This is a magnificent volume that leads you to expect something special before you even open the cover. Black Pudding and Foie Gras is a vision of brown suede, evocative photography and a bunch of very tasty recipes.
Andrew Pern is the author and chef who plates many a serving of Black Pudding and Foie Gras at his Michelin-starred restaurant (The Star Inn, Harome, Near Helmsley, North Yorkshire). This is his first book but you wouldn’t know it. Andrew has an informal, chatty, conversational style that is quite charming. He is a committed foodie without being cheffy or patronising.
Black Pudding and Foie Gras is part autobiography and part recipe book. It’s a format that works well, offering an absorbing read as well as inspiring ideas. There are lovely pictures of Andrew’s wife and children which helps to make this a truly family journey from farm to fame. There is a whole section devoted to produce suppliers so it’s also a celebration of community.
So to the recipes. It’s all about fresh and seasonal fruit, veg, fish and meat. There are innovations but also versions of traditional favourites. Black Pudding and Foie Gras is the obvious signature dish. It’s a winner, combining a simple and relatively inexpensive, humble blood sausage with the delicious, controversial and classy Foie Gras.
Hartlepool Smoked Salmon Cassoulet with a Herb Crust would be a meatless choice for a flavourful and unique meal, although Andrew’s Posh Fish Fingers get my vote. These are ideal for kids but adults would find them a comforting starter. Roast Monkfish Tail with York Ham is equally as posh as the fish fingers. Very Smart!
Perhaps my favourite chapter is Desserts. There are some stunners here. Surprising, attractive and tempting – Rich Dark Chocolate and Orange Tart with Satsuma Sorbet for example. The Sorbet will be the dish that finally persuades you to buy that ice cream maker although you could make it in a box in the freezer. Honeyed Crème Caramel with Mead-soaked Sultanas is a gorgeous version of a French bistro standard. Delicate and sweet and it only takes 20 minutes to make. OK, the cooking time is 1½ hours but you don’t have to stay and hold its hand.
Black Pudding and Foie Gras is a gift-quality volume that allows a glimpse into the life of a young chef who has passion for the good things in life. To quote Oliver Twist… “Can I have some more?”
Black Pudding and Foie Gras
Author: Andrew Pern
Published by: Face Publishing
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018