My Favorite Ingredients - Review
By Skye Gyngell
It’s hard to remember a time when it was chic to fly in mineral water from Italy, honey from France, and oysters from Iloilo. In our current locavore culture, such practices are positively blasphemous! That’s what London chef Skye Gyngell of Petersham Nurseries Café thinks, too. Every day she is inspired by what was purchased at the local market that very morning—and what was grown or bred nearby. She could be moved by the color of a vegetable, the scent of an herb, or the beauty of a piece of game. She truly loves food and has the highest respect for tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and asparagus, as evidenced in her book, which is clearly a labor of love.
Covering sixteen of her favorite foods and recipes of what to make with them, she’s on a mission to draw out essential flavors, not to play hide and seek. Many of her dishes are rustic, such as Tomato and Bread Soup and Salt-Baked Salmon. Maybe it was the rainy winter morning, but we were also drawn to her Ribollita, a Tuscan dish featuring beans, tomatoes, and bread. Elegantly rustic, too, are the mouthwateringly attractive images illustrating this charming book.
In all fairness, we should mention that it’s not all hearty fare for frostbitten days. She also includes an easy breezy cherry cordial for a sunny afternoon; a summer salad with pretty edible flowers; a handsome lobster salad with fennel and blood oranges; and a succulent langoustine dish. We definitely can’t wait to cook our way through some of Gyngell’s "Favorite Ingredients."
Reviewed by Sylvie Greil