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nathan outlaw book

Chef Nathan Outlaw’s star continues in the ascendant with the imminent publication of his first cookery book entitled Nathan Outlaw’s British Seafood – it’s out in May but I got my mitts on a preview copy and can report that it’s a beautiful blue hard-back tome with full-colour, full-page pictures of every dish.

Refreshingly free from the lifestyle shots and smug backstory that have become part and parcel of the celebrity chef cookbook (do I need a full-size picture of your daughter/you on a boat with that turbot recipe? Without meaning to be harsh, no, I’m afraid I don’t), it focuses with precision on the food – how, when and where to source British seafood, and methods of preparation and cooking.

The recipes are divided pragmatically and usefully into fish type – flat white fish, round white fish, oily fish, smoked fish and shellfish – and are characterised by Outlaw’s trademark lightness of touch and clever simplicity. Tempting for summer are the cured brill with pistachio dressing, pink grapefruit and pickled chicory – his take on ceviche – the cured mackerel and gooseberry jam roll, and a mussel and saffron quiche with fennel and rocket salad.

The foreword by Rick Stein, who employed Outlaw in his younger cheffing days, pays tribute to the honesty and simplicity of his food, and the “utterly charming, self-effacing man who seems somewhat perplexed about the fact that he has two Michelin stars because he says it’s only simple cooking.”

Nathan really is Cornwall’s favourite adopted son.

Published 10 May by Quadrille, £25. www.nathan-outlaw.com

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seafood restaurant stein

Writing about incredible food you’ve eaten is a difficult thing to do without sounding insufferably smug. ‘The organic, free-to-roam, hand-reared, home-matured beef with foam of expensive stuff and sprinkled with more expensive stuff, was quite simply divine!’. But with that caveat out of the way, I’m going to do it anyway.

I got an invite to last night’s Magnificent Seven, the opening night of the Cornwall Food & Drink Festival – a many-coursed meal prepared and presented by Cornwall’s seven top chefs. Was I free to attend? Oh, I think so.

There were endless courses and canapes so I’ll just do highlights (pics above):

• In at number one, seabass caught that morning served with delicate vanilla butter prepared by Breton chef Stephane Delourme, head chef at Stein’s Seafood Restaurant
Nathan Outlaw‘s tender circles of sirloin – gorgeous
• Chris Eden of the Driftwood‘s posh mini doughnuts dipped in cinnamon sugar with creme caramel

I chatted to he-of-superb-surname Nathan Outlaw afterwards and he seemed every bit as laid-back as he comes across on telly, despite awaiting January 2011 with baited breath to find out if he has managed to secure two Michelin stars for his new restaurant in Rock. He told me the restaurant has had five anonymous Michelin visits in the last few months, and knew there were more to come any day. God, pressure! Oh and he’s working on his first cookery book for next season – you heard it at p&c first :-)

And finally a video of Paul Ripley and Nathan Outlaw bantering about food in Cornwall. OK, in the cold light of day it turns out this is very out of focus – sorry about that, it was shot during the port course.

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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