My Basque Cuisine by Ash Mair

Author: Ash Mair

Publisher: New Holland Publishers Ltd

Hardcover: 400 pages

Ash Mair won Masterchef: The Professionals by cooking food inspired by his love of Basque cuisine. He now shares that passion in his first ever cookbook - but is it a hit? Neil Morris gives it a test drive.

I have a lot of cookbooks and more precisely, I have a lot of Spanish cookbooks. After a while many of them just blur into one and I find myself wondering which book a certain recipe came from and I have to sift through a few to find what I am looking for. But every now a then a book comes along that resonates on a personal level, a book which seems to have been designed especially for my palate and which expresses a passion about food that I can relate too. A memorable and confident book that exudes personality and identity; a book that I wish I had written.my-basque-cuisine

My Basque Cuisine: A love affair with Spanish Cooking is written by UK Masterchef:The Professionals champion, Ash Mair. Through its perfect simplicity and earnest approach it has inadvertently become the perfect modern showcase for Spanish Cuisine. If you wanted to convert someone to the joys of Spanish Cooking without intimidating or overwhelming them, then you would give them this book. It is honest, approachable and without any pretence; it is beautifully laid out with stunning photography and the seductive recipes are considerately designed with home-cooking in mind.my-basque-cuisine

Ash has included a good mix of traditional dishes, familiar favourites and contemporary classics that are not over-complicated. The lists of ingredients are never daunting and even when it does get technical; it never feels out of reach.  The book seems to offer a reassuring calmness; like a softly spoken guide leading you on a culinary journey through the gastronomic wonders of the Basque Country. And what a journey!my-basque-cuisine

Once you start cooking from this book you will become addicted. Why? Because you will find yourself producing incredible dishes like Parsnip veloute with burnt butter hazelnuts and fresh apple or Seared Salmon with prawns, butter bean bisque and alioli. You will impress your friends and family by knocking up restaurant-quality dishes such as Grilled lamb cutlets with mojo sauce and chopped red pepper salad or Apple and olive oil cake with walnut streusel and Pedro Ximenez  poached sultanas and you will do it all with the consummate ease of a seasoned professional.

Ash Mair has certainly hit the ground running with this wonderful debut. Quite simply, My Basque Cuisine will make you want to cook.

Get your copy of My Basque Cuisine: A Love Affair with Spanish Cooking by Ash Mair.

Have you read any great Spanish cookbooks recently? Share your recommendations in the comments below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

(Photography by Jean Cazals)

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