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Blasta Books Announces Line-Up for 2023

After launching the first series of Blasta Books via a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign in 2021, publisher Kristin Jensen has revealed the next four books in the quarterly series for 2023.

  • Blasta Books #5: Soup by Blanca Valencia, Dee Laffan and Mei Chin (Jan 2023)
  • Blasta Books #6: Tapas by Anna Cabrera and Vanessa Murphy (April 2023)
  • Blasta Books #7: Wasted by Conor Spacey (July 2023)
  • Blasta Books #8: Masarap by Richie Castillo and Alex O’Neill (Oct 2023)

Blasta Books are to cookbooks what street food is to restaurants,’ says publisher Kristin Jensen. ‘They give people a fun, accessible and affordable way to eat exciting food.’

She continues, ‘The success of our first series – TacosHot FatThe United Nations of Cookies and Wok – shows that there is a real appetite for more stories and more types of food. These books are literally the voices, faces and food of modern Ireland and we are proud to publish them.’

Each book is a hardcover, 72-page A5 cookbook illustrated by Dublin artist Nicky Hooper. They are all standalone books, but as a quarterly series they also provide a more inclusive snapshot of Ireland’s modern and diverse food culture, from tacos to tapas, spice bags to sushi. They are little books with big voices.

All the books are now available to pre-order on, either individually or as a series bundle.  @blastabooks 


Blasta Books Dee Laffan (left), Mei Chin (centre), Blanca Valencia (right)_photographer credit Melanie Mullan
Blasta Books Dee Laffan (left), Mei Chin (centre), Blanca Valencia (right)_photographer credit Melanie Mullan

Blanca Valencia (right) is a cook, writer, speaker and podcaster. Born in Spain, she grew up in Central America and has lived and worked in the UK, China, France, Argentina, the US and now Ireland. She has a Grand Diplôme from London’s Le Cordon Bleu and an MA in Gastronomy from TU Dublin. Blanca passionately believes in diversity and education through food. @blancsvalencia

Dee Laffan (left) is a freelance journalist and editor with over 15 years’ experience in the areas of food, drink and travel. Her business also includes digital content consultancy, working with clients from the hospitality industry to create and manage digital strategies, content and social media. Dee’s passion for Irish food has led her to many roles and she is a proud member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild. @deelaffan

Mei Chin (centre) is a writer who was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, grew up in Connecticut and lived in New York City and hence likes to think of herself as a tri-state lady. She now lives in Dublin. Mei was the 2005 winner of the James Beard MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award as well as the IACP Bert Greene Journalism Award for Best Culinary Writing in 2010 and 2013. She has also taught food writing at Yale University. @jiemeimeichin

Blanca, Dee and Mei are all co-hosts of the award-winning Spice Bags podcast. @spicebagspod

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