Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories
Octopus Books, £25
Daniel Doherty describes his style of cooking as “often traditional, sometimes playful”. They are words, the executive chef of Duck & Waffle adds, that apply equally well to his own personality.
So he must have been in one of his playful moods when he decided in 2012 to take a job running the kitchen of an as-yet unnamed restaurant, operating 24/7, 40 floors up in the Heron Tower in the City of London, in an area infamous for being dead at weekends.
Doherty opted to take a risk by agreeing to work for restaurant owner Shimon Bokovza, a former customer of his at the Old Brewery in Greenwich, despite initially knowing little about the project.
But it has undoubtedly paid off. Doherty has presided over what has become a roaring success, full from 6am until 3am most nights, and all the way through on others.
In the process he has become one of London’s best-known chefs, helped by his insightful and amusing look at the life of a chef in his contributions to The Independent’s Dish of the Day blog.
His new book, Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories, takes its name from the restaurant he has helped to make famous. The book starts with breakfast and works its way through the day, sharing recipes for some of the dishes you are likely to find at the eaterie. With each, Doherty explains how the dish came into being, why he is a particular fan of the produce used within it, and so on.
And so it is that we learn that the Leo Sayer burger owes its name to modern cockney rhyming slang, coined by wine expert Zeren Wilson, who did an all-nighter at Duck & Waffle when it first opened and claimed that he was “on a Leo”, and Doherty decided it was the perfect name for a burger that he could serve all the way across a 24-hour period.
Naturally, there’s a recipe for duck and waffle, with mustard maple syrup, created by Timon Balloo, the executive chef and partner at Duck & Waffle’s sister
restaurant, Sugarcane, in Miami, as well as hundreds more.
The photography by Anders Schønnemann is excellent and helps to make every dish, as well as showing off the excellent views from Duck & Waffle’s windows with a series of cityscapes.
It’s an interesting and engaging book, and sometimes even playful. Well worth a look.
By Neil Gerrard
If you like this, you may enjoy these:
Dabbous: The Cookbook, Ollie Dabbous
The MEATliquor Chronicles: Chapter and Verse, Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins
Heritage, Sean Brock