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Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs

274 pages6 hours


In a series of in-depth interviews with some of the most exciting, acclaimed and innovative UK chefs, including Simon Rogan (L'Enclume, Cartmel, and Fera at Claridge’s, London), Mary Ellen McTague (Aumbry, Manchester), Neil Rankin (The Smokehouse, London) and Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut, Chester), the book details the harsh realities of being a chef, the astonishing hard work it takes to make it to the top, and reveals the secrets of creating delicious restaurant dishes.

Kingdom of Cooks is a must-read for foodies, professional chefs and anyone who has ever dined in a restaurant and wondered just what goes on behind the kitchen door. The interviews take the reader behind the scenes of some of the most famous kitchens in the country to show what it's really like paying your dues working for chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver.

The book also documents an important moment in the history of British restaurant cooking where the eclecticism first mooted by the modern British movement of the late 80's meets the locavore imperative of the 21st century to create a truly distinctive style of British food for the mid-2010's.

The chefs talk about their careers, their cooking styles and the techniques and ingredients that help set them apart from the crowd. Individual signature dishes, such as Chris Harrod of The Crown at Whitebrook's suckling pig with celeriac, pear and woodland sorrel, are discussed in detail, and you'll learn everything from how to make the perfect pork crackling to how to use every last scrap of a fish, literally down to the last scale.

Each chef has contributed a recipe – these include partridge, burnt heather, celeriac, watercress and chanterelles by Ben Radford of Timberyard in Edinburgh; Neil Rankin's Smokehouse short rib Bourguignon; and salt-baked beetroot, smoked eel, lettuce and chicken skin by Stephen Toman of OX in Belfast.

Contact details for all 13 establishments are included in the book, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, making the book a short restaurant guide for readers to follow in the author's footsteps. Numerous other chefs and restaurants, both in the UK and abroad, are mentioned in passing, making Kingdom of Cooks an instant primer to the current restaurant scene.

Endorsements for Kingdom of Cooks

'Anyone interested in today's groundbreaking chefs should check out Andy Lynes's new book, Kingdom of Cooks' Marina O'Loughlin, restaurant critic, The Guardian

'If you're interested in what makes chefs tick, you'll find this e-book fascinating' Tracey MacLeod, restaurant critic, Independent

'Loving Kingdom of Cooks - interviews with interesting UK chefs. Much insight' Xanthe Clay, food writer for the Telegraph and author

'Definitely worth a read' Simon Majumdar, Food Network host and judge and author

'The detail around cooking methods and ideas is so refreshing' Tom Fahey, restaurant critic for Square Meal

'Insightful interviewing'

“Andy is a professional. He cares about food, and likes to dig deep into the creative side of the whole cooking process in order to understand chefs and restaurants.” Chef/restaurateur Simon Rogan.

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