A quest for gastro-liberation, an excuse to buy more cookbooks…

All the bons


Don’t you find that everything good and decent in life includes a bon?

  • Bonjour
  • Bon appetit
  • Bon mots
  • Bonbons
  • Duran Duran*

So, I’m starting this blog with a massive BON:

This blog is the result of a New Year’s resolution. And I’m a girl who doesn’t make any New Year’s resolutions (they only lead to disappointment when you don’t become a champion skiier or you discover that you lack the natural talents to become a pool hustler). However, I have been inspired by a friend of mine: NiJenna, Domestic Angel of the North. She is undertaking food resolutions. Gastronomic challenges through which she might find liberation from the tyranny of her everyday fallback recipes. And who amongst us gastronauts isn’t guilty of finding ourselves in an airlock? Churning out chilli con carnes; roasted vegetable pasta bakes; aloo gobis; stir-fries; lentil soups; and sausage casseroles month upon month.

All the while, the professional (no sniggering at the back there please, ahem) librarian in me keeps amassing weighty tomes of beautifully styled recipes; all of which are fastidiously and carefully flagged along the edges with index Post-Its. My collection is woefully neglected and thus I have decided to embark on a variation of the food resolution. I am going to devote each month of 2011 to a cookbook and reproduce four recipes from each. Not only will this assuage my guilt about buying so many cookbooks (and provide much needed justification for buying more) but it will also, hopefully break me out of ingrained food habits and fallback pasta dinners.


January being traditionally the month of health kicks and resolutions for wellbeing, I have decided to forego the temptation to start with one of my many baking books and instead opt for the more virtuous and wholesome Leon cookbook.

Now there are many reasons as to why I hold the Leon cookbook dear to my heart (slavering devotion to the Leon chain; the meatball recipe; the gorgeous design and styling) BUT this edges into the pantheon of greatness for me:

A pull-out-and-keep cheese map! Or chatlas, if you will. Oh Leon, you had me at cambazola.

Anyway. Leon is the go-to book for wholesome and flavoursome home cooking. None of the Michelin refinement, wiping down plates with vinegar nonesense. Just big robust flavours and cumin. Lots of cumin. Be still my beating heart.

So January’s shortlist looks like this:

  • sweet potato falafel
  • Moroccan harira
  • braised pork with rigatoni
  • Mama’s risi e bisi

And seeing as we’re already in the second week of Janvier, I should really get a wriggle on. Shopping lists to write, meat to source etc.

*ask your mother. Or at least your cool aunt who was alive in the 1980s.


Author: Hong-Anh

Climb aboard the Good Ship Gastrobabble as we voyage upon the unchartered waters of my neglected cookbook library (and muddle my metaphors faster than a KitchenAid on full-speed).

6 thoughts on “All the bons




  2. Oh FACE! You are so much more eloquent than me (possibly proved by the fact I had to Google eloquent to check the spelling – I was wrong!)
    Hong Fearnley-WhittingFACE I wish you luck in your food resolutions. I look forward to being converted to Leon… 🙂

  3. Oh this is going to be fun to follow….looking forward to it.

  4. Pingback: A variation on a theme « Gastrobabble

  5. A pull out cheese map and my favourite Duran Duran member… how could I resist?! If you need anyone as taster I’m available! X

  6. Pingback: It’s Wednesday, it’s bisi-ness time | Gastrobabble

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