In the introduction to her second cookbook, Very Fond of Food, Sophie Dahl posits that if each of us can make a decision to be a more conscious consumer, shopping for more local, seasonal ingredients for our meals, we can make an "active contribution in looking after our lovely planet." This belief forms the foundation of her cooking philosophy, and Very Fond of Food is a clear expression of the ideal.
The recipes contained here are organized by season--an obvious reflection of Dahl's call to focus on preparing food with local, in-season ingredients. Within each chapter, Dahl then breaks dishes out into breakfasts, lunches and dinners, making the recipes as easy to browse as to locate by index; a fifth chapter collects all of Dahl's dessert recipes for those readers with a sweet tooth.
Dahl peppers her recipes with anecdotes and stories, as seen in Heartbreak Carbonara (subtitled "the first thing I ever cooked for a boy"), and does not shy away from potentially divisive ingredients (tofu, for one). From Indian-inspired dishes such as Dosa and Aloo Gobi to simple meals of Strawberry Pancakes or Beef Stroganoff, the recipes in Very Fond of Food are as fun to read as they are to cook, aided throughout by generous portions of photography. Readers will be itching to get into the kitchen--and out to the table--but will also be called to a more mindful way of cooking throughout, one based on sustainability, simplicity and love. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm