With Chanukah here, there’s no better time to get baking! Suzanne Baum gets a rise out of the latest recipe books by some of the country’s most creative caterers..
As a mother-of-three, professional cook Fabienne Viner-Luzzato knows exactly what appeals to young children when it comes to getting them interested in cooking.
Her new book, Steamer The Cooking Wizard, which she co-wrote with friend Jo Leslie-Briggs, is due out later this month.
Written with youngsters in mind, it follows the wizard of the title as he teaches children about changing bad eating habits into good ones, with delicious recipes thrown in along the way. “Over the years, I have met desperate parents who do not know what to do any more to encourage their children to eat something other than packet reconstituted chicken nuggets,” Viner-Luzzato explains.
“I wanted to help and teach them through fun and magical stories how they can change their eating habits.”
Born and educated in Paris, Viner- Luzzato, who learned to cook from her Tunisian-born mother and Italian father, runs numerous cookery courses for adults and children through her company, Home Cooking by Fabienne. For more details of Fabienne’s cookery courses and the book, visit the website at www.homecookingbyfabienne.co.uk
Cordon Bleu chef Lisa Roukin is another cookery teacher who has published her first book, My Relationship with Food.
Like Viner-Luzzato, she is also from north-west London, and is passionate about persuading children to get interested in cooking.
Although not directly aimed at kids, Roukin’s book contains more than 100 gluten free recipes, those that don’t contain refined sugar or an overload of carbohydrates, which are ideal for children. “Getting this book out has been the best experience I have ever undertaken,” Roukin enthuses.
“Cooking is a skill you have for life and I think it’s vital that our children should understand and know the importance of preparing and cooking delicious meals, and of eating together as a family.”
The book, priced at £22, can be bought through www.myrelationshipwithfood.com
If you are feeling particularly generous at this time of the year, one company is offering “the world’s most precious gingerbread house”, created by chef Georgia Green.
The 23-year-old owner of the company Georgia’s Cakes won a large following of celebrity clients after she created a jacket-shaped cake that had been commissioned to celebrate the launch of Cara Delevingne’s collection for DKNY.
The decadent 65cm x 35cm x 45cm creation, which is still on the drawing board awaiting customers, is a collaboration between Green and the luxury product company VeryFirstTo. The company has proposed the idea of producing a gingerbread house as a replica of the home of anyone who wants to buy one.
However, at a cost of £50,000 – the confection will be decorated with 150 South Sea pearls and a five-carat ruby from Mozambique – it is likely to take a lot of Chanukah gelt to get your teeth into one.
“I reckon this gift would be purchased by someone marking a friend or relatives special birthday,” says Green, who points out it would take her five days to make the cake to order. And as she also notes: “The gems are an excellent investment and will remain so long after the gingerbread has been devoured.”
A donation of £1,000 will be made to the Prince’s Trust charity, should one of the houses be purchased. For more details, visit www.veryfirstto.com