March ’24 – My Favourite Cookbooks Of The Month

We’ve only just come to the end our first Summer eating from our very own garden in Hanmer Springs. Summer was hot and dry, and the vegetable garden treated us to more food than we could have imagined. Even after giving food away, there’s so much left, I couldn’t let anything go to waste. I’m still actively using the preserving advice I got from last month’s cookbooks; the February cookbooks of the month were all about preserving. January was about finding inspiration for all the food we grow. New pairings, sauces and dressings, these books were also helpful when planning the vegetable garden. Now that it’s early Autumn, for March ’24 – My favourite cookbooks of the month are courtesy of one author – Dennis Cotter.

Denis Cotter is an Irish chef and the proprietor of Cafe Paradiso, an acclaimed vegetarian restaurant in Cork, Ireland. His style of cooking focuses on the pleasure of food, his recipes are focused around seasonal and regional produce, presented in an innovative way.

Cafe Paradiso Seasons – Vegetarian Cooking season by Season

The image shows a book cover. The title of the book is "For the Love of Food," and the author's name is Denis Cotter. A quote from The Guardian labels the author as "The best vegetarian chef in the British Isles." The cover features a photograph of a dish, which appears to be a salad with vibrant, possibly pickled vegetables. The subtitle of the book is "Vegetarian Recipes from the Heart." The overall theme suggests that this is a cookbook specialising in vegetarian cuisine.

Cafe Paradiso Seasons is an award winning cookbook that celebrates vegetarian cuisine through the seasons. Structured to highlight the best of each season’s produce, Chef Cotter offers dishes that are both innovative and deeply satisfying. The recipes range from simple, everyday meals to dishes for special occasions, the emphasis is always fresh and local ingredients. This cookbook aims to inspire, with the use of dairy alternatives and plant-based pane, it is easy to make you own vegan versions.


Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me – A chef’s stories and recipes from the land

The image shows the cover of a cookbook titled "Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and me." It is authored by Denis Cotter, noted as the author of the award-winning "Paradiso Seasons." The cover features illustrations of plants and gooseberries, suggesting a focus on natural and possibly foraged ingredients. A quote from BBC Good Food Magazine describes it as "Vegetarian cookery with delicious style," indicating that the recipes inside will be vegetarian and stylishly presented. The subtitle, "A chef's stories and recipes from the land," implies that the book includes personal anecdotes and recipes inspired by local and seasonal produce.

The chapters in “Wild Garlic, gooseberries and me” have fabulous names:

  • It’s a Green Thing
  • Wild Pickings
  • A Passionate Pursuit
  • Growing in the Dark

These chapter names are perfectly descriptive of what you’ll find. Information and anecdotes about vegetables, foraged foods and fungi that feature in salads, soups, main meals and desserts. Recipes that are truely representative of a chef who loves and respects the vegetables and food from his beautiful homeland.


Cafe Paradiso Seasons

The image is of a cookbook cover titled "Cafe Paradiso Seasons" by Denis Cotter. It features a badge stating "Winner Gourmand," indicating it received the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World, 2003. The cover includes a quote from Food and Wine saying, "This is a cookbook to treasure. If you love food, you will love this…" There are also two images showing dishes likely from the cookbook, and the subtitle reads "Vegetarian Cooking Season-by-Season," suggesting that the book offers recipes according to the seasons.

With chapters dedicated to soup, risotto, mash and wraps this cookbook is perfect for Autumnal food inspiration. The Irish summer and New Zealand autumn have relatively similar temperatures (at least where we are based).

The unique vegetable combinations find me reaching for this book year after year. Many pages are wrinkly and it’s well used, because it’s easy to be inspired when flicking through the pages or wondering what to do with fresh vegetables.


Paradiso Recipes

The final book – I have to confess – I don’t have a copy of yet. Paradiso Recipes and Reflections was published May ’23 and won Cookbook of the Year 2023 at the Irish Food writing awards. I’ve only been able to view parts of this book online, the parts I’ve seen I already love. The photography by Ruth Calderpotts is sublime. Currently this book not available through New Zealand booksellers, as soon as it is I’ll be grabbing my own copy.

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