Celebrity chef cookbooks

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Time Out reviews the best celebrity recipe books to give you culinary inspiration

The Clatter of Forks and Spoons

Richard Corrigan, Fourth Estate, £25

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When Richard Corrigan talks about poaching salmon, he doesn’t mean cooking it gently in water. His journey from bogland smallholding in County Meath to celebrity chef with restaurants off Park Lane and Piccadilly is a tale as suited to the silver screen as a cookbook.

The family ate well but was cash-poor and didn’t have electricity until 1973: they spent weeks turf-cutting every August to provide fuel for cooking and heating. At school – which he left before turning 15 – Corrigan was called Bog Man. Tales of these times and learning to cook in Amsterdam and London are bound up with profiles of favoured food producers, culinary musings and, of course, recipes, which run from Irish rusticity to haute cuisine.

Many dishes are familiar from Corrigan’s restaurants, including Bentley’s and Lindsay House. Sheila Keating is credited as writing partner but even so Corrigan’s astonishingly well read for someone who (like a few other well-known chefs) has suffered from dyslexia: ‘…you learn to memorise huge amounts of information,’ he says. ‘You have to. I do believe that ignorance is self-inflicted.’ Colourful, we expected. That this is also an intelligent and captivating book sets Corrigan above many of his TV rivals.

Jenni Muir, Time Out London Issue 2009: February 29-15 2009

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