Book Review – Hawksmoor at Home

25 November 2011 by
Book Review – Hawksmoor at Home

Hawksmoor at Home By Huw Gott and Will Beckett with Richard Turner
Preface Publishing, £25
ISBN 978184893355

Steaks have never been more popular. Brits seem to have developed an insatiable appetite for all things bovine. From Goodman to Wolfgang Puck's first European venue Cut at 45 Park Lane and Caprice Holdings' soon to open 34 in Mayfair, it seems everyone wants a piece of the meat.

A trailblazer of this trend for steak restaurants has been the Hawksmoor group of restaurants. Childhood buddies and restaurateurs Will Beckett and Huw Gott opened their first site in Spitalfields in east London in 2006. At the heart of it was the duo's desire to offer the best meat in town alongside delicious cocktails. The concept proved a major hit with punters and the initial restaurant was followed by a second site in Covent Garden last year, with a third opening in the City next week (31 October).

Hawksmoor at Home - the first book from the duo - is a lavish celebration of Beckett and Gott's culinary ethos. It tells the story of the restaurants, giving an insight into the team behind them, and their enthusiasm, passion and desire to give their customers the best they can.

The book is essentially an extended love letter to beef, tracing Beckett and Gott's journey around the world to find the best steak, ending up in North Yorkshire where producer Tim Wilson of the Ginger Pig breeds Longhorn cattle, the only beef used at Hawksmoor. It provides a history of breeds, illustrating different cuts alongside quirky tales of 18th-century beefsteak clubs, as well as an explanation of the science behind steak and why eating it makes us happy.

A dedicated chapter on how to cook the perfect steak is followed by a section on the best accompaniments, with recipes for classics such as béarnaise sauce and peppercorn sauce as well as less frequently seen concoctions such as Stilton hollandaise or the eponymous Hawksmoor ketchup.

In total Hawksmoor at Home lists more than 100 recipes including such Hawksmoor classics such as the famous lobster roll, kimchi burger and beef dripping chips.There is also information on Hawksmoor's favourite British cheeses, as well as ideas for breakfast and brunch dishes which go far beyond the traditional fry-up.

Hawksmoor at Home is a practical cookbook which offers great advice on how to buy and cook great steaks, mix fabulous cocktails and choose the perfect wine to accompany your meal. It entertains and informs and is a must read for any passionate meat eater.
By Kerstin Kühn

If you like this you you'll love these:
Ginger Pig Meat Book Tim Wilson and Fran Warde
The River Cottage Meat Book Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More
Joshua and Jessica Applestone

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