Her fairytale engagement was sealed over a roast chicken, so it is fitting that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has been cooking with the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen in West London, and has written a foreword for their charity cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook.
The group came together in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Having been displaced from their homes by the disaster, they were offered the use of the kitchens at the Al-Manaar Muslim centre and began cooking there for their families twice a week.
Women from many different cultures continue to share the kitchen, prepare food for their families and eat together. Hubb means love in Arabic, and the women involved with the venture describe it as “a place of good food, love, support and friendship”.
The cookbook, published by Ebury (£9.99), features recipes from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Top chefs take over GIY kitchen
GIY's Grow HQ in Waterford is handing over its kitchen, and its vegetable and fruit plots, to a series of guest chefs including Darina Allen, Wade Murphy, Ellie Kisyombe, Katie Sanderson and the Gastro Gays, Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon, who will cook with the food discovery centre's produce.
Allen is first to cook for the Homegrown series, and next Wednesday, October 4th, you can pull up one of 55 chairs at the communal long table and have dinner cooked for you by one of Ireland's best known cooks. Tickets are €65 and can be booked online at giy.ie.
Murphy, of Restaurant 1826 in Adare, takes on the challenge on Tuesday, November 13th. OurTable founder and direct provision campaigner Ellie Kisyombe takes over on December 5th, and in 2019 the series will continue with dinners cooked by Sanderson and the Gastro Gays.
Maguire releases inspiring new cookbook
Neven Maguire's latest cookbook, Home Economics for Life, has bestseller stamped all over it. Its subtitle, The 50 Recipes You Need To Learn, explains the premise, and the lavish use of colour photography adds a strong visual element to the package.
There are between five and seven step-by-step photographs accompanying most recipes, sometimes even more. It is beautifully produced and avoids feeling like a manual, despite being crammed with information, advice and useful tips that even experienced cooks will appreciate.
Maguire, who was the first boy in his school to study home economics, suggests tackling one recipe a week, and by the end of a year you’ll be a more than competent cook, well versed in making soups, salads, bread, pizza and pasta, meat and fish main courses, sauces, desserts and bread.
It is the best book of the autumn season I’ve seen so far, and comes with a hearty endorsement. Buy it for kids leaving home, for recent converts to home cooking, and for busy people who have lost their kitchen mojo and want to be inspired to get back to the stove.
Neven Maguire's Home Economics For Life, with photographs by Joanne Murphy, is published by Gill Books, €22.99.
A cookery classroom in a cookware shop is a clever concept that Divertimenti in London has perfected, and now Bob Toal has adopted the model at his Triggerfish Cookshop in Blackrock, Co Dublin.
Toal has lined up a series of classes in the basement of his smart premises on Main Street, beginning next month with a variety of day and evening classes for adults and children. Tutors include experienced chef/product demonstrator Ruth Wassel, chef turned firefighter Paul Knapp and Cordon Bleu London-trained Spanish cook Blanca Valencia.
Wassel lived in Naples for 10 years and will teach classes in a variety of subjects including Italian cooking and easy entertaining. Knapp works as a firefighter in Limerick and will be teaching classses on “plant-powered cooking”. Valencia, originally from Bilbao, has worked at cookery schools in Madrid, Chicago and London and her classes will be on Spanish and Latin American cooking.
The full programme is online at triggerfishcookshop.ie and the classes cost €65 for adults and €40 for children.