Chef cooks up some old-style classics to whet the appetite

THE GROWING trend for cooking at home is celebrated in a new cookbook written by south-east chef Anne Neary.

Food for Sharing was launched last night and, according to its author, emphasises simple, straightforward recipes.

Nostalgia buffs will also be pleased, with one chapter devoted to 1960s classics including favourites like prawn cocktail, French onion soup and croquette potatoes.

Ms Neary is one of the most respected chefs on the south-east cooking circuit and is well-known all over the country through her successful Ryeland House Cookery School, broadcast appearances and occasional food columns in the national and local media.

Passionate about cooking, Anne has spent all of her professional life promoting food and in her 30 years in Kilkenny has been a culinary pioneer, championing the work of artisan food producers.

As well as running Ryeland House Cookery School, she lectures in culinary courses with Waterford VEC and presents a regular live cookery slot on local radio.

Her first book, A Country Kitchen, was published in October 2009. “I had constant requests from students, readers, listeners and food lovers ever since to do another book, with a particular focus on sharing food,” she said yesterday.

“In these days of recession, people have gone back to cooking at home and there is nothing better than having a big group of people around a table sharing food.”

She said her food philosophy is to “keep it simple, seasonal and tasty”.

Many of her favourite recipes can be found in Food for Sharing, including some passed down through her family.

Living in Cuffesgrange in Co Kilkenny, Anne built her own poly tunnel last year to grow herbs, vegetables and soft fruits, all which she uses for her cookery classes.

As well as covering 1960 food classics, Food for Sharing devotes chapters to accompaniments; covered with pastry; fresh from the sea; family food; off the grill; ready in 45 minutes; soups; Sunday lunch; desserts and “let them eat cake”.

*The book is available in bookshops across the south-east and can also be ordered from www.ryelandhousecookery.com

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