My last signed book giveaway highlights a very special woman. Darina Allen is the owner and teacher of a world-renowned cooking school located in the middle of a 100-acre organic farm in Ireland. She’s also a food writer, newspaper columnist, cookbook author and television presenter. She’s a passionate believer in growing your own foods, buying locally, growing organically and foraging. She’s involved in many important food committees, boards and councils in Ireland and she’s won numerous awards throughout the years. Best of all: she’s down-to-earth and approachable woman, and she always seems to be willing to share her experience and advice with food lovers that come her way.
She’s also a long-time member of the International Association of Food Professionals (IACP) and I met her at the annual conference’s book fair. I’m a long-time admirer of this accomplished woman and I was lucky enough to find her alone, at her signing table. I exchanged a few words with her and it confirmed that she’s every bit as authentic, warm and kind as I expected.
Allen’s book, Forgotten Skills of Cooking, is an ode to our food heritage and aims at demonstrating the relevance and importance of “time-honored” traditional cooking methods. By showing us how to use unusual (and forgotten) cuts of meat, learn the lost art of making your own butter and yogurt, smoking your own fish, she wishes to bring the culinary expertise of past generations into our modern times. The book provides background information on ingredients and techniques, gives tips and advice to grow your own food, and contains lots of “from scratch” recipes that promise to change the way you see classic dishes or basic ingredients. No need to live on a farm or to raise your own hens to appreciate this book as Allen always provides substitution information if you can’t find, say, unpasteurized milk, and gives advice on how to recognize good quality products.
The book is organized around activities (foraging), ingredients (game, vegetables) and courses (desserts). It’s a goldmine of information, and some chapters are especially informative and creative. The one on Dairies is downright luscious (Make your own mascarpone! And then, make a homemade Tiramisu out of it!), while others are an infinite source of inspiration, like the one on Preserving, which provides techniques for everything from savory jams to infused alcohols.
Darina Allen has been called “The Julia Child of Ireland” and it is truly deserved. This is a relevant, current book that will age very well and that you’ll find yourself refer back to again and again.
If you don’t already have this great book in your collection, I have some great news for you: I am giving away a signed copy of Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking! Don’t miss this chance to add this priceless book to your collection. At the book fair, I explained Mrs Allen the purpose of my blog and that I wanted to giveaway a copy of her book to a lucky reader. She was thrilled that her book continues to travel around the world because that means her teaching goes way beyond the boundaries of her farm, in Ireland.
To enter the giveaway:
- Comment on this post;
- Become a fan of Food Nouveau on Facebook and get an additional entry;
- Subscribe to Food Nouveau’s monthly newsletter and get an additional entry. When subscribing, make sure you enter your name and email address (which will remain private) to make sure I can reach you if you win.
I will randomly draw one lucky winner on Thursday July 14th, 2011 at 12PM EST.
Good luck to all!
- Visit Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School (short courses, 12-week certificate course, accommodated gourmet trips)
- Read about (and see gorgeous pictures of) David Lebovitz’ visit at the Ballymaloe Cookery School
- Index of over 100 recipes from the Ballymaloe Cookery School
- Ballymaloe’s White Soda Bread (Rachel Allen, via The Cooking Channel)
- Ballymaloe’s Chocolate Almond Gâteau (BBC Food)