Friday, September 21, 2012


As much as I enjoy dining out I love home cooking with equal fervor.  Autumn conjures up images of cozy afternoons and delicious aromas emanating from oven or stove top.  As the leaves turn and the air cools I look to cookbooks for inspiration and comfort.

I would be remiss not to mention Victoria chef Mary Patterson's "Special Cookbook" which is chock full of drool worthy recipes.  The book contains sumptuous reproductions of still life paintings by artist Shawn Shepherd making it a feast for both eyes and soul.  Mary has deftly categorized the cookbook by ingredient, showcasing and transforming each into something marvelous.  My mouth waters over recipes such as golden cream and apple tart, carrots and lentils with smoked bacon, beet and tangerine salad, bbq duck and sweet chili pizza, pan roasted chicken with avocado and papaya and many more.

This book is the very definition of creative soul food.  If you are  an armchair cook you'll enjoy the clever anecodotes about each featured ingredient i.e. find out why Welsh soldiers carried leeks in their helmets or learn about the unique communication style of herring (hint: acronym FRT). 

We are very fortunate to have a bevy of talented cooks and chefs residing on Vancouver Island.  Special Cookbook gives you a chance to replicate some of the bounty at home.  Mary's recipes are meticulously laid out and easy to follow.  This book will appeal to both seasoned home cooks and kitchen novices alike.  

Special Cookbook is available at The Market on Yates and Polychrome Fine Arts.  This is an irresistible cookbook you will turn to again and again.  It would make a splendid gift for any enthusiastic home cook.

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