When I was last in the Caribbean on a press trip in Antigua, one of the greatest pleasures was eating freshly caught fish every day, all of which were lovingly prepared in inventive sauces.
So, I was intrigued to read Taste of the French Caribbean by Chef Denis Rosembert, a cookbook which is packed with fish recipes and well-known Caribbean classics - jerk chicken, anyone?
Chef Denis was born in St. Lucia and started his cooking career at the age of 15 as an apprentice at Holiday Inn Hotel in St. Lucia. His head chef saw his potential and recommended that he move to London to further his career, and he was transferred to the Swiss Cottage Holiday Inn in London.
After stints at several restaurants across the UK, he opened his own restaurant Chez Denis, which is now based in Norwich and focuses on the eclectic cuisines of Africa, Europe and Eastern India, which make St Lucian food so unique.
Recipes within the cookbook include soups, fish dishes, meat dishes, vegetarian dishes, sauces and desserts. All of the recipes are fairly simple and easy-to-follow, which is great if you're not a skilled chef! Favourite recipes included:
Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup; Curry & Coconut Soup; Barracuda Cajun Style; and Monkfish Coco.
Be warned though, cooking these recipes will have you yearning to visit the Caribbean! I for one, am already planning my next escape.
Taste of the French Caribbean by Chef Denis is published by Clink Street and is available from Amazon.co.uk (£25.00 for a hardcover).
Buy your copy here:
This Gatsby-esque cocktail book by Salvatore Calabrese, one of London's most respected bartenders, is packed with 249 pages of cocktail delights. From the origins of the term 'cocktail' (named in 1798 in Britain) and later defined in an American publication in 1806), you'll find a wealth of intriguing information on the history of cocktails as well as modern trends.
"A sense of romance and intrigue surrounds the word 'cocktail'. It conjures up images of smoky speakeasies, gangsters and their associates, beautiful women in silk gowns, and gravel-voiced sirens crooning Cole Porter tunes..." - Salvatore Calabrese
From essential ingredients to top tips and techniques, including rules on shaking cocktails (fill 3/4 of the shaker with ice and 'shake it like you mean it' to 'wake up' the drink), it goes beyond the general information found in more mainstream cocktail books.
Interestingly, this book highlights the great bartenders and barflies of years gone by (predictably including Ernest Hemingway and Ian Fleming), both of whom have had a profound effect on the way we drink today.
Each of the 215 cocktail recipes within the book is accompanied by a dazzling image and easy-to-follow instructions, making cocktail making a breeze. Quite simply, it's a sensational book any cocktail aficaniado is certain to appreciate.
This gorgeous cocktail book by Ravi DeRossi, Jane Danger & Alla Lapushchik is a must-have for any cocktail lover. Coming in at a weighty 229 pages, it's a hefty book of cocktail fabulousness that would look great either proudly displayed on one's bar or coffee table.
Cuba - A unique cocktail history...
Cuban cocktail culture became stronger after Prohibition in the States in the 1920s, despite the challenges of the broader political and economic difficulties. Today, the cocktail culture remains just as strong, with bartenders taking great pride in their cocktails, many of which have withstood the test of time.
Making your own cocktails at home...
This book shares everything you need to get started making Cuban cocktails at home including: techniques, barware, glassware, ingredients and recipes for syrups and infusions.
All of the recipes are easy-to-follow and include a lovely historical anecdote and beautiful photography, which instantly transports you to Cuba.
Having had the pleasure of visiting Cuba a decade ago, I read the book with great nostalgia, and I am already planning my next visit to this beautiful island! In the meantime, I'll have to make do with enjoying a delicious Hotel Naticonal in my London abode...
Cookbooks and Drinks books
We love cooking and enjoying cocktails and there's nothing better than discovering new recipes, which is why we've rounded up our favourite cookbooks and cocktail books from around the world.