Best Kitchen Basics

Best Kitchen Basics : A Chef's Compendium for Home

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Best Kitchen Basics beats the revolutionary drum in the domestic kitchen - no longer are high-end techniques or recipes the sole domain of multi-award-winning restaurants like Best's Sydney fine diner Marque and his bistros Pei Modern in Melbourne and Sydney. Here, Mark Best breaks it down, putting the individual elements of each recipe into the home cook's hands and empowering them to think differently. It includes 100 original recipes built around 30 accessible ingredients - from eggplant to pumpkin to chocolate and eggs.

Best Kitchen Basics ups the ante on the familiar. Best insists that it is not a question of luxurious ingredients, simply the knowledge and wherewithal to unlock the beauty of some of the most basic elements of cooking. He says a good cook can compose a menu walking through a supermarket. A purple salad onion has its own beauty, for example, and in good hands can be elevated beyond the ordinary. Or a parsnip usually relegated to the roasting pan or soup pot can sing as a dessert when transformed with common builder's lime.

In the case of pumpkin, he starts with a basic recipe for the ubiquitious but much-loved pumpkin soup. Explanation of basic principles and detailed technique deliver a superior version. The next step is a pumpkin custard, sweet or savoury, and requiring a little more application. And then, for the enthusiastic cook with a little more time on their hands, a pumpkin ravioli in pumpkin consomme.

"This is not just about technique," says Best. "But new thought: changing the context." The book does not aspire to be comprehensive, rather an enjoyable - and useful - insight into one man's craft. Originally inspired by a well-thumbed recipe collection left to him by Margaret Hebbard, his beloved grandmother ("Little Nanna") on his mother's side, Best has set the tone for an accesible, engaging book that will prompt cooks to take their skills and mindset to another level.

In addition to recipes, Best takes readers on "skills sessions", unpacking some of the building blocks that he believes have been lost - including to young chefs. Step-by-step guides will include the art of puff pastry, the perfect consomme, and mastering sourdough at home. Peppered throughout the book are snippets including technical detail, a minor recipe (world's best fries!) and casual observations or stories. He also debunks myths and kitchen lore surrounding ingredients and cooking (such as searing meat to keep the juices in: "don't do it!").
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 203 x 267 x 33.02mm | 1,360g
  • South Yarra, Australia
  • English
  • Hardback
  • Full color photography throughout
  • 174270980X
  • 9781742709802
  • 134,915

Review quote

"The book excels in taking simple ingredients and making the most of them in basic recipes... the best bit, you don't need a chef's hat" - Delicious Magazine

"Quite the most persuasive and articulate cookbook from a name chef you're likely to read for some time." Necia Wilden Life, Weekend Australian

"The book has a beautiful simplicity and a very deliberate nod to making the most of what you have, not coveting what you don't." The Weekend West "The book excels in taking simple ingredients and making the most of them in basic recipes... the best bit, you don't need a chef's hat" * Delicious Magazine *
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About Mark Best

Originally an electrician in the goldmines of Western Australia, Mark Best has come a long way to launch an amazing food career culminating in the creation of his multi-award winning restaurant, Marque, in Sydney. In his early years, he honed his skills working with acclaimed chefs across the UK and Europe including Alain Passard at his three-Michelin-starred restaurant L'Arpege, in Paris, and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons in Great Milton, UK.

Best is now arguably considered one of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world and the now 15-year-old Marque continues to push culinary boundaries. His restaurant was named in the S. Pellegrino Top 100 Best Restaurants in the World in both 2011 and 2012, and topped the Australian contingent in Elite Traveller's top 100 restaurants in 2014 (coming in at No.35). He was also awarded a prestigious three hats by the respected Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for 10 consecutive years. More recently, Best has launched the bistronomy-style restaurants Pei Modern in Melbourne and Sydney, and he is the author of the well-received book Marque (2011).

Now, 25 years after his first foray into the world of food, Best has established a place in the pantheon of chefs of international renown - for example, Rene Redzepi provided the foreword to his first book Marque, while chef and restaurateur David Chang provided an endorsement. Best regularly travels to the US and UK - and has strong contacts internationally.
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