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‘Who would have thought it possible that Denis Cotter could supersede his unsurpassable Cafe Paradiso Cookbook? That book is, in our opinion, the greatest cookbook ever written by a working chef. But Mr Cotter has surpassed himself, and Paradiso Seasons is another classic text. Classic plus. So, what’s his secret? Well, like so many of those quiet guys, the ones whom you never suspect, Mr Cotter is a revolutionary, and also an intellectual. His method is to think and work like a deconstructionist: read the paragraphs on page 98, when he explains the origin for his Tomato Rasam, and you see a chef researching an age-old recipe and concept, then rebuilding it anew for himself. Cotter never leaves alone: his is a creative art, not an imitative one, so the sheer weight of ideas in this new book is exhilarating, especially in the – very witty – chapter on barbecued foods. Read this, reader, and you will abolish the steak and bangers from your barbie for ever; this is food for the Gods. As a culinary thinker, Denis Cotter is out on his own, and we are fortunate that in two classic books he has had the ability to describe, with precise, articulate prose, the creative and intellectual urges that make him the most original chef in the country. If this doesn’t win the Andre Simon, the Glenfiddich, the Guild of Food Writers and the James Beard awards, we will want to know why.’« go to reviews index