Many South Africans will say that beef is a birthright.  We have some of the best beef in the world, and yet unfortunately much of what we eat is tasteless, due to the fact that a lot of it comes from feedlots, pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, grown fast for maximum profit as opposed to slow, naturally grown for maximum flavor.

Our cookbook of the week, Hawksmoor at home, is not just a cookery book. It’s history book, instruction manual and love letter to truly good beef, rolled into one.  Hawksmoor the restaurant, has become a genuine phenomenon in the UK.

The first Hawksmoor opened in Spitalfields on the site of an old Turkish grill. It turned out to have no planning permission for use as a restaurant, and then their bank loan collapsed. Their chef ran away so on opening day they had no food. Yet from this they have crafted a well oiled restaurant empire.

Their menu focuses on beef – the finest steaks, burgers and roasts – with simply prepared seafood, distinctly British puddings and an award-winning cocktail list. Hawksmoor at Home: Meat, Seafood, Sides, Breakfasts,  Puddings, Cocktails (the books full title) is a lavish celebration of Hawksmoor’s recipes and an insight into the enthusiasm and passion that go into creating great food and drink. And to accompany it all, there are some great sketches and photographs that verge on food pornography.

When we started out we had a simple plan – to open the best steak restaurant in London. We travelled the world searching for the perfect steak, but discovered that beef from traditional breeds, reared the old-fashioned way right here in Britain, and cooked simply over real charcoal, packed more flavour than anything we tried on our travels,” says Richard Turner.

The critics have hailed Hawksmoor as one of the great restaurant openings of recent years. Their credo is simple: the best ingredients – dictionary-thick steaks from Longhorn cattle traditionally reared in North Yorkshire by multi-award-winners, The Ginger Pig, dry-aged for at least 35 days, simply cooked on a real charcoal grill.

For anyone who enjoys a really good food read, this book is a must, giving a very thought provoking insight into what makes a truly good meal.

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R392 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R460)  Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%, a total saving of R68.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients. We’ve just launched a new and exciting class, Wickedfood Master Cook. Think Master Chef with a fun twist.