Book Reviews

Create Beautiful Food at Home

There is a lot of truth, at least for many of us, that we also ‘eat with our eyes’.

I certainly would much rather have small amounts of appetising looking food on a plate rather than a plate piled high. I do of course reserve the right to go back and ask for a second helping!

So maybe that is one of the reasons why I was so impressed with the second book written by the very obviously talented young Irish chef Adrian Martin.

A chef with an aptitude for teaching

Adrian hails from County Cavan and has worked and trained in some of Ireland’s renowned restaurants, including Michelin starred, since he was 14 years old.

However, at least for the time being, his career seems to be leading him away from restaurants. He is already a recognised TV chef but also spends much of his time with both Primary and Secondary school-aged young people teaching and showing them the importance of healthy food and teaching them how to cook and prepare it.

Friends round for supper

Having read the book virtually cover to cover, only missing out on the very few recipes that I know aren’t to my taste, I have become a huge fan of this delightful sounding young man. His mum, Anne, to whom the book is dedicated, must be so proud of him.

These days, certainly in this household, it is more of a case of picking up the phone and asking a friend round for supper, rather than a fine dining dinner party. Nevertheless I do like to try and cook tempting food that looks nice and ‘Create Beautiful Food at Home’ comes up with suggestions for just that.

Great recipes, photos and advice

I very much appreciate Adrian’s ‘How to’ section of the book. His bread recipes sound great, but then so do the Starters – I shall definitely be attempting the likes of Scallops, Black Pudding and Butternut Squash, Quail with Balsamic Lentils and Chicken Leg Terrine with Celeriac Remoulade, and I haven’t even got to the Main Courses.

The Main Courses are just as tempting – Confit Duck Leg, Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, Braised Beef Feather Blade, Turbot with Baby Courgette, Wild Sea Trout… And as for the Desserts – individual Lemon Meringue Tarts, Pear Tart Tatin, Crème Brule to say nothing of some delicious little Petit Fours.

All the recipes themselves, accompanied by great photos taken by Rob Kerkvliet, are clearly set out with carefully worded instructions and advice. Create Beautiful Food at Home is a book destined to become one of my most turned to cookery books.

Create Beautiful Food at Home. Adrian Martin. ISBN: 978-1-78117-630-6. £20.99 , €23.97. Mercier Press.