of pork. It is an affectionate tribute to the pig, an acknowledgement of its sumptuous flavour, versatility as an appetizer or main course, and its great popularity around the world.
We were delighted to be chosen by Stephane as the UK venue to launch Pork & Sons back in February 2007 and feel it only apt that the book be featured on our site.
The 24-Hour Wine Expert
By Jancis Robinson
Many wine drinkers wish they knew more without having to understand every nuance or go to expensive wine tastings. In her new book, Jancis Robinson, the leading international authority on wine, grants the wishes of would-be wine experts the world over. With "The 24-Hour Wine Expert," anyone can learn all that is really important about wine in a single day. In her pithy, approachable, comprehensive guide, Robinson shares her expertise with authority, wit, and approachability, tackling questions such as how to select the right bottle at retail, what wine labels signify, how to understand the properties of color and aroma, and how to match food and wine. Robinson s proposition is irresistible: In just 24 hours, anyone can become a wine expert. So pour a glass and get reading!
The Seahorse: the restaurant and its recipes
By Mitch Tonks & Mat Prowse
The Seahorse restaurant, nestled on the mouth of the River Dart, champions some of the best fish and shellfish in the world from the nearby landing site and is a favourite haunt of the foodie establishment. The menu is a seafood lover's tour of Europe's great fish dishes and cooking over a charcoal fire is the restaurant's speciality. With an emphasis on freshness and the catch of the day, the food's simplicity is as deceptive as it is delicious. Cherished by critics, foodies and locals, The Seahorse is a rare gem in Britain's sea of restaurants and was named 'Best Seafood Restaurant in the UK 2013' by the Good Food Guide and 'Best UK Restaurant 2012' by Observer Food Monthly.
The Seahorse showcases over 70 spectacular dishes served at the restaurant. Celebrating the seasons and reflecting the restaurant's changing menu in tune with the harvest from the waves, it combines insightful features focusing on the restaurant's suppliers in Europe and stunning photography from Chris Terry to create a beautiful and accessible addition to any seafood lover's kitchen.
The Taste of Britain
By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Foreword), Laura Mason, Catherine Brown
Much is made these days of British food culture. Chefs and food writers, myself included, are keen to tell you that it's thriving, it should be celebrated, it's as good as anything our Continental cousins enjoy. Yet sometimes it seems as if our words come rolling back to us, as if bouncing off some distant land mass, unheard and unheeded along the way, so that we begin to have trouble persuading ourselves, let alone others, that there is something here worth fighting for.
The fact is that if you spend much time in supermarkets, or amongst the proliferation of branded fast foods on any high street, or if you eat in any but a handful of UK restaurants or pubs, then the concept of regional British food can seem a bit like Father Christmas, or Nirvana. A lovely romantic idea, but it doesn't really exist, does it?
Well, yes, it does. And if you're having trouble finding it, it may just be because you are looking in the wrong place. The problem, in part at least, is that the best, most uplifting stories about British food culture are being drowned out by the cacophony of mediocrity, and worse. The Turkey Twizzler is front page news - and rightly so, when it is making pre-basted, additive-laced butterballs of our children themselves. Shavings of Turkey `ham' - 98 percent fat free, of course - are filling the sandwiches of figure-conscious office workers the length and breadth of the nation. But the Norfolk Black, a real turkey slow-grown and bred for flavour, is out there, too - waiting to show you what he's worth. He's not making a song and dance - just gobbling quietly to himself. Track him down, and you're in for a revelation.
That's why this book is so timely, so necessary - and so brilliantly useful. It's a map, an investigative tool that will enable you to leave behind the homogenous and the bland, and set off on an exciting journey to find Britain's edible treasure - some of which may turn out to be hidden on your very doorstep.
The Taste of Britain includes a contribution from Fergus Henderson from St. John on indigenous ingredients and why we should celebrate seasonal produce.
Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs
By Kimberly Witherspoon (Editor), Andrew Friedman (Editor)
Fergus Henderson contributes a tale of culinary misfortune to this raucous new anthology in which some of the world's most notable chefs relate outrageous true tales from their kitchens. From hiring blind line cooks to butting heads with crazed chefs, these behind-the-scenes accounts are as wildly entertaining as they are revealing.
Fergus Henderson contributes a tale of culinary misfortune to this raucous new anthology in which some of the world's most notable chefs relate outrageous true tales from their kitchens.
From hiring blind line cooks to butting heads with crazed chefs, these behind-the-scenes accounts are as wildly entertaining as they are revealing.
East Meets West
By B Jayson and J De Montfort
A celebrity cookbook in support of the Tsunami Victims in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Featuring recipes by celebrity cooks, restaurateurs and food & wine writers. Featured among recipes by Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, et al is a recipe for Spiced Ice Cream from St. JOHN's Head Baker and Pastry Chef Justin Piers Gellatly.
"East meets West" has been compiled by two British women, Barbara Jayson MBE and Jenny de Montfort, who met whilst living in Indonesia. Barbara was responsible for establishing The Foundation for Mother and Child Health in Indonesia and was recently awarded her MBE for charitable work. Jenny was born in Sri Lanka and has kept up close links with the island. All profits from the sale of the book will go towards the long term rehabilitation of children and their parents affected by the Tsunami.
Gorley's Guide, The Wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon
By Peter Gorley
This is a friendly guide based around wine routes that you can follow through the region, the photographs of and brief notes on many of our vignerons are to be found in its pages.
Langedoc Roussillon - The Wines and Winemakers
By Paul Strang and Jason Shenai
An area where we spend much time sourcing wines, a good book, well researched with a real sense that the author knows the place, featuring some of our vignerons, we have this in our reference library.
The New France: Complete Guide to Contemporary French Wine
By Andrew Jefford and Jason Lowe
Andrew has won or been shortlisted for just about every award for wine writing this year and this is one of the reasons why. Photographed by Jason Lowe who was the photographer on Fergus's book, so our support there!