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Mostly Food & Travel Journal

   Book Titles Index

   Book Authors Index

   Darina Allen

   Catherine Atkinson

   Mridula Baljekar

   Kimiko Barber

   Annie Bell

   Richard and Jo Bertinet

   Monisha Bharadwaj

   Vatcharin Bhumichitr

   Sally Butcher

   Glynn Christian

   Elizabeth David

   Maria Elia

   Paul Gayler

   Jane Grigson

   Arto der Haroutunian

   Valentina Harris

   Paul Hartley

   Anissa Helou

   Ken Hom

   Sanjeev Kapoor

   Kentaro Kobayashi

   Elisabeth Luard

   James Martin

   Vivek Singh

   Wendy Sweetser

   Book Titles Index

   Book Authors Index

It’s all about travel and food - lots of international excursions, culture and history, hotel, destination and restaurant reviews.
Please look elsewhere for negative reviews.
All restaurant, hotel and product reviews are sponsored; however, the resulting articles are unbiased and the opinions expressed are my own.

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Recent Book Reviews

Mexico: A Culinary Quest

Mexico: A Culinary Quest introduces the reader to the real spirit of Mexican food, its history and taste. It demonstrates a range of modern cooking styles as well as traditional ones. There is a wealth of specially commissioned photographs of both people and their homes and workplaces... Read More

Classic Food of Northern Italy

anna del conte
Anna Del Conte is, or so says The Times, ‘The queen of Italian cuisine’ and she is certainly an iconic writer. This is a beautifully photographed volume of more than 150 recipes from restaurants, home cooks, hostelries and country farms. There are lots of dishes here that might not be familiar to the non-Italian... Read More

The Palestinian Table

Palestinian table This is truly a Palestinian family cookbook, with charming anecdotes by author Reem Kassis who was brought up in Jerusalem, the hub of the Palestinian community. One sits with aunties drinking coffee, one is introduced to grandmother’s dishes, and mother’s recipes. The Palestinian Table is a journey of tantalising taste and colour... Read More

Whisky – The Connoisseur’s Journal

Whisky Guide Christmas isn’t far away. The ads on TV herald the coming season and offer the threat of Yuletide gift giving. Men are famously difficult with regard to pressies but for those chaps and indeed ladies who have a passion for whisky then the problem is solved. Whisky – The Connoisseur’s Journal is the must-have accessory... Read More

The Flavours of Andalucía

Flavours of Andalucia
Ms Luard has long been one of my favourite food writers. She is a poet of the culinary world. She paints pictures with both brush and words. This volume considers the colourful dishes of a rather romantic corner of Spain which was once part of the Moorish world, and where Elisabeth lived for several years... Read More

Hook Line Sinker

book review: hook line sinker
Hook Line Sinker – A Seafood Cookbook by Galton Blackiston impresses before one even opens the cover: the pages are edged in shining silver. The transparent dust jacket shimmers. A quality presentation which suggests attention to detail. The foreword by Michel Roux OBE also suggests that this is likely to be a worthy culinary tome... Read More

111 Gardens in London That You Shouldn’t Miss

111 gardens
This is the must-have book of the year for anyone interested in gardens. That doesn’t have to be an interest in the activity of gardening: it’s a book for anyone who takes pleasure in just spending time in beautiful open spaces. London has a proud history in making and preserving public gardens and parks... Read More

Signac – Reflections on Water

Signac – Reflections on Water offers a cross-section of over 140 works which show Paul Signac’s techniques and approach to his subjects. There are minimalist pencil sketches, bold pen and ink executions and more subtle colour harmonies. The artist was inspired by water with all its ever-changing textures... Read More

Ice Creams, Sorbets and Gelati - The Definitive Guide

Ice Creams
The progress of ice cream has taken it from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. It was once the preserve of kings, emperors and the very wealthy. Plenty of history here and it’s amusing and fascinating but you will likely buy this book for the recipes. They are a fine and eclectic bunch... Read More

An Organic Architecture and Travels with Frank Lloyd Wright

frank Lloyd wright travels
We might not all major in architecture but we are all touched by it, and it’s argued that Frank Lloyd Wright has had more impact than most on buildings in both the 20th and 21st centuries. Two new books from Lund Humphries offer unique views of this often controversial American architect... Read More

Domon Ken: The Master of Japanese Realism

Domon Ken is one of the most renowned Japanese photographers of the 20th century. One might not recognise his name but one will likely have seen some of his work, which is iconic and which spanned decades. This is an excellent book which strives to offer the reader a comprehensive overview of Ken’s photographs... Read More

ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish

chariTable The ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish is a recipe book with 365 dishes – one for each day of the year – from chefs who are familiar and respected. They are lending their support to a group that raises money for charity in unique and delicious fashion... Read More

Drawings for Paintings: in the Age of Rembrandt

Drawings for Paintings: in the Age of Rembrandt by Ger Luijten and Peter Schatborn is a unique insight into the process of construction of these life-like paintings. These drawings were not rough cartoons but masterpieces in their own right. They were made and compiled into sketchbooks... Read More

Vietnam Eye – Contemporary Vietnamese Art

Vietnam eye Vietnam has developed in every way over the past decade. The world has access to its culture, food and landscape, along with its traditional art. But Vietnam also has an evident and thriving contemporary art community and much of the work of those artists is showcased in this superb book... Read More

Risotto! Risotto!

Risotto Risotto
Many a cookbook reviewer will start their article with statements of impartiality, even-handedness and cool, professional aloofness. Not me. On this occasion, at least. I am pinning my culinary colours to Valentina Harris’s gastronomic mast with a degree of unashamed pride... Read More


It’s a buzz-word these days: Umami. It’s a very familiar taste, flavour, sensation on the taste buds but we have only relatively recently put a name to this savouriness, this deliciousness. That’s umami; but how is it viewed with regard to sake?... Read More

Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries

This is a heavy tome but not heavy reading. It’s a sake story book that will be the volume of choice for any lover of sake or things Japanese with which to snuggle. It’s a picture book over which to pore. Images of craft and continuity are showcased to beautiful effect... Read More

Craft Spirits

Craft Spirits
Well, this is right on trend. Cocktails have become the cornerstone of every restaurant bar, and we want to try our hands at barista-ing at home. Most of the fixin’s are available to civilians and with little equipment some delicious and beautiful cocktails can be ours... Read More

Food Sake Tokyo

Food Sake Tokyo
Food Sake Tokyo takes the reader on a culinary adventure through more than a dozen neighbourhoods to discover the best, the most intriguing spots showcasing the local food and drink scene... Read More

Flavors from the French Mediterranean

Flavours from the French Mediterranean
It will soon be summer. We start to muse over al fresco dining and lighter fare. Ingredients with colour and freshness will take centre stage and we look toward the Mediterranean for inspiration, and perhaps to a French chef for some help... Read More

Art Place Japan

Art Place Japan
Every three years hundreds of square miles of countryside in north western Japan are transformed into a sprawling and many-faceted art installation. More than 150 of the world's most-celebrated landscape artists, sculptors, and architects display their work... Read More

Afternoon Tea at Home

Afternoon Tea at home
I was expecting a great book from this well-respected chef, Will Torrent. I wasn’t expecting the volume to have that overwhelming feel-good factor. That comes from a reminder of traditional sweet treats in the recipes... Read More

Classic Recipes of the Philippines

Classic Philippines
This rather smart little book looks at the unique traditional food and cooking of the Philippines. But many of us know little of these islands and probably even less about its culinary heritage... Read More

The Food and Cooking of Japan and Korea

The Food and Cooking of Japan and Korea
Japanese and Korean restaurants were almost unheard of a decade or so ago but now they are popular. Korean meals are often robust and spicy and just the kind of food appreciated by the British palate these days. Japanese dishes are... Read More

The Complete Practical Guide to Digital and Classic Photography

Guide to photography
This book is a weighty tome at a very reasonable price. At under £12 one can have a fairly thorough overview of the craft of photography. It’s a step-by-step guide to the apparatus (your camera) as well as... Read More

Simple Words from the Saddle

Simple Words from the Saddle
This has got to be the stocking-filler of choice for any bike rider. Simple Words from the Saddle isn’t pearls of wisdom from a Harley but musings from a cycle, with pedal power and time to enjoy the scenery... Read More

The Chalet Cookbook

The Chalet Cookbook
Yes, it’s that time of year again. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, etc. Our thoughts turn to cold-weather vacations and possibly (although not in my case) to sporty pursuits. There will be expectations of snowy vistas, the smell of pine and tables groaning with comforting food... Read More

The History of Wine in 100 Bottles

The History of Wine in 100 Bottles
Oz leads us on his personal odyssey through styles of wine, bottles of wine and memories of wine. The History of Wine in 100 Bottles - From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond is a collection of anecdotes with wine and its history at the core – and a fascinating story it is... Read More

Grapes & Wines

Grapes & Wines
Oz Clarke has become a household name. He oft graces our TV screens and has written a shelf-load of books on wine. This particular volume might well act as an indispensable handbook for those of us who don’t know much about wine and don’t even know enough to ask about what we don’t know... Read More

London for Foodies, Gourmets and Gluttons

London for Foodies, Gourmets and Gluttons
This thick, square tome is a veritable guide to all things delicious in the capital. We are truly spoilt for choice so it’s handy to have some pointers. Yes, it’s all a matter of taste but authors David Hampshire and Graeme Chesters have presented a comprehensive cross-section of suggestions... Read More

The Best of Jane Grigson – The Enjoyment of Food

cookbook reviews Best Salads Ever
The Best of Jane Grigson – The Enjoyment of Food doesn’t have dozens of colour images but it’s no worse for that. It’s that style of cookbook that will likely start on the bedside table before migrating to the kitchen where it will find a permanent home... Read More

Best Salads Ever

cookbook reviews Best Salads Ever
It’s summer and so we eat salad. Yes, we eat it but often without enthusiasm. Carnivores often consider salad as the green stuff left on the plate after the meal is finished, and those of us who eat everything get heartily sick of more lettuce, cucumber and tomato... Read More

The Taste of Belgium

The Taste of Belgium
It’s so near, but almost totally overlooked from the culinary perspective. Belgium is one of our closest neighbours but is overshadowed by the gastronomic giant (the French believe their own publicity) next door... Read More

Party-Perfect Bites

party perfect
It’s that time of year again. We entertain in grand fashion. There are crowds of folks to feed and we don’t, speaking for myself, have a clue what to do. A nice plate of ham sandwiches will likely... Read More

Fresh Spice

Fresh spice
We in northern Europe have had a long and delicious relationship with spice. We tend to think it’s just been this modern era of the local curry house that has developed our taste for food with spice and colour. But consider those old recipes... Read More

Japan – Eyewitness Travel

Japan guide
You can travel to many countries and get by without a guidebook. You might get lost, you might wish you had the address of a hotel that had sheets on the beds, and you might possibly even regret not taking a packed lunch... but you’ll get by. Japan is a bit more difficult... Read More

Chocolate at Home

chocolate at home
I am biased, it’s true. This book was destined to have a good review on two counts. Firstly I adore the author, Will Torrent; and chocolate comes a close second to Will.

Will Torrent has worked with the best – with such culinary worthies as Brian Turner CBE and Gary Rhodes... Read More

Chef Janice Wong – It’s 'Dim Sum' but more

Janice Wong
Janice Wong has the accolade of Asia’s no.1 Pastry Chef. Well, we all know what famous chefs are like. Ego-driven, imposing hulks with loud voices, periodically rude, consistently condescending, care-worn complexions, prematurely aged, and supremely talented. Perhaps we should have a rethink... Read More

Singapore with Marco Polo

Singapore Marco Polo
Not sure if Marco Polo, that celebrated explorer of the East, ever got to the area we now know as Singapore; however, he has given his name to a series of guidebooks to aid a distant generation of travellers... Read More

Spices and Seasons – simple, sustainable Indian flavours

Spices and Seasons
Indian is perhaps my favourite cuisine. To be honest though, saying that one is going out for an ‘Indian’ tonight is as ridiculous as saying one is going out for a ‘European’ tonight. Think about the size of that country... Read More

So, You Think You're A Celebrity ...Chef?

Caroline James
You don't need to be a culinary professional to get a kick out of this book. Caroline James, the author, does have that background but it's her wry sense of humour that gives this book such wide appeal... Read More

Kusina to Cuisine – The Theresian Cookbook

Kuchina to Cuisine
I am a cookbook reviewer, and it’s always exciting to leaf through pages that offer an insight into a new and vibrant cuisine. And I am a food writer, so I appreciate the effort it takes to compile such a book. Kusina to Cuisine – The Theresian Cookbook had me glowing with child-like joy... Read More

Kulinarya – A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine

filipino cuisine
There are very few Filipino restaurants in Europe; at least I have not yet had the pleasure of crossing the threshold of any – or indeed of finding a threshold to cross.  We don’t have many cookbooks offering recipes from the Philippines. We might conclude... Read More

Winter Cocktails

cookbook review
Cocktails! We tend to have a vision of summer evenings, flowery dresses, sipping colourful libations in some place exotic. But for those of us who live far from the equator those days of balmy bliss only happen by during our short summer months... Read More

Pumpkins & Squashes

cookcook review
I am an enthusiastic home cook and a periodic professional cook, but I hold my hands up and admit that I have avoided using pumpkins and squashes, my excuse being that when I was growing up we never saw such things apart from on Halloween... Read More

Sprinkles – Recipes and ideas for rainbowlicious desserts

cookbook review
Baking is, thank goodness, enjoying something of a revival. We are reconnecting with some old-fashioned culinary values – the kitchen filled with tempting aromas, a cake on a glass stand, some home-made chocolate treats... Read More

Great Homemade Soups - A Cook's Collection

cookbook review
Chef Paul Gayler is one of the food industry's gems. He is a well respected man with years of worthy career behind him. He is executive chef at London's celebrated Lanesborough Hotel and has a shelf of cookbooks to his credit... Read More

Smashing Plates - Greek flavours redefined

cookbook review
The title alone would encourage a bookshelf browser to reach for this volume. A humorous play on words conjuring visions of exuberant Greek revellers ruining a restaurant's crockery budget, or of polite Brits commenting on some jolly good food... Read More

Snackistan – Street fare, comfort food, meze

cookbook review
I am convinced that Sally Butcher could write a book about paint drying and it would be a worthwhile read. Her books, and this is the third, are Sally in paper form. Her energy, culinary knowledge and laugh-out-loud humour will make this another best-seller... Read More

The Dal Cookbook

asian cookbook review
We have always had those little red lentils on supermarket shelves. They seemed to be the only ones available when I was growing up. Mum would put them in a beef stew with half a cardboard tub of yellow ‘curry powder’ and call it ‘Indian’... Read More

The Food of Vietnam

asian cookbook review
We in the UK, and in London in particular, are blessed with ingredients from across the globe, and with restaurants from every continent... But what of Vietnamese food?... Read More

French Market Cookbook

cookbook review
This is a unique and surprising book in so many ways. It’s a Parisian cookbook but it’s a vegetarian recipe book. It’s undoubtedly French but reflects the fresher dishes from the traditional repertoire. It’s a Paris-market cookbook, but those markets offer produce from across the country... Read More

The Hedgerow Cookbook

cookbook review
It’s a tradition, still, for many of us. We await the arrival of blackberries, we collect elderflowers, we are entranced by the perfume of wild garlic. If we were lucky enough to have had a childhood spent roaming lanes... Read More

Chocolat by Eric Lanlard

cookbook review
The world loves chocolate, and combine that with a dashing chef with a rich French accent and recipes for goods that have graced many a French patisserie window, and one has the makings of a successful cookbook... Read More

The Yellow Chilli Cookbook

Sanjeev Kapoor
It’s a cookbook by the celebrated Indian TV chef Sanjeev Kapoor, so it’s bound to be full of delicious innovation and temptation. But my dear reader will be thinking the master has overstepped the mark with this one: How many recipes contain yellow chilli?... Read More

Secrets of Indian Gastronomy

asian cookbook review
One might suppose that Secrets of Indian Gastronomy is a cookbook. Yes, it is. One will assume it is packed with delicious and authentic recipes. Well, it is. One might be drawn to the conclusion that those secrets will be bizarre... Read More

Aah! Chocolate

asian cookbook review
Sanjeev Kapoor is perhaps the most recognised face in India. He isn’t a Bollywood star although he probably has just as many supporters. No, he is a chef with impeccable culinary credentials and his own food TV network... Read More

Cooking with Flowers

cookbook review
You might think that cooking with flowers is pushing the culinary envelope. It’s perhaps reminiscent of the long-gone hippie era and its ethos of peace, nut loaf and free love. Well, consider this: we often eat flowers... Read More

Hanggang sa Muli – Homecoming stories for the Filipino soul

Hanggang sa muli
In English “Until we meet again” is a collection of essays, poems and stories from the Filipino diaspora, which is a considerable one. That could constitute a lot of homecomings... Read More

Four Emperors and an Architect

restaurant review
This book is bound to appeal to anyone with a love of what they assume to be, and indeed what has become, classic English architecture. We’re talking about Robert Adam’s buildings so they couldn’t be anything other than quintessentially English, could they?... Read More

Fiori Di Zucca

cookbook review
This is a family cookbook and the recipes, like the author, are truly international. Yes, Valentina Harris is Italian from a globe-trotting family, although she speaks English without a trace of an accent thanks to her English father and BBC radio... Read More

Pâtisserie at Home

cookbook review
Not many will recognise the name Will Torrent although that’s not through his lack of respect within the food industry, more shortage of a TV series exposing him to the public at large, and that truly is an oversight... Read More

Campfire Cuisine

cookbook review
Now, just wait – I know you’ll likely ignore this book. ‘Campfire Cuisine’ - you probably think that’s a book for rugged sorts: thick socks, hiking boots, woolly hats with solar cells, and that’s not you... Read More

Train2e@t Local Foodbook - Kuala Lumpur

asian restaurant review
Danny Chen is the author of this small yet deliciously stuffed book. He is the complete modern man, being a lover not only of Malaysian cuisine but of music and travel too, and well placed to pen a... Read More

Perfection in Imperfection

Asian cookbook review
I first met Chef Janice Wong at her deliciously unique dessert bar in Singapore in the early hours. It’s called, unsurprisingly, 2am: dessertbar. It’s a showcase for this talented lady and offers a flavour of this, her literary debut... Read More

Breakfast for Dinner

cookbook review
This isn’t as outrageous as it sounds – Breakfast for Dinner. Granted, the menu shouldn’t include cornflakes but there are so many dishes that do double duty – both savoury and sweet. Brunch straddles both... Read More

The Taste of Portugal

cookbook review
It’s a unique country that has long been popular with tourists, but those bronzing folks seldom stray from the Atlantic beaches, and their gastronomic daring drifts only as far as a grilled sardine and a custard tart... Read More

Port and the Douro

cookbook review
I would love to tell my readers that I am an expert on that full and iconic beverage but until recently Port was that festive tipple that mostly stayed in the sideboard unless Uncle Charles was over... Read More

The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2013

cookbook review
America’s PBS TV channel has offered America’s Test Kitchen to its US viewers for decades. Now we can find PBS in the UK and it’s well worth investigating its programme schedule, to discover America’s Test Kitchen for yourself... Read More

Full of Flavour

cookbook review
Maria Elia is a celebrated chef. She has written several other cookbooks and has graced our TV screens presenting her delicious dishes that have been inspired by her Anglo-Cypriot heritage. Yes, she is an accomplished food professional... Read More

Easy Indian Cooking

Asian cookbook review
Hari Nayak is an Indian-born chef who now tempts the taste buds of Americans. In fact he, unlike most Indian chefs in the West, graduated from a non-Asian cookery school, and in his case the prestigious CIA. That’s not the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA but the more internationally appreciated Culinary Institute of America... Read More

Soups for your Slow Cooker

cookbook review
All enthusiastic home cooks have a kitchen stuffed with gadgets and gizmos. We have a little knife just used to make roses out of radishes, there is the spiky thing for baking spuds, and an electric carving knife that granddad uses on Christmas Day, or he would if it wasn’t lost behind... Read More

No Need to Knead

cookbook review
If you love cooking you will likely have wanted to try baking your own bread but it’s equally possible that you lost your nerve and didn’t bother. It’s baking and that is culinary alchemy; and then you add yeast into the equation and, well, how does that work?... Read More

Cinnamon Kitchen – The Cookbook

asian cookbok review
Cinnamon Kitchen is another of the restaurants in chef Vivek Singh’s empire. Cinnamon Club in Westminster has long been the classy and dark-polished-wood Indian restaurant of choice for the great and the good, and even politicians from the big house up the road... Read More

Cobra Good Curry Guide 2013

asian cookbook review
Curry is said to be our favourite food in Britain. Popular indeed, but quality of restaurants can be patchy. We hear from friends that a particular chef is a star, that the local tandoori has chops for which to die... Read More

Lets Cook Italian

cookbook review
We want comforting food. It’s cold and wintery and the economic climate isn’t that hot either. It’s time to get back to those old-fashioned values. Gennaro Contaldo introduces us to his Italian family favourites as they do travel rather well... Read More
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