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'A delicious evocation of place and memory from one of my favourite cooks.' Allan Jenkins, Editor of Observer Food Monthly
'This book is so much more than a cookbook, it's a love song to a very special place and we are lucky to have the brilliant Marianna as our guide.' Itamar Srulovich, co-founder of Honey & Co.
'I want to make everything in this beautiful book. An absolute treasure.' Rosie Birkett, author of The Joyful Home Cook
With photography from Elena Heatherwick, the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Photographer of the Year 2020
Marianna Leivaditaki is a natural storyteller. She grew up in Chania, on the Greek island of Crete, and spent her childhood helping out in the family-run taverna. After school, she carried around her blue notebook, writing down
all the recipes she would like to cook, helped by the Greek grannies' kitchen wisdom. Marianna's love for the food of her heritage flows off every page, but she also has a contemporary take on it. As head chef of Morito in Hackney, she has championed high-quality ingredients, presenting them in simple, stunning sharing plates, and has been critically acclaimed for doing so.
These inspirational recipes derive from the SEA, the LAND and the MOUNTAINS. We all know the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, fish and whole grains, as well as the importance
of how you eat and appreciate your food. Marianna offers achievable, yet delicious dishes celebrating seasonal, fresh food that you can take time to enjoy with friends and family.
In a standout debut, London chef Leivaditaki, who grew up working in her family's restaurant on Crete, writes with grace and passion about the region's cuisine. A recipe for octopus describes how its color will change to red and the sounds it will make as it cooks; and a mixture of parsley, tomatoes, and peppers to accompany lamb meatballs is chopped by hand "as finely as possible" it's "a bit messy but it's totally worth it." The author often looks beyond Cretan classics, but always has a sound reasoning for doing so: cured cod pastourma hails from Turkey, not Greece, but would fit in "at any traditional village caf with old men sipping on raki and bantering about the past," and she invented cuttlefish with anchovy and goat's milk curd upon returning from England in an effort to modernize the menu at her parents' restaurant. Humble ingredients are expertly transformed in dishes like thinly sliced potatoes layered with a paste of tomatoes, peppers, capers, and anchovies, and pork shoulder simmered with the herb malotira, typically used in the mountains of Crete to make tea. Desserts are similarly intriguing and free of gimmickry: crisp shards of phyllo, for instance, are incorporated into the batter for an orange cake. This fresh take on Aegean cuisine introduces a captivating new voice.