Friday 18 November 2011

Cookery book review : In At The Deep End (Cooking Fish Venice to Tokyo) - Jake Tilson

Here at The Madhouse, fish is rarely the answer when I ask "what do you want for dinner today then ?" Juliette says she doesn't like the taste much, Sophie is paranoid about swallowing bones and Mike always says it's not bad but he'd prefer red meat ! I do cook fresh fish every now and then - homemade battered fish and chips always goes down well, as does fish pie, and salmon fillets for the grown ups. But I admit that I'm less at ease cooking fish than I am meat or poultry.

I therefore loved the sound of Jake Tilson's book, In At The Deep End (Cooking Fish Venice to Tokyo), because he is also a self-confessed fish and seafood novice. Jake decides to overcome his childhood fear of fish (and sharks !) by visiting fish markets in various countries across the world and trying out local fish and seafood recipes. The book chronicles his journey of discovery, from his first faltering steps through to his passionate embracing of all things fishy.

The resulting book is part cookery book, part travel writing, part personal memoir. If you imagine a cross between the late great TV chef Keith Floyd and Bill Bryson in his globetrotting days, you'll get a vague idea of the style of writing. As Jake travels from Venice to Tokyo, New York to Sweden and Aberdeen to Sydney, you'll get a lot of new recipes to try and fishy facts to learn but also a real sense of visiting certain areas, notably the bustling fish markets, portside areas and fish smokehouses in the different countries.

It's an interesting style of writing that means you can actually sit down and read the whole thing cover to cover, which is something I've never done before with a cookery book ! That said, when Madhouse Daddy Mike arrived with two fresh cod last night from the woman down the road, as I scrambled to the book to find out how to prepare them, I couldn't actually find a "how to" bit anywhere with basic advice on descaling, gutting and filleting fish, which would have been a good place to start for a total novice !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £20

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1 comment:

  1. My girl absolutely loves fish, maybe I should get this book to help me think of ways of keeping my fish cooking fresh!


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