HOME BY JOHN BURTON RACE
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Review written by
had never really noticed the name of John Burton Race
until by chance I switched on the television one night
to view a programme called French Leave. I was immediately
a fan of the programme, not only because I love everything
about France and its food, but because here was a programme
presented by a new face with a refreshing new style.
For me that programme was a great success so it was
only natural that I would avidly await John's new series,
Return of the Chef.
someone who has one great regret in life, that he did
not train as a chef, I enjoy nothing more than seeing
how it is done - so what a treat Return of the Chef
has been. In fact enjoyment of the programme persuaded
me that I should have a look at the book Coming Home,
which accompanies the series.
of the Chef is about the return of John Burton Race
and his family to England from their year in France.
The series is centered around his acquisition of the
premises for his new restaurant known as The New Angel
(formerly the famous Carved Angel restaurant in Dartmouth),
its refurbishment, teething problems and day to day
running all interspersed with bits of family life.
can't tell you what the food is like as I live too far
away to have dined there but it certainly looks appetizing
when you see it being prepared. The fact the restaurant
has all ready been awarded a Michelin Star in the 2005
guide really says it all - when you consider that the
guiding principal for all dishes to be served in the
restaurant is the use of fresh local ingredients it
is hardly surprising.
book follows on from this concept and talks about what
there is not time for in the television programme -
the style of cooking and the recipes. The recipes featured
in the book are many and varied and fall into the main
categories of restaurant style dishes, which you would
serve for dinner guests, or family dishes which appeal
no mistake there is something for everyone inside the
covers of this book. Discovering this was a pleasant
surprise for me as I had expected to find a lot of difficult
recipes glorifying the capabilities of a Michelin Starred
Chef - it is very much the opposite. John Burton Race
has written this book with his reader in mind.
his introduction John spells out his philosophy for
the New Angel and explains how and why everything came
about . . . "Some of the dishes included here
are from The New Angel repertoire, others are personal
or family favourites. But all of them are easy to make,
and I hope there's something here for everyone".
book is divided into eight main sections each with its
section has its own introduction with the nice touch
of an opening quote. For example the opening quote for
the Shellfish . . .
freshly caught shellfish just over the road was something
I'd only ever associated with France . . . until Devon."
for the Meat . . .
Beef with Yorkshire pudding is a Sunday lunch favourite
that always leads to a punch-up. Everyone wants seconds!"
what I also like about the introductory sections is
the human family touches you find which make the book
have a far more personal appeal. Summing up about Shellfish
he explains that his wife cannot eat it and the children
all hate it . . . "All very irritating because,
as far as I'm concerned, there are few finer things
in life than eating seafood that has been freshly caught,
cooked and brought straight to the table."
Very much my sentiments!
you start reading through the recipes, recipes like
Grilled Langoustines with a Soy Vinaigrette, it makes
you wish you lived near enough to dine at the restaurant,
and if you could see the photograph you would certainly
know what I was talking about. The book is beautifully
illustrated throughout with some great photography.
you can't make it to the restaurant then this book is
for you. The recipes are all easy to follow and within
everyone's capability of producing. Have I got any complaints?
Yes! I spotted the use of chervil in one or two recipes.
I have not yet found a shop that sells fresh chervil
- the professionals can buy it through their suppliers
so why do the supermarkets not put it on their shelves?
you are looking for a dish to impress your dinner guests
or something to
please the family you have to go out and buy Coming
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