Friday, April 1, 2011

Itsa Cookbook – worth crossing town for

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Domini and Peaches Kemp single-handedly (yeah there’s two of them but you know what I mean) introduced the bagel to the Irish masses back in 1999. I used to regularly race across town at lunchtime, over the Ha’penny Bridge to join the queue in the Epicurean Centre to get my bagel fix from their tiny gourmet bagel store - Itsa Bagel.

Rushing across Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge in pursuit of bagels
(sketch by Chris Warren    )

This is a great book to give a new cook. Open the first chapter – The Holy Grail of Basics – for the be all and end all of how to cook great steak and roast chicken. Throughout the book, there are influences from a variety of cuisines – Asian (Beef rendang, Pork and lettuce parcels) Spanish (Chickpea, sweet potato and chorizo stew), Middle East (Quinoa and pomegranate salad), South Africa (Babotie) and good old-fashioned Irish home cooking.

Itsa worth crossing town for

There are plenty of vegetarian dishes that I’ve marked ‘MUST TRY’ – such as the St Tola goat’s cheese and thyme soufflé and the Broad bean hummus. The food is styled by Orla Neligan and beautifully photographed by Joanne Murphy.
Gill & McMillan gave me a copy but I would happily cross town to add a copy to my collection.
Itsa Cookbook by Domini Kemp
Published by Gill & Macmillan
ISBN 978-0-7171-4742-7
List price €19.99
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Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great cookbook to check out!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

This sounds like a fantastic cookbook. Love the variety of recipes! :)

Beloved Green said...

There is only one thing better then a new cookbook: cooking from that new cookbook. Enjoy!

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

Love the sound of this one! Thanks.

Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes said...

Thanks for the review, Hester! I'm a sucker for a new cookbook. Is this one available in the U.S.?

P.S. I love the illustration of you running across the bridge for a bagel!!

Alchemy In The Kitchen said...

@Meagan - Thanks Meagan, if you ever visit Dublin, the Ha'penny Bridge is one of the sites that will be pointed out to you. It's my absolute favourite landmark in Dublin and is particularly lovely at night with the lights reflected in the river.

Itsa Cookbook is available in the U.S. via -

Gorgeous Gourmand said...

Cute sketch - you were obviously in a hurry for that bagel!

Tiffany said...

Great review! And LOVELY new site!

Unknown said...

That looks so good.

Alchemy In The Kitchen said...

@Tiffany - thanks Tiff, a few small changes made all the difference.

Mother Rimmy said...

Sounds like a terrific cookbook. I'll be checking this one out. I love getting recommendations for cookbooks. You know you're getting your money's worth.

Manu said...

I love your blog Hester (I guess you must know it by now hehehe), so I have an award for you. You can collect it here:
Hugs! :-)

art is in the kitchen said...

This must be a great cookbook to have by the looks of it. This would make a nice addition to my kitchen arsenal of gadgets and cookbooks from all over. Thanks for the recommendation and i shall be crossing town to look for it too. Cheers!!!