Bryn comes from Denbigh in North Wales, where he grew up shooting and fishing, and working in a local bakery. His cooking career is impressive: In 1997 he began work under Marco Pierre White at The Criterion, went on to work under Michel Roux at Le Gavroche for three years, was senior-sous at The Orrery for four years and then moved to open Galvin at Windows with Chris Galvin, before opening Odette's for Vince Power in 2006. Bryn is now the Chef Patron of Odette's in Primrose Hill, taking over the property in the autumn of 2008.
The book is divided into the following sections:
I've been eating at the restaurants mentioned for some time, and must have eaten some of Bryn's food. I think I might also have met Bryn when he was at the Criterion, right at the beginning of his career - my mother-in-law was a strict vegan in those days, and the chef came out to find out exactly what she could and couldn't eat. The resulting meal was incredible she thought - in those days a vegan was invariably offered salad, a stuffed mushroom, or a pepper stuffed with rice.
There's a very pleasing combination of familiar dishes, such as lamb stew with rosemary dumplings, and a number of new and innovative combinations, such as Crab Cocktail with Cucumber and Lime Jelly - a much cleaner variation of the classic prawn cocktail. Another example is the Salt and Vinegar Cured Mackerel, with the fish curing in chardonnay vinegar - a softer variation of the citrus ceviche...
If you choose a section, crab for example, you'll be given 5 recipes using that ingredient. Three of the five recipes will be accompanied by a photograph of the completed dish, and Bryn will give his inspiration for the dish at the tope of the page. If you need some unusual equipment, it will be highlighted in the ingredients section.
The dishes I'd most like to eat are the Salt and vinegar cured mackerel, and the Crispy Black Pudding, Poached Hen's Egg & Fresh Peas.
Who's going to read it?
It's one of those books you can grab on a Saturday morning and knock something yummy up for brunch. It's also a good book for men, not too fussy, and full of big flavours.
You can buy Bryn's book on Amazon: