By Colin McGurran
Meze Publishing, £25
A Table at The Fields takes you on a seasonal journey, encouraging you to use supermarkets less, local suppliers more and even to grow your own vegetables.
The 'Fields' in the title refers to Winteringham Fields, a restaurant with rooms on the banks of the River Humber, near Scunthorpe, which the McGurrans have put their own stamp on since acquiring it in 2005 from Germain and Annie Schwab. Under the Schwabs, it was a traditional business with two Michelin stars; today, it is a more relaxed affair with three AA rosettes.
McGurran is known beyond the restaurant for his appearances on the BBC's Great British Menu, having won in 2012 with his 'quail in the woods' starter (a recipe in the book) and again in 2014 for his dessert - peanut, praline, chocolate and raspberry medal with parsnip ice-cream - an homage to the Dickin medal, which was instituted in 1943 to honour the work of animals in World War II. The quail is not for the faint-hearted: it takes 36 hours to make and comprises 50 ingredients.
The book is filled with vibrant photos by Tim Green of McGurran's team, the natural surroundings and, of course, the dishes.
McGurran encourages readers not to panic if things go wrong when they try the more complex recipes. He believes it's all about gaining inspiration from the methods, trying a few elements and exploring flavours. "Cooking is not a test; it is one of life's most pleasurable skills," he says. "We have a close relationship with produce and take great pride in every single ingredient."
I particularly enjoyed a rather charming section dedicated to the people who work at Winteringham Fields, which happens to be the McGurrans' home as well as their place of business.
The book's message is: get creative and get cooking. On that note, I'm looking forward to trying the roast lamb loin with confit belly, pomme purée and aubergine.
By Katey Pigden
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