{Book Review} Food for Friends by Edward Hayden

Update...The winner of Food for Friends by Edward Hayden is...Evelyn Corry.
Congratulations Evelyn, your new cookbook will be making its way to you soon.
I have quite an extensive collection of cookbooks, scattered on different shelves throughout my house. Admittedly some are much more utilised than others. I like recipes that have a straight-forward method which include ingredients that are easily sourced. One book which I have enjoyed cooking from, in the past couple of years, is Edward Hayden’s Food to Love, hence I was very much looking forward to the release of Edward’s latest book, Food for Friends. I certainly wasn't disappointed. The book is centred on entertaining at home, catering for such events as dinner parties, summer barbecues, movie nights in, and so much more. It’s a fantastic book which would make a wonderful addition to any family’s cookbook collection. You will be familiar with Edward from his weekly cookery slot on Ireland Am and his recipes are also regularly featured in national publications. I'd the pleasure of cooking with Edward live on Ireland Am and at Taste of Dublin in 2011. Edward is an absolute gentleman and his personality shines through the recipe introductions and the ‘handy hints’ in Food for Friends. A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to interview Edward and find out a little more about the man behind all of these marvellous recipes. 

Do you come from a foodie family?

To a certain extent I suppose I do. Perhaps not in the modern way we understand the 'foodie' but definitely good quality home cooking of well-chosen and sourced ingredients was of paramount importance to my mother as we were all growing up. She was a very typical Irish 'mammy' at the time and baked every day-bread, scones, buns (no one made cupcakes in those days!!) and cakes as well as big pots of stew, meat pie, home-made soup and roasted chickens.

What's your earliest food memory?

My uncles lived in the UK when we were small and my grandmother used to go and visit them every year and on one such occasion as she returned I thought it would be a great idea to bake her a cake. At the time we had a snow white solid fuel Rayburn cooker. We also had a big blue tupperware bowl, into which I put some flour, sugar and egg and mixed well. I then place the blue bowl on top of the aforementioned cooker to allow it to cook as I went off to play. The 'cake' never baked and the cooker was never the same again! Good intentions though!

When did you first realised that you wanted to cook professionally?

I worked in the Duiske Inn, Graignamanagh when I was in school and did all catering jobs there. I washed everything from the glasses to the plates and from the toilets to the potatoes and grew a great respect and understanding for the hospitality industry and could see that it was the industry for me.

Who's the most famous person you've ever cooked for?

Brian O Driscoll. I’ve also cooked for my favourite singer Sandy Kelly.

Have you any favourite cookbooks?
I have an addiction to cookery books, like so many other food enthusiasts so I have quite an extensive collection of books by various authors. Mary Berry, Delia Smith and Darina Allen all have books that I seem to call upon again and again.

What other food personalities do you admire?

I think that Darina Allen has a great level of culinary integrity and i always enjoy her as she extols the virtues of traceability, seasonality and 'fuss free cooking'. I think she is one of those people in the industry who says what she would like to do, then she does it...and believes in it!

This is your third cookbook. I love that it based around home entertaining. Was it difficult to decide on a theme/angle for the book? 

There are so many books out there that it is always difficult to come up with a slant. For me it came sort of naturally as the brand that I have been building is that of 'Edward Entertains' so we just picked a whole series of different occasions which would require catering and chosen some complementary recipes for each chapter.

Asian Crusted Salmon{pg 157}..Scrumptious!
Have you a favourite recipe from Food for Friends? 

Hot & Spicy Beef Curry. I don't make it that often but when I do I really enjoy it with a long cool beer!

When and where do you do most of your book writing?

I do all of my writing in my office at home and mostly late into the night. I am a bit of a night owl and find that I get quite a lot done in the hours of darkness. Daytime is nigh time in our house!

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering a career in food?

Ohhh…So much advice.
Work hard and work your way up through the different sections.
Be nice to EVERYBODY-You catch more flies with a spoon of honey than with a jar of vinegar.
Believe in yourself and never ever compromise on your own values and what you believe to be true.
At all times be yourself-that’s unique and special enough-no need to play make believe.

Many television chefs have their own restaurants. Is this something that would appeal to you in the future? 

Not at the minute. I am currently working on developing my own 'Edward Entertains Cookery School' which hopefully will open in late spring 2013.

What will be keeping you busy in the coming months?

Getting the cookery school sorted, continuing my weekly slots of TV3 Ireland AM, my fortnightly cookery column with Woman’s Way Magazine and ...Getting a tan!!
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Here I am with Edward at Taste of Dublin 2011.

Food for Friends by Edward Hayden is out now in hardback priced €24.99. It's available from all good bookshops and on www.obrien.ie. The lovely photo of Edward and the Asian Salmon photo were kindly provided to me by The O' Brien Press. 

I have one copy of Food for Friends to give away to one lucky reader. The good people at The O' Brien Press will post worldwide, so everyone is in with a chance. All you have to do to enter the give-away is leave a comment below. All names will be popped into the hat and the winner will be picked at random. Please ensure that I have some way to contact you. Thanks and best of luck! 


Kat said...

Would love this. Should prob not enter as I have a shelving unit heaving under the weight of cookbooks but can't resist another!!

line said...

Dying to have a peek at his new cookbook. Winning it would be even better ! Fingers crossed

Nicola Bishop said...

Count me in!
Nicola Bishop
Twitter - @bishop_nic

Unknown said...

Love Edward Hayden's cooking on Ireland AM and would certainly love to win his new cook book "Food for Friends". I'm sure I'd loads of ideas and tips from it. Should I be so lucky you can find me on facebook under the name Evelyn Corry where I've liked and shared your post :)

Lisa said...

Hi Nessa & Edward I'd also love to win this book,really enjoyed his last book, looked lots out of it! Thank you!!

Gillian said...

My mum gave me his food to love book at Christmas to bring back to the US with me and I've used it so many times. I would love his new book!! His recipes are so easy to follow and super tasty!!

Unknown said...

You can never have enough cookbooks and this sounds lovely, great interview too. Please count me in! Nollaig.

Unknown said...

Would love this please

cb said...

Would love a copy,have tried a few of his recipes & all were good!

Julie F said...

I can't pass up a chance for a new cookery book. I take mine to bed with me like other people take novels.

Rita said...

Me too! Would love it!

Caitriona said...

Bought your cookbook today! V impressed!

Joan said...

Just on time I hope!!! Love cook books!

Peggy said...

Would love to add a newcookbook to my ever growing collection! Edward is fab!

Fairy thimbles said...

Ooh! Would like this book! Good luck to me!!

Smbumblebee said...

Loved Edward on Ireland AM, he's so passionate about food and his recipes look so tasty! Would love to win his book :)