Black Axe Mangal

Lee Tiernan. Phaidon, $39.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-7148-7931-4
Like the London restaurant for which it is named, chef Tiernan’s cookbook is a loud, messy, fun, and occasionally startling sight to behold. It begins quietly enough, with a look at the “holy trinity” of techniques employed at the eatery: grilling, smoking, and bread-making. Then comes a flash of crazy brilliance amid the brunch recipes: leftover pizza French toast. This sort of upstairs-downstairs collision proves to be a leitmotif. Sometimes it plays out in a simple snack, like sour cream and chive Pringles served with caviar. Other times it manifests in the extreme, as with a basic scoop of mashed potatoes plated alongside braised hare, chocolate, and pig’s blood. Other shockers include two types of savory doughnuts: pig’s cheek and prune, and foie gras and blackberry. The signature flatbread, meanwhile, is dyed jet black with squid ink and topped with an egg yolk and smoked cod’s roe. Photographer Jason Lowe successfully shows off the restaurant’s playful atmosphere and captures Tiernan’s eye for rich colors, as in a shot of oxtail, bone marrow, and anchovy on flatbread, where a top layer of dark green parsley bread crumbs creates a patina over the deep brown hues of the meat and roasted bones. This robust collection is sure to challenge and surprise home cooks and add an item on the to-visit lists of culinary travelers hitting London. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 01/14/2020
Release date: 01/01/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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