Fergus Henderson caused something of a sensation when he opened his restaurant St John in London in 1995. Set in a former smokehouse near Smithfield meat market, its striking, high-ceilinged white interior provides a dramatic setting for food of dazzling boldness and simplicity.
As signalled by the restaurant’s logo of a pig (reproduced on the cover of Nose to Tail Eating) and appropriately given the location, at St John the emphasis is firmly on meat. And not the noisettes, fillets, magrets and so forth of standard restaurant portion-control, all piled up into little towers in the middle of the plate: Henderson serves up the inner organs of beasts and fowls in big, exhilarating dishes that combine high sophistication with peasant roughness.
Nose to Tail Eating is a collection of these recipes, celebrating, as the title implies, the thrifty rural British tradition of making a delicious virtue of using every part of the animal.
This new edition, beautifully redesigned, comes with an introduction by Anthony Bourdain.