Book review: Pollen Street: the Cookbook by Jason Atherton

19 November 2018 by
Book review: Pollen Street: the Cookbook by Jason Atherton

The introduction of Pollen Street: the Cookbook takes the reader back to a pivotal moment in Jason Atherton's career: when he resigned from the Gordon Ramsay Group.

It was potentially a risky strategy, given the Kitchen Nightmares frontman's grip on the London dining out scene, but 15 months later, Atherton fulfilled his dream and his restaurant, Pollen Street Social, was born.

Unsurprisingly, the book is as classy as its namesake. Four hundred pages of indulgent paper stock lead the reader through more than 60 recipes, each one running across four to six pages, and an appendix that includes a further 50 recipes for sauces, stocks and flavoured oils.

The book has eight chapters covering canapés, starters, shellfish, fish, meat and game, poultry and game birds, sweets and petit four (sic), each interspersed with insights from Atherton's most treasured suppliers, such as Yun Hider of Mountain Foods, who supplies the restaurant with wild herbs and vegetables.

Atherton's devotion to sourcing the finest produce is beautifully summed up by the book's cover - an illustrated map of the UK comprising fresh produce and animals, created by artist Ben Ashton. The original oil painting hangs in Pollen Street Social today.

Atherton's impact on the global food scene cannot be overlooked. This is demonstrated by comments in the book from mentors Ferran AdriÁ and Marco Pierre White, and peers such as Daniel Humm and Thomas Keller.

But it's Nico Ladenis who perhaps best sums up his protégé: "Jason spent two years in my kitchen at Chez Nico at Ninety Park Lane. Two things stood out during this period. First, his complete assurance, and then his blinding determination. Add to this his talent and you have a young chef who now straddles the catering scene with panache and brilliance."

Pollen Street: the Cookbook by Jason Atherton (Bloomsbury, £50)

Continue reading

You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.

Already subscribed?

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

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

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking