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My Cookbooks - Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson

By October 22, 2018

If you are a true appreciator of food and a fan of nose to tail then this iconic tome is one you should have in your cookbook library. Fergus Henderson is the proprietor of St John restaurants in London which specialise in Nose to Tail and down to earth seasonal ingredients.

 It is also another of my favourite restaurants in London. Their Bread and Wine restaurant was just around the corner from where I used to work in London, it used to be my Monday evening treat to go there. I always had to finish my meal with some freshly baked madeleines accompanied by a glass of Madeira, or if I was too full take some home and have them for breakfast the next morning.

The second book in the complete nose to tail is a collection of all the books (Nose to Tail and Beyond Nose to Tail) in the St John library, and is written in collaboration with Justin Gellatly who is a former baker with St John and now runs the Bread Ahead bakery in London.

What I love most is the simplicity of how each recipe is detailed, so matter of fact, there are no presumptions. So you would guess from the titles that it includes many recipes that include the whole beast, there is no waste in this book where the animal is concerned. The recipes themselves are a celebration, simply outlined, no complications other than some of the recipes requiring more time than others. It's not all meat in the book there are many fish dishes,  vegetable side dishes and desserts too, one of my favourites is the madeleines recipe which is in the complete nose to tail.
The iconic roast marrowbone with parsley salad dish

Many cookbooks tend to ignore the main ingredient and dress up a dish in a manner that detracts, this book does not. Often simplicity can be more of a celebration of an ingredient showcasing the animal or dessert and encouraging the reader to enjoy.

I was very lucky to meet Fergus himself in 2017 at a lunch in Rijks in Amsterdam, he certainly lived up to expectations.

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