KILKENNY NATIVE chef Edward Hayden has launched his second cook book, Food To Love. On Friday night, myself and Mrs. Any Given Food-To-Be made the spin to Edward’s launch night at the Springhill Court Hotel in Kilkenny where, on arrival, you could be forgiven for thinking you were attending a wedding, such was the crowd and the buzz around the downstairs ballroom. I’ve seen Edward in action at the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, heard him on KCLR 96FM every now and again but never anticipated the following that created the stir around Friday night’s launch.
Everyone who spoke on the night, including KCLR’s Sue Nunn, Ann Phelan TD, Ivan O’Brien (O’Brien Press), Anne Neary (Ryland House), Kevin Dundon (Edward’s “employer and boss” at Dunbrody House) and Sandy Kelly (who made the official launch) couldn’t say a bad word about the man, but more importantly, about the book.
A journey that began on Edward’s 27th birthday last June (there’s only ten days between myself and himself) with O’Brien Press has culminated in a great quality cookbook, packed with some terrific photos from Carol Marks and full of – or so the concensus was on the night – recipes that just work. That, of course, being the most important ingredient of a cookbook – having recipes that work. Scanning through the 190 or so pages, the book is chock full of really good looking recipes, heavily influenced from personal favourites and family traditions. There’s also a tasty looking section on jams and chutneys, something I’ve yet to turn my hand to.
The book itself is broken down into quriky titled chapters including Light Bites, Super Soups, Not Just Your Daily Bread, Something Fish (with a gorgeous looking chilli-crusted monkfish that serves 6), One Pot Wonders, Versatile Veg, Spuds-U-Like, Sweet Temptations, Heavenly Cakes and Bakes, Potted Pleasure (the afore mentioned jams and chutneys, Dining Al Fresco, Drinks To Go and finally, Festive Foods, with recipes for Christmas, Hallowe’en, Easter and other times of the year.
Edward Hayden joins the ranks of Jamie Oliver, Donal Skehan (with a blog post on Kitchen Hero to follow) and more sitting on the shelf in the kitchen at Chez McGuire but it won’t be long before it’s coming down for a crack at some of those recipes. Bringing it all back local, I’m delighted to see Edward get the new book deal, get the book out and congratulations to himself, to Carol Marks and the creative team at O’Brien Press for putting together a visually impressive read.