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In at the Deep End by Jake Tilson

In at the Deep End

by Jake Tilson

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Combining an illustrated travelogue with recipes which centre on fish, In at the Deep End follows what seems to be very much a trend with cookbooks today, although this one has something of a difference too.

The journey and the recipes take us an a would tour visiting Venice, Tokyo, Sweden, Scotland, New York, Sydney, London and the Great Barrier Reef. Personal recollections of the destinations visited are followed by a number of recipes gathered there. Although the book is subtitled Cooking Fish . . . it perhaps should rather be Cooking Seafood, for there are many recipes based on various crustacea and even a few on seaweed. The recipes are for the most part straight forward and not overloaded with ingredients, they are clearly presented and include a few introductory words from the author. The majority of the recipes involve more than just cooking a fish, rather the fish is combined with other ingredients to make a complete dish, or to make various fish cakes. The dishes are sometimes illustrated, but far from always.

So what is different about this cookbook? Firstly is is written by someone who has (or rather had) an aversion to cooking fish. But more significantly this is entire production is the work of one man, text, photography and graphic design are all the work of the author: an artist, designer, writer and cook. The result is an exciting visual experience, with a profusion of colour photographs of both fish and place, interesting typography and occasional little sketches all adding interest. While most of the pictures are self-explanatory, they are not captioned, so there is the occasional frustration of not knowing what or where. Many of the recipes are shown against something other than plain white background which in a few cases can be distracting. But overall this is an interesting collection and certainly one that tempts the taste buds.

Much more than a cookbook. ( )
  presto | Apr 23, 2012 |
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Travelling from Venice to Tokyo, New York to Sweden and Aberdeen to Sydney, Jake chronicles his journey. Whether cooking and eating Venetian bigoli with clams or New York crab cakes, Swedish soused herrings or Japanese sushi and sashimi, he effortlessly conjures up the worlds in which these dishes originated.… (more)

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