A TV producer and director, Tamasin Day-Lewis first came to food-writing promenance with with her strikingly evocative 'West of Ireland Summers', a cookbook and memoir of her childhood summers in County Mayo with her family - father poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis and her brother, acclaimed actor Daniel Day Lewis. Since then she has published a comprehensive selection of cookbooks, and 'Tamasin's Kitchen Classics' is the latest in a useful series that also includes 'The Art of the 'Tart', 'Good Tempered Food' and 'Tamasin's Kitchen Bible'.
Images of Day-Lewis grubbing about the farm with the pigs and dog or stationed over her Aga, pepper mill in blurred action, sit comfortably beside her recipes for substantial and comforting country dishes from around the world. There's Beef and Baraolo Stew from Italy, American imports (Auntie Fei's Sour Cream Coffee Cake, New England Clam Chowder), Asian influences (Sea Bass Baked with Lemongrass and Dill, Parippu or Spiced Lentils) and old-fashioned dishes, such as Rack of Wild Boar in Mustard and Marjoram Paste, Slow-Roasted Pears and Quinces in Red Wine.
A common thread running through Day-Lewis' books concerns her strong ideas on the provenance of ingredients. As she says in her introduction, "no amount of tinkering with inferior ingredients will produce a good result," and she duly highlights many of the suppliers that she uses, encouraging the reader to seek out their own equivalents. With tempting pictures from David Loftus of dishes like Steak au Poivre, Butternut Squash and Crottin de Chavignol Tart or Figs in Red Wine with Raspberries, Day-Lewis' informative text and her easily prepared recipes, 'Tamasin's Kitchen Classics' is a cookbook that will live happily in your kitchen this winter.