Book review: ‘Back in the Saddle' by Hayden Groves

15 December 2017 by
Book review: ‘Back in the Saddle' by Hayden Groves

The first thing you notice about Back in the Saddle is that it definitely has the thud factor.

This hefty, 280-page book by BaxterStorey's executive chef, Hayden Groves, is not only a recipe book, but also a record of the epic Three Tours Challenge that he and a team of four amateur cyclists undertook this year in aid of blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia.

The event comprised the professional cycling tours of Giro d'Italia, Le Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Starting and finishing a day before the professionals, the team clocked up an impressive 10,473km.

The book, beautifully illustrated with cycling photography by Dave Hayward, features the challenges of the 63 stages through some of Europe's most stunning scenery, combined with recipes and food photography from Adrian Franklin.

Groves encouraged each team to try local dishes en route: "I press-ganged the guys to have the seafood fregola in Sardinia, paella in Valencia, a big pot of cassoulet in Foix, and fabada Asturiana after a day in the rain. Bob, one of the mechanics, was a particular fan of all things new and tasty."

From Italy there are recipes for rigatoni (wild boar ragù) and a classic tiramisu. The French section features chicken and chicory with Belgian blonde ale and lemon and vanilla madeleines.

Back in the Saddle won't look out of place on your coffee table, and the recipes don't disappoint either. I already have quite a few recipes earmarked but I may have to hit the bike just to burn off the extra calories!

The book has a limited print run and can be purchased from All proceeds will go to Cure Leukaemia.

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Back in the Saddle - (BaxterStorey, £30)

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