A Look into Cookbooks

A Look into Cookbooks: Skye Gyngell, My favorite Ingredients

Good riddance summer heat and bring on the autumn breeze!  I love the time a few weeks prior creeping into the new solstice.  Change of season is always exciting.  A change of pace in the city, lesser tourist, the vibrant change of colors in the foliage and East Coast farmer’s market seasonal best: apples and squash.  Being in the kitchen is even more pleasant, time to crank that stove!  In anticipation for the new season, earlier in August I got submerged into the recent expansion and selection of cookbooks NYPL Mid-Manhattan library now offers and got carried away and checked out a basket full of cookbooks.   As my waistline have expanded over the summer social gatherings with family and eating out in New York City sidewalks and open gardens with friends, I am tuning down a bit on the dining scene and  introducing the inaugural of A Look into Cookbooks!

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Skye Gyngell, My Favorite Ingredients is one of my favorite finds.  Skye Gyngell, is a female Australian head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in United Kingdom.  In the trend of the culinary world with seasonal grown farm produce to table, My Favorite Ingredients shares Skye Gyngell favorite ingredients and recipes in complement with the beautiful nostalgic photography of Jason Lowe achieving the essence of being invited to the kitchen of Skye Gyngell.

Each chapter is a different ingredient, with a total of 16.  This range of ingredients includes from fruits and vegetables: asparagus, citrus, to proteins: fish and shellfish, to condiments: vinegar and honey.  A surprising ingredient or not very surprising ingredient is an entire section dedicated to Game Birds – probably not the most common ingredient to be used in a New York City home kitchen, pigeon as a substitution for the partridge perhaps?  Or as Skye Gyngell has an exclusive Game Bird dealer, ” Albert the Grouseman.”   What I don’t understand is in the Northeast America, chefs hunt and eat bear claws and in the UK freshly prepared rabbit stews, yet when Chinese mentions chicken feet, people cringe…explanation?  Other rare find recipe is the Salad of summer leaves and flowers: nasturtiums, violet, pansies, and borage.

I am unsure how likely I will cook from any of the recipes from Skye Gyngell’s cookbook but each chapter ingredient has a nice introduction from the chef’s perspective, experience and memories which certainly makes the cookbook a good read.  With the nostalgic photographs of Jason Lowe gives the essence of transporting to the country side with hearty, fresh, comfort food.  My Favorite Ingredients is visually pleasing to mesmerize page after page.