By Jason Atherton
Absolute Press, £25
It has been six years since Jason Atherton published his first cookbook, Maze, named after the Gordon Ramsay restaurant where the chef restaurateur sealed his
reputation as one of the undisputed stars of the London dining-out scene.
Fast forward to today and Atherton is responsible for 13 restaurants across the world in locations including London, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
his new collection of recipes in Social Suppers. These are the plates of food that you'd absolutely want to sit down and enjoy with family and friends whenever you got back home.
Atherton admits that he relishes the opportunities to soak up new gastronomic experiences on his travels and, when you look at the dishes he has conceived for Social Suppers, it's easy to see the influence this has had on his convivial and honest cooking.
The classic French foundations of his food are laced with shades of Spain and Italy, of Japan and Vietnam.
Atherton's trademark meticulous attention to detail is in as much abundant evidence as his ability to devise dishes that can't help but delight. A huge amount
of work has clearly gone into perfecting each recipe to ensure it is anything but overworked. The focus of his food is clearly flavour.
While likely to be aimed at the adventurous home cook, Social Suppers has plenty of ideas that can offer inspiration to a professional chef too.
Slow-roasted pork belly with black pudding, crushed potatoes and green beans would not look out of place on any aspirational Sunday lunch menu, while chargrilled sole with Scottish cockles would certainly bring a sense of drama to the dinner plate.
Photography by John Carey is used sparingly throughout, but with huge success. There are some dishes here that I'll simply have to cook to see how good they
look and that is in no way a minus.
In fact, as I turn the pages, I find myself wanting to cook and taste everything.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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