Sustainability, seasonality, and local sources are among the raising values in food growing and preparation. Cinead McTernan’s book, Kitchen Garden Experts, describes the combined efforts of twenty celebrated chefs and their head gardeners to provide the best food possible. Both foodies and growers will find a wide variety of information to inspire them in their efforts to eat well.
Each chef and his/her head gardener are given a section of their own. After presenting the background of both individuals with emphasis on their innovative techniques in the garden or kitchen, the author zeroes in on a two to three special recipes of the pair giving details on the growing, care, and harvesting of the plant foods involved, and presenting detailed directions for preparing the dish. You can learn the best way to grow over thirty different crops such as beets, courgettes, and sorrel as well prepare such dishes as wet garlic barigoule, roast grouse with apple puree and brambles, and citrus-vanilla-cured vinegar trout. Some recipes like leeks vinaigrette, two way runner beans, and raspberry cranachan are easy but other like baked gooseberries with lemon verbena ice cream and flapjack are more difficult and time consuming.
Whether you are a gardener hankering to grow vegetables and fruit to perfection, a cook wishing to create the perfect meal, or a gourmand interested in how others get the job done, this is a fascinating book. It reads well, is filled with illustrative photographs, and contains so much information that there is something to inspire all readers. All the gardeners and chefs included in the book are working in the UK so some adjustments are needed by US gardeners and chefs in order to replicate their success. The restaurants where the gardeners and chefs ply their trade are identified and located so US travelers to the UK can enjoy first hand the dishes so beautifully prepared by these masters of horticultural and culinary skills.