Suffolk Feast: One County, Twenty Chefs

Suffolk chefs and Suffolk produce are at the heart of a substantial new cookbook which has just been published, called Suffolk Feast: One County, Twenty Chefs written by local food writers Glyn Williams and Tessa Allingham.

A paragraph in the introductory text sums up the essence of this book: “Suffolk Feast weaves many foodie strands but there are three common threads that run through the book: a love of good food, a fascination with the concept of farm-to-fork, and an affection for this beautiful, rich county of ours.”

This is a book about twenty chefs, their stories and inspirations and it’s about the diverse and wonderful produce found in Suffolk, which is fast becoming known as a food lovers’ county.

Just think of all the food-related events which take place throughout the year: from the Food & Drink Festivals in Sudbury, the Waveney Valley, Aldeburgh and Bury St Edmunds, to the Sausage & Beer Festival at Jimmy’s Farm; that’s a lot of delicious Suffolk produce that’s being celebrated.

Suffolk Feast has a selection of recipes from each chef (mostly meat and fish dishes, this is not a book for vegetarians!) and at the back is a treasure trove of useful information. Titled ‘A Food Lovers’ Guide to Suffolk’, the final chapter includes lists of farm shops and markets, food and drink producers, places to eat and stay, some of the county’s food festivals and cookery workshops.

Strong images, useful information and fun facts about each chef (cook’s cheats and chef’s tips and guilty snack are my favourites) make this a book to settle down with for an hour or so, preferably with a cup of tea and a slice of cake to hand, to choose a favourite recipe. The shopping list of ingredients might include fine things such as Blythburgh pork, Wrentham asparagus or Baron Bigod cheese from the Waveney Valley.

“We are blessed with some astonishing cooking talent in this county – contemporary chefs who explode with enthusiasm, dedication and a genuine understanding of the land in which they are working,” it says in the foreword, “Whether of not you follow a single recipe inside, the life-enhancing nature of the skill and passion of these chefs is a joy to behold.”

Suffolk Feast: One County, Twenty Chefs is available to buy at The Aldeburgh Bookshop priced at £19.95. It is also available at each of the profiled restaurants and selected farmers’ markets in Suffolk.

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