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About Eleanor Ford
Eleanor Ford writes about food with a sense of place.
Her latest book is The Nutmeg Trail, published in 2022.
Fire Islands, published in 2019, won the Guild of Food Writers Award for best International or Regional Cookbook 2020, the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award for best Food or Drink Book 2020 and two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020.
Her first book, Samarkand, was co-authored with Caroline Eden. It won the Guild of Food Writers Award for Food and Travel in 2017.
When not travelling and collecting recipes, Eleanor lives in London.
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Books By Eleanor Ford
For these are the original spice islands, whose fertile volcanic soil grows ingredients that once changed the flavour of food across the world. On today's noisy streets, chilli-spiked sambals are served with rich noodle broths, and salty peanut sauce sweetens chargrilled sate sticks. In homes, shared feasts of creamy coconut curries, stir-fries and spiced rice are fragrant with ginger, tamarind, lemongrass and lime. The air hangs with the tang of chilli and burnt sugar, citrus and spice. Eleanor Ford gives a personal, intimate portrait of a country and its cooking, the recipes exotic yet achievable, and the food brought to life by stunning photography.
Award-winning writer Eleanor Ford's recipes and stories explore how centuries of spice trading and cultural diffusion changed the world's cuisine. A unique and enlightening guide to cooking with spice, the book looks at their flavour profiles and how they can be used, combined and layered - how some bring sweetness, others fragrance, heat, pungency, sourness or earthiness.
There are 80 spice-infused recipes in this collection following the trails of ancient maritime trade through Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Iran and the Emirates. Eleanor combines historical research with a travel writer's eye and a cook's nose for a memorable recipe. Interwoven are stories that explore how spices from across the Indian Ocean - the original cradle of spice - have, over time, been adopted into cuisines around the world.
Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Food and Travel Award 2017
'This is a book to delight food lovers, travel hounds and history buffs alike.' The Telegraph
'As an armchair traveler, I was led by Caroline Eden's firsthand account of journeys to the Uzbek city of Samarkand and other exotic destinations, then lured into the kitchen by Eleanor Ford's fine recipes' New York Times
'A particularly expansive and ambitious example of the genre. Imagine a Lonely Planet guide to Uzbekistan and beyond, with a hundred recipes.' LA Times
'I am LOVING it! So interesting to see so many familiar but also lesser known recipes! Beautiful pictures too! Love the styling! Love it!' Sabrina Ghayour
Over hundreds of years, various ethnic groups have passed through Samarkand, sharing and influencing each other's cuisine and leaving their culinary stamp. This book is a love letter to Central Asia and the Caucasus, containing personal travel essays and recipes little known in the West that have been expertly adapted for the home cook. An array of delicious dishes will introduce the region and its different ethnic groups - Uzbek, Tajik, Russian, Turkish, Korean, Caucasian and Jewish - along with a detailed introduction on the Silk Road and a useful store cupboard of essential ingredients. Chapters are divided into Shared Table, Soups, Roast Meats & Kebabs, Warming Dishes, Pilavs & Plovs, Accompaniments, Breads & Doughs, Drinks and Desserts. 100 recipes are showcased, including Apricot & Red Lentil Soup, Chapli Kebabs with Tomato Relish, Rosh Hashanah Palov with Barberries, Pomegranate and Quince, Curd Pancakes with Red Berry Compote and the all-important breads of the region. And with evocative travel features like On the Road to Samarkand, A Banquet on the Caspian Sea and Shopping for Spices under Solomon's Throne, you will be charmed and enticed by this region and its cuisine, which has remained relatively untouched in centuries.