We invited chefs at the UK and Ireland’s finest hotels to supply the recipe for one of their characteristic dishes.
Some of the recipes are elegant simplicity itself, showcasing the universal virtues of fresh ingredients, balancing complementary flavours and textures, and the confidence given by imagination and experience. Others – as you’d expect from chefs operating at the peak of their profession – are more challenging, requiring careful and painstaking attention to method and detail.
By all means stay within your comfort zone, because the moment cooking becomes a source of anxiety it’s no longer serving its purpose. At the same time, learning new techniques, treatments and methods is one of the great joys of the kitchen, the best way to help the home cook build up and expand his or her own repertoire of dishes. Technique is the bedrock of cuisine, and with creative imagination a skill acquired in one context will suggest new and exciting possibilities.
Talking to chefs, anywhere in the world, the one thing on which they all agree is that cooking must be fun. Exciting to experiment with, satisfying to achieve, and deeply rewarding when appreciated by others. Keep this in mind, and you’ll be staying true to the guiding spirit of the participants in this book.