Book review – A Well-Run Kitchen

04 February 2011 by
Book review – A Well-Run Kitchen

A Well-Run Kitchen By Stephen Marwick and Fiona Beckett
Culinaria Press, £12
ISBN 978-0-9564089-1-4

There is real honesty to A Well-Run Kitchen, the second volume of culinary memoirs from Bristol chef-restaurateur Stephen Marwick. Following on from A Very Honest Cook, it features some of the recipes that have been enjoyed by his customers over a period of 35 years in his three restaurants: Bistro 21, Marwicks and currently Culinaria.

Quite clearly there is a nod throughout to his two mentors, the renowned George Perry-Smith and Joyce Molyneux, both who did so much to move forward the quality of restaurant cooking in this country.

So you will find a recipe for salmon in pastry with currants and ginger, perhaps the most iconic dish within Perry-Smith's repertoire at his Hole in the Wall restaurant in Bath. Such is its fame, customers today still ask to be phoned whenever it goes on the menu at Culinaria, where Marwick serves it with the original light herby sauce.

From working alongside Molyneux at the Carved Angel in Dartmouth, Marwick has included recipes for summer pudding and gooseberries in saffron custard.

Marwick frequently refers to the lessons of frugality he learnt from Perry-Smith and Molyneux. Urged by them to always seek out the best quality ingredients and treat them with respect, he will never let anything go to waste. Hence, the book is sprinkled throughout with useful tips for using up offcuts, such as the tail ends of salmon from the salmon in pastry dish, which go into making fishcakes or salmon and mushroom cutlets.

It is not easy for a chef to get a recipe book published unless they are a well-known face on TV or have a string of stars attached to their restaurant, but Marwick has shown what can be achieved - with the help of food writer Fiona Beckett - through self-publication.

It is not a hefty tome - there are around 30 recipes - but that was deliberate. The intention was to keep it small and offer it at a price that was within the average customer's reach.

A Well-Run Kitchen is available direct from Culinaria in Bristol or via the restaurant's website at" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">
If you like this, you'll love these:

A Very Honest Cook Stephen Marwick and Fiona Beckett
â- Carved Angel Cookery Book Joyce Molyneux and Sophie Grigson
â- How the British Fell in Love With Food The Guild of Food Writers

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