What’s the USP? A chef’s global travels recorded in recipes.
Who’s the author? If you think you recognize the surname, you’re right. Jack is the son of Rick and since 2017, Chef Director of the Stein restaurant empire, which under his direction has grown from its HQ in Padstow across Cornwall and the south of England. His CV also includes stints at notable restaurants around the globe including La Régalade in Paris and Testsuya in Sydney. World on a Plate is his first cookbook.
What does it look like? The fresh, colourful and appetising dishes (shot by top food photographer Paul Winch-Furness) are interspersed with shots of yer man walking his dog, with his surfboard and chatting to fishermen (any of this sounding familiar, fellow Rick Stein fans?).
Is it good bedtime reading? The skimpy intro won’t keep you occupied for long but there’s plenty of anecdotes about Stein’s travels and useful cooking tips embedded into the individual recipe introductions.
Will I have trouble finding ingredients? You’ll find the vast majority in the supermarket, but you’ll want to do the Stein name justice by visiting your local fishmonger for some decent fish for langoustine with pastis and sea trout with samphire and beurre blanc.
What’s the faff factor? There’s a nice cross-section of dishes to rustle up when time is tight like crab omelette and more complicated, involved recipes such as guinea fowl terrine.
How often will I cook from the book? With everything from a fish finger sandwich to a Sunday lunch (‘My roast topside of beef), Jack Stein’s World on a Plate won’t be collecting dust on your bookshelf.
Killer recipes? Maple roasted pumpkin with rocket, dukkah and feta; Carl Clarke’s chicken clusters in laksa sauce; lamb shoulder with white miso cream and chicory; babi gulang (Balinese spicy pork with green bean and peanut salad); turbot on the bone roasted with bone marrow sauce.
What will I love? This is truly global cooking with recipes inspired by France, America, China, Australia, Thailand and of course Cornwall, which brings huge variety to the book.
What won’t I like? Stein wanton larder raiding of so many cuisines means you might bankrupt yourself buying all the different ingredients required to prepare the recipes.
Should I buy it? If you’re looking for inspiration for something a bit different for a mid-week meal to cook at home, this hits the spot. Although you might notice some crossover between father and son’s cookbooks (Jack did a lot of his global travels on family research trips for The Seafood restaurant) Stein Jr has an individual enough voice to make the recipes his own.
Cuisine: Modern British
Suitable for: Confident home cooks
Cookbook Review Rating: 4 stars
Buy this book
Jack Stein’s World on a Plate: Local produce, world flavours, exciting food
£26, Absolute Press