Caribbean food and the story of Levi Roots
If you treat this as first and foremost a cookery book, then you won't be disappointed. Full of traditional and exotic flavours and recipes that will set your mouth watering, it is a revelation to someone who has never really considered Caribbean cooking before.
The book suffers from a slight lack of organisation; fish dishes are mixed in with soups or perhaps a breakfast or starter dish and this can make it a little difficult to navigate - particularly if you're looking for something specific, like a main course or a dessert. But the dishes themselves are gorgeous, with some subtle spices and flavourings.
And there is so much more than just plain cooking going on in this book - it seems that all the stops have been pulled out: we have the life story of the author - Levi Roots, some quaint pictures of what one must assume are Jamaica, and you also have the possibility of downloading some of Roots' own music - not to mention the foreword by the inimitable Peter Jones (from Dragon's Den). With all this going on, you could be forgiven for feeling this was all a little try-hard - but fair play to him, if the food is up to scratch, why not?
This won't be one of the cookery books that you use on a regular basis (unless you have a particular fondness for Caribbean food), but to dip into now and again when you're looking for something that little bit different to serve guests or to treat the family to - this will work just fine.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012