This week’s cookbook’s a real cracker, a 500+ pager must-have for lovers of food and those wishing to get back to the fundamentals of cooking as our grandparents knew it – The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans.

Matthew is the Gourmet Farmer, in the television series on Food Network. You’ll see him on his small holding in Tasmania, turning home-reared meat into prosciutto, shaving fresh black truffles on anything he can find and turning milk from his cow into butter, yoghurt and cheese. It’s all about food without the middle man.

Matthew was originally a chef by trade, trained in Canberra, Australia. He has worked in Sydney and Melbourne as a food and restaurant critic.

In The Real Food Companion he shows us how to source, ethically, cook and eat real food. With a huge range of recipes, the book outlines everything you need to know in order to navigate today’s complex food world.  The book will appeal to dedicated foodies as well as novice cooks looking for a reliable and up-to-date kitchen companion.

It answers questions you may never have thought to ask;

  • What is “bred free-range” pork, and why isn’t it actually free-range?
  • Is veal cruel?
  • Why you should chop the green tops of your baby carrots the minute you get them home.

The Real Food Companion is the result of three years’ research and a lifetime’s worth of obsession with food. There are over 200 recipes, and chapters are organized so you can dip in and out of topics at will.

Chapters cover: dairy, grains, pulses and flours, poultry and eggs, meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, wild food, nuts, olives and oils, and sweet foods.  Each chapter begins with an overview on the subject of the chapter.

Recipes include, braised lamb shanks with tomato and cumin; slow roasted pork belly; braised chicken with peas and artichokes; asparagus with boiled lemon butter; steak and kidney pie; the perfect roast leg of lamb; roasted tomato sauce; and apple pudding with brandy cream, to name but a few. Loads of photographs and lots of advice.

The Real Food Companion is a reminder of what food and cooking is really about, exploring the fundamental principles of good food production – know your growers and producers, be prepared to put your money on the table to buy decent food, grown naturally without chemicals, your guide to improving the food you put on the table everyday.

This is a book to make you want to cook.

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 R427,50 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R475)! Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School subscribers 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 R47,50

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.