Adam Handling’s first cookbook, Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen, comes after his rise to fame as ‘favourite to win’ finalist in MasterChef: The Professionals 2013.
Published alongside the launch of his restaurant Adam Handling at Caxton at St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster, London, the book contains 87 recipes reflecting Adam’s ethos and attitude to cooking. Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen is all about exploring and combining taste profiles and flavours, creating balanced harmonious dishes with a real ‘wow’ factor. Adam explains; “This is a book for home cooks who, like me, really do give a damn about food.”
Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen is aimed at experienced cooks who are looking for a challenge and to stretch their culinary skill set. Many of the recipes within the book contain Japanese and South East Asian ingredients that reflect Adam’s much loved cooking style, and each dish has a scale out of ten that explains the balance of the five taste profiles; bitter, sweet, sour, salty and umami.
Adam’s food is all about big flavours, unusual combinations, immediate taste sensations and a touch of nostalgia, and with this at its core, Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen takes you on a journey through a special selection of spectacular starters, vegetable, fish and meat dishes and dessert and cake recipes, as well as the basics such as breads, oils and stocks. Recipes include a ‘Never-fail raspberry soufflé’, as well as Adam’s ‘Pork belly, octopus, squid and mussel consommé’, a dish that he cooked on Masterchef for Michel Roux Jr who summed up his distinctive cooking style as delivering ‘unexpected harmonies’.
This book was all about making sure the design and photography reflected the intricacies in Adam’s cooking. We went for a few double page shots to not only to allow for enough space for the longer and more complex recipes, but to really showcase the textures and colours of the dishes.
We also included a taste profile for every dish, with Adam’s insight into exactly how the dish should turn out alongside number scales indicating the flavour balance.
And although a few of the dishes are challenging, there is a comprehensive basics section and a glossary of terms that may be unknown to the more amateur home cook. As Adam says “I want to encourage self-progression, so feel free to change things. Add things, take them away, make dishes bigger and better, and you will be fine.”
Title: Smile Or Get Out Of The Kitchen
Hardcover: 224 pages