The Leon cook books are inspired by the restaurant set up by Henry Dimbleby, John Vincent and Allegra McEvedy in London’s Carnaby Street in July 2004. They had one simple aim which was to change the face of fast food. Six months after opening, Leon was named the Best New Restaurant in Great Britain at the Observer Food Monthly Awards (by a judging panel that included Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsay, Nigel Slater, Heston Blumenthal, Ruth Rogers and Jay Rayner). There are now nine restaurants serving over 50,000 people a week. Their now established way of eating can be found in these three cook books which celebrate fresh ingredients, how to get the best flavours out of what you are cooking and showing a natural respect for your environment.
Leon: Ingredients and Recipes by Allegra McEvedy
This is a book of two halves. “The Ingredients Book” arms you with everything you need to know about the basic building blocks of any recipe. Leon chooses it’s ingredients above all for their flavour and healthiness but also with a view to the world we live in, so that such shark-infested waters as sustainable fish are tackled and easy to navigate. In the first half of the book Leon’s top 250 fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, dairy and store cupboard ingredients are all given their own entries. The second half is “The Recipe Book” – this is where you can put your newly found knowledge of ingredients to great use. Here are over 140 recipes: some are familiar favourites taken from Leon’s menus such as the Original Superfood Salad, Moroccan Meatballs or Magic Mackerel Couscous and, for those Leon Lovers everywhere, at last a recipe for the coveted Leon Better Brownie. Plus there are some recipes from the founders, their friends and those who helped make Leon what it is today, like Fred’s Millennium Octopus and David Dimbleby’s Spanish Omlette.
Leon: Naturally Fast Food. Book 2 by Henry Dimbleby
Leon: Naturally Fast Food is again a book of two halves. The first half is ‘Fast Food’, which contains recipes for every occasion that take a maximum of 20 minutes to prepare: from a work day breakfast, quick elevenses, puddings and children’s meals to simple suppers and party food. The second half is ‘Slow Fast Food’ which contains things that can be made in advance when you have time, to enjoy when you don’t have time such as pot roasts, slow stews, fridge raiders, boil or bake in the bag and preserved flavours. There is plenty in both halves for both the experienced cook and the culinary adventurer in search of inspiration.
Leon: Baking & Puddings. Book 3 by Henry Dimbleby
Leon: Baking and Puddings is the third cookbook from the healthy fast-food restaurant chain Leon, and contains hundreds of recipes for everyone from the novice cook to the baking aficionado.Following the Leon principle that what tastes good can also do you good, three-quarters of the recipes are sugar, dairy, wheat or gluten free – so there’s plenty to indulge in even if you have a food allergy, an intolerance or one eye on your waistline. Co-authored by Henry Dimbleby and Claire Ptak, it is a book of two halves. The first contains recipes for Every Day: granolas, cakes, breads, pizzas, and puddings to enjoy as often as you like. The second half – Celebration – contains recipes for all sorts of special occasions, from Easter and Christmas to weddings and even funerals. Flourless chocolate fudge cake, toffee apples, caramelized onion and olive tart, plum ice-cream – there is something in here to tickle every fancy.
Buy all three books from www.amazon.co.uk for £33.18