How to navigate the pantry

The Modern Pantry, by Anna Hansen (Ebury Press, RRP $69.99):

Chef Anna Hansen may have been born in Canada, but we’ll do what we poke the borax at the Aussies for doing, and claim her as our own since she grew up in our fair country.

She has made quite a name for herself in London during her time as a pastry chef and as one of the founders of the award-winning Providores restaurant with three others, including fellow Kiwi chef Peter Gordon.

Since then, she has gone on to open her own London restaurant, the Modern Pantry, which is known for its original Asian and Pacific Rim style of food.

And now she has produced this fantastic cookbook, showing readers how navigate their own “modern pantry”.

The recipes marry zesty Thai soups with crab dishes, colourful salads, unusual ingredients and a good dollop of fun.

She doesn’t stick to any one style of food, instead offering up an amazing collection of options that will give you plenty of ideas.

She also provides a spot of inspiration for a kitchen makeover to boost the range of pantry staples you use.

This is one of those books I’ll be dipping into for a while and there are some recipes in here that are now already part of my “dazzle ’em with my kitchen brilliance” repertoire: the avocado, feta and pecan salad is amazing, and I was impressed at how co-operative the roast-peanut pannacotta turned out to be.

It’s not the cheapest cookbook out there, but it’s original, inspiring and good value.

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