Daniel Clifford, two Michelin starred chef at his riverside restaurant Midsummer House in Cambridge and TV regular, publishes his first book on June 21st – Midsummer’s Day. Part autobiography, and part cookbook, ‘Out of my Tree – Midsummer House’ is a warts and all account of the pressures and triumphs of his 20 years in the hospitality industry; a brutally honest account of his life story, and a tribute to the distinctive style and sophistication of his dishes.
Out of My Tree tells the story of how Daniel went from being a dyslexic child from a broken home to one of the best chefs in the country.
“I have been a chef most of my life. It’s almost all I know. It’s made me the man I am today – good and bad, happy and sad, right and wrong. This is the story of how I went from someone who no-one thought would amount to anything to a chef with two Michelin stars and a business I am fiercely proud of,” says Daniel.
Published by Meze Publishing, at 416 pages, and a large format hardback, this is a book to do justice to someone who makes two-Michelin starred cooking the standard. RRP is £45 and the book is available at the Midsummer House restaurant and online at www.midsummerhouse.co.uk.
Revealing a man who even cancelled his own wedding to work, there are no stories missed out or punches pulled – whether it’s discovering what life is like working under a chef like Marco Pierre White in his heyday, uncovering the bully boy tactics of a 1990s British kitchen or discussing his failed relationships, Daniel bares all. The book delves into his childhood and how his unsettled background drove him to make the most of his talent for cooking, as well as unpicking how those early years in some of the most brutal kitchens in the country turned him into the uncompromising chef he is today.
And while Daniel has mellowed with age as he spends more time with his five daughters, the things that drove him forward in the first place – a fear of stagnating and the need for drama and conflict – are the things that still drive him to this day.
It features over 140 recipes right from the early days of Midsummer House in the late ‘90s through garnering two Michelin stars and the success of the tasting menu through to the very latest recipes the restaurant is serving today. The recipes run alongside the story, chronologically, and reveal how his style has developed and become more refined over the years. Classic recipes include the 17 Pan Lamb from 1999, and Veal Kidneys recipes from both 2000 and 2004. Daniel’s modern recipes include his Pommes Soufflé, Sour Cream and Chive from 2012, and Lychee, Yogurt and Rose Artichoke from 2016.
Daniel counts Tom Kerridge and Sat Bains as two of his closest friends and is widely regarded in industry circles as one of the country’s most revered chefs, having won the Chefs’ Chef of the Year at the 2015/16 AA Awards.
As Sat Bains puts it: “Midsummer House is Daniel’s open love letter to gastronomy; a letter of heartache, pain, sorrow, absolute elation and joy that you’d have to be f****ing nuts to endure. He’s proven that we all need goals and if we work hard enough we can achieve anything. I look at this as a chapter in his life that he can now reflect on, and the openness and intimate detail he goes into in this book is a joy to read.”