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Byron: The Cookbook by Tom Byng and Fred Smith

05 May 2016 by
Byron: The Cookbook by Tom Byng and Fred Smith

Quadrille Publishing

Byron has come a long way since it was started in 2007 by Tom Byng. Now with around 60 sites, the brand is nationwide and its food is even known to be a favourite of Chancellor George Osborne.

Now, Byng and his head chef Fred Smith have launched a cookbook featuring 110 recipes, including some of the brand's creations and diner dishes that the duo have enjoyed on their travels.

The first chapter is a vegan's nightmare, with more than 40 pages given over to a parade of hamburgers stacked with cheese and bacon and sporting names like Miami Slice and Juicy Lucy.

There are more unusual creations here too, such as the Freddar Dawg (see the recipe here

That's not to say that there aren't concessions to vegetarians - there's a veggie mushroom and goats' cheese burger made with large Portobello mushrooms, as well as a veggie bean burger which is enlivened with the crunch of panko breadcrumbs.

There are recipes for the burger buns themselves, as well as tips on how to create French fries with the use of a deep-fat frier, followed by recipes for side dishes, desserts, drinks and anything else you could expect to find in a Byron or a US diner.

The book also has some insights into the way in which the business itself is run. For instance, there is the story about why, despite all the sites having their own distinctive design, the same clock can be found in each.

It's engaging stuff and it lifts the book above being an instruction manual on how to ape its menu at home. And it could equally provide inspiration for a chef aiming to do a "better burger", better. After all, this is one trend that isn't going away any time soon.

By Neil Gerrard

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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