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I love cooking, so always have a collection of books with lots of different recipes - including this one, which accompanies the TV series of the same name that was shown on the BBC and is often repeated on various food channels .
The 'Hairy Bikers' are two guys, Dave Myers and Simon King , who met on a tv set and discovered they shared two passions - motorbikes and cooking . Neither of them are proffesional chefs - in fact , Simon is a locations manager who recently worked on Harry Potter films, whilst Dave is a make up artist specialising in prosthetics!
In their show, they tour the world on their motorbikes, learning and trying out all the local recipes and sampling all the local produce, often cooking in strange locations such as a hillside in mexico or on a roof in Rome . This book contains a selection of recipes from the series, as well as interesting information about each region and glossy colour photographs of the food, various location, and the Hairy Bikers themselves .
One thing I liked about the book is that it doesn't lose the engagingly daft humour the bikers are famous for - such as their obsession with ordering a Belgian beer named bush simply because it gave them an excuse to task the barmaid to 'Give me some bush dear!'. They're like giggly little schoolboys, with an air of lovable cheekiness, and this manages to carry over into the book too .
I did enjoy the travel element of the book too, learning a little about each location and it's customs and traditions . Sure, I'm not going to be an expert on Belgium after reading the few pages description in the book, but it's a nice little interest raiser , rather than going 'Oh, Belgium. Here we are, Cook this'.
The recipes were a good mix - things I'd heard of, perhaps tweaked just a littler, or things I'd never heard of but wanted to try . They visited a wide range of countries - Morocco, Mexico, Belgium, Vietnam and Turkey to name but a few . Taking Turkey as an example, they offer Hunkar Begendi (sultans delight - a lamb and aubergine dish) as a more traditional recipe, and then suggest accompanying this with Turkeyshire puddings (an invention of their own, an ordinary Yorkshire pudding with the addition of a little cumin and allspice!).
I've tried a few of the recipes in this book - in particular Belgian Onion Soup, which was absolutely delicious, especially with the hearty slug of Leffe I chucked into it! I also tried a tagine, which turned out well although it was a little more complicated gettng hold of some of the ingredients .
Overall, the recipes are pretty achievable, I haven't seen anything in there I would rule out trying altogether either because of skill levels or problems sourcing ingredeints, and I certainly intend to try out more of these recipes in the future .
I recommend this cookbook, because it is MORE than a cookbook . You can pick this up with no intention of cooking and be entertained by the bikers tales of getting lost in a one way system, or getting very drunk sampling beers. The recipes are great and varied, the photos are colourful and bright, and overall I just love this book.
The cover price is 20 quid, but of course you can get it much cheaper if you shop around online,
Big beautiful burly boys, sexy northern accents, motorbikes and food.. What more could a girl want!?
The Hairy Bikers are Si King and Dave Myers, 2 northern bikers with a real zest for cooking and travelling, so what better way to entertain the nation than by cooking and biking their way around random parts of the world?
This book accompanies the TV series that was shown on BBC 2 and repeated on the UKTV food channel. The book has many of the classic recipes that are shown on the TV. Giving beautifully illustrated and photographed dishes and step by step instructions. Although the recipes are fairly complex, they make them look so simple on the show!
I have yet to attempt to cook anything ot of the book and think I'd give myself lots of time to create anything, and probably will practise before I try and dazzle friends with my skills!
It is a book that I like to look at for entertainment as well as inspiration!