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Matt's Kitchen Garden Cookbook  : Over 90 recipes celebrating fresh, locally grown produce - Matt Moran

Matt's Kitchen Garden Cookbook

Over 90 recipes celebrating fresh, locally grown produce

Hardcover

Published: 1st September 2014
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Book Description

Acclaimed chef Matt Moran shares his passion for local produce with this stunning collection of recipes.

Inspired by the market garden at his Sydney restaurant Chiswick, as well as time spent visiting producers all around Australia for his TV series Paddock to Plate, Matt dishes up a mouth-watering selection of recipes with this trademark deft touch and winning flavour combinations. Try the fresh, palate-sharpening pickled vegetables and dukkah or seared kingfish with radish, avocado and wasabi to start with, then tuck into slow-cooked lamb with hummus, tomato salad and mint salsa.

For sweet treats, look no further than apricot and rosemary tarts or berries and meringue with passionfruit curd.

Introduction

What I really love about being a chef is that I'm always learning; exploring new ideas and trying different things. I've now been in the profession for over twenty-five years and, while I've long had an appreciation for locally grown produce, it has recently become more of a focus for me. Owning a farm and producing my own lamb and beef for the restaurants has been an important part of my cooking for many years, but creating the kitchen garden at my restaurant Chiswick really opened my eyes and made me more aware of seasonality – what we should be eating and when.

Of course, this increasing interest in growing our own food is not limited to those in the restaurant industry. In recent years there has been a huge rise in the number of community gardens, which bring people together from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds to plant, tend and harvest their own produce. And having put in the hard yards to grow the food themselves, people are again learning to value what they are eating.

This also applies to all the children who are benefiting from school kitchen gardens. These kids are learning where food actually comes from and are taking responsibility for producing it. With this comes an unbeatable sense of pride in knowing that they grew and, in many cases, cooked the food themselves. We owe a great deal to Stephanie Alexander for initiating her Kitchen Garden Program and encouraging kids to get their hands dirty and work together to achieve a common goal.

More and more restaurants have their own gardens now, too. The heart of Chiswick is its garden, and our menu changes according to what is flourishing in it. We enjoy the challenge of tailoring the menu to highlight our seasonal produce – letting it shine when it's at its very best.

I've had a kitchen garden at home for several years now. There's nothing more fulfilling than growing something yourself and then cooking with it – it just tastes better. The push for growing food locally is something I truly believe in, and there's no reason why everybody can't be doing it. Even if you live in an apartment, growing herbs in a pot on the windowsill can make a difference. I promise you that pesto made using freshly picked basil (see my recipe on page 80) will always taste better.

My passion for cooking has not lessened over the years – quite the opposite, in fact. The incredible diversity of produce available to us now inspires me every day, and our connection to that produce is really starting to evolve. Of course, we can't be expected to grow everything ourselves, but what we should be doing is sourcing ingredients responsibly, from local growers and farmers' markets. It's a privilege to meet the people producing our food, to hear what they have to say about their produce and to learn from them. One of the main reasons I wanted to make the television series Paddock to Plate was to showcase these amazing, passionate producers and share their stories.

The recipes in this book all celebrate fresh, locally grown produce, and I've tried to keep them fairly simple to allow the key seasonal ingredients to take centre stage. Many of the dishes are designed to share with family and friends – I love this casual and relaxed form of entertaining. I generally start with some nibbles and small plates, then move onto shared plates and sides or salads. The slow-cooked lamb with hummus, tomato salad and mint salsa (see page 102) is always well received, as is my seafood tagine with saffron couscous (see page 107).

Sometimes an occasion calls for a little more structure, with a specific starter and main meal. I enjoy this style of entertaining just as much, and have some great suggestions in the small plates and mains chapters. No meal is complete without something sweet to finish, whether it be a light and pretty concoction of berries and meringue with passionfruit curd (see page 166) or a richly satisfying Caramélia éclair (see page 164), and there are lots of options in the sweet chapter.

As anybody with a garden will know, an abundance of a particular fruit or vegetable can sometimes be a little overwhelming – there's only so much you can give away to friends and neighbours! This is where preserving comes into its own (see page 191). It gives you the chance to capture your homegrown produce at its seasonal best and enjoy it all year round.

However you choose to cook, I think the key is to respect nature's bounty and enjoy the luxury of really fresh ingredients. I hope you enjoy the recipes that follow as much as I enjoyed writing them.

MATT
Matt Moran

Matt Moran is the executive chef and co-owner of the award-winning ARIA restaurant, which enjoys one of the most enviable reputations and locations in Sydney, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and the harbour. In 2009 he opened a second ARIA restaurant, in Brisbane, in another stunning waterfront location on Eagle Street Pier. In 2012 Matt opened the doors to Riverbar & Kitchen in Brisbane and also CHISWICK, in Sydney's leafy Woollahra. At the heart of CHISWICK is the kitchen garden, where much of the restaurant's produce is grown.

More recently he has opened North Bondi Fish and also, been awarded the tender for the Art Gallery of NSW restaurant and café. While Matt's main focus remains his restaurants, he displays his passion for cooking in TV shows such as MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, The Chopping Block, My Restaurant Rules and his award-winning TV show, Paddock to Plate.

Visit Matt Moran's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9781921383618
ISBN-10: 1921383615
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st September 2014
Dimensions (cm): 31.0 x 24.3  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 31.0
Edition Number: 1