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Book review – M: A 24 Hour Cookbook by Martin Williams, Michael Reid and Nick Savage

01 June 2016
Book review – M: A 24 Hour Cookbook by Martin Williams, Michael Reid and Nick Savage

Bloomsbury/Absolute Press, £30

M: A 24 Hour Cookbook is a companion for home entertaining from M founder Martin Williams and executive chef Michael Reid (with words and introductions by Nick Savage). As the title suggests, it provides an insight into 24 hours of restaurant life, with recipes from breakfast and brunch through to midnight feasts.

For those looking for a healthy start to the day, there are options such as quinoa and coconut porridge, a dish that has followed Reid back from a working stint in Australia. The porridge is studded with oats, bananas and hazelnuts and is described as a superfood take on a breakfast staple, which is "not only friendly to the taste buds, but very kind to the waistline."

Williams, the former managing director of Gaucho, launched his restaurant venture M in London's Threadneedle Street in December 2014. He has since gone on to open M Victoria on Victoria Street, which also has an M Wine Store, headed by director of wine Zack Charilaou, who provides a handy 'Time for wine' chapter. For Charilaou, "a meal without wine is called breakfast".

Moving on to lunch, Reid suggests cured langoustines served with pickled cucumber and grapefruit, topped with grated foie gras. The chapter 'Raising the steaks' explains there's a lot more to cooking a slab of raw cow meat than initially meets the eye.

But the dish I'm most drawn to is the Tim Tam and tea dessert, a posh take on the Australian chocolate bar. I was introduced to Tim Tams when I visited my friends in Perth a couple of years ago and, in what felt like an initiation process, I soon found myself performing my very first Tim Tam Slam, using the biscuit as a straw, sucking tea through it until the biscuit melted. This version looks far more sophisticated and far less messy.

By Katey Pigden

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