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The 2024 Blasta Books Series Is Coming

From putting the FUN into funky fermented foods to a Trinidad & Tobago meets Nigeria food mash-up, the 2024 Blasta Books series, with their inimitable, illustrated cookbooks, continues to promote new voices in food and showcase the culinary diversity found across Ireland.

In #9: FUNKY [January], Caitlin Ruth delves into the flavour profiles found in pickled foods to create  dishes that deliver on taste and texture, proving that funky foods are not just for jarring gluts but can elevate your favourite meals too. From 10-minute pickle projects, shortcuts for mass pickling, tips on  how to keep the crunch and inventive recipes using pickle juice, FUNKY shares inspiring and  surprising ways to use almost any fruit and vegetable. 

blasta books 2024

#10: WHOLE CATCH [April] introduces you to pioneering young chef Aishling Moore, a keen advocate for regenerative aquaculture and a promoter of the gill-to-fin approach. Cooking what the sea  dictates at her restaurant, Goldie, Aishling’s approach to using the whole ‘catch of the day’ has  gained her a loyal customer following, taught her how to plan a well-stocked larder in the event of  bad weather and be resourceful when it comes to foraging from the seabed. With step-by-step  instructions, buying and storage tips, Aishling introduces clear and innovative ways to clean, prepare and cook commonly found flat fish, round fish, shellfish, even tinned fish (!), converting even the  wariest and novice cook into a confident seafood handler. 

blasta books 2024

In #11: AGAK-AGAK [July], where food pivots between Chinese, Thai, Indian and Malay influences,  chef Sham Hanifa combines all the cuisines of his multicultural childhood to create his own personal  representation of the Malaysian society he grew up in. With recipes that pack in all the flavour of his  diverse heritage, Sham presents a fascinating food landscape that shows him to be an instinctively  clever and respectful chef and will encourage readers to dip into his easy and delicious Asian-style  dishes. 

blasta books 2024

Blasta Books’ final cookbook #12: SOCAFRO [October] is a mash-up of Alistair Jeje’s two favourite  types of music: the rhythmic beats of Soca from Trinidad & Tobago and the soulful lines of Afrobeat  from Nigeria. Reflecting Alistair’s dual heritage, this vibrant and uplifting cookbook is a journey  through Alistair’s childhood memories as well as the food served from his street food venture  Socafro Kitchen. Bridging the culinary gap between West Africa and the Caribbean, SOCAFRO shows  how fusing two major food influences can create dishes to delight and dance to, including a jollof  pilau, spicy Trini suya kebabs, a rich and cheesy Afro-Trini macaroni pie, and delightfully sweet and  crispy chin-chin tamarind balls.

blasta books 2024

Meet the authors:

Caitlin Ruth has been working in restaurant kitchens since she was  12 years old. Formerly head chef of Deasy’s Restaurant near  Clonakilty, West Cork, she hails from Dublin, New Hampshire in the  US and has called Ireland her home since 1992. Listed in McKennas’  100 Best, awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and recently named a  Munster Local Food Hero, she now has a food truck, Caitlin Ruth Food, that serves a menu driven by seasonal ingredients from West  Cork’s local growers and producers. @caitlinruthfood 

funky blasta books 2024

Aishling Moore is one of Ireland’s most exciting young chefs. Her fish restaurant, Goldie, has pioneered gill-to-fin cooking in Ireland. In 2019, Aishling was named Chef of the Year by John and Sally McKenna. Goldie achieved Michelin Bib Gourmand status in 2021 and in 2022 was awarded Best Casual Dining in Ireland 2022 by both Food & Wine Magazine and the Restaurant Association of Ireland. In 2023, Aishling was named Young Chef of the Year in the Food & Wine Awards and became deputy head of the Euro-Toques Ireland Food Council, an organisation that endeavours to preserve Irish culinary heritage by supporting traditional cooking methods and promoting producers of local and seasonal artisan products. @aishlingmoore 

blasta books 2024

Shamzuri (Sham) Hanifa is a multi-award winning chef, businessman and broadcaster. Originally from Malaysia, Sham moved to Carrick on-Shannon in County Leitrim, Ireland, in 2000 to begin a journey that would take him from general kitchen work to head chef and owner/co-owner of a number of establishments, including the Cottage Restaurant, My Kitchen by Sham Hanifa, Synergy Café, Buffalo Boy Steakhouse and the Chef Sham Sauces range. Sham appears regularly on Virgin Media One’s Six O’clock Show, where he demonstrates easy, Asian-style dishes. @sham__hanifa 

blasta books 2024

Alistair Jeje, affectionately known as JD, is the proud proprietor of Socafro Kitchen, a bustling street food venture in Waterford City offering an enticing fusion of Caribbean and Nigerian flavours. This culinary blend pays homage to  his roots: his mother hails from Trinidad and his father from Nigeria. The name Socafro comes from JD’s passion for two distinct music genres: the vibrant rhythms of Caribbean soca and the pulsating beats of Afro tunes. JD was born in England but his formative years were spent in Lagos, where his mother and sister introduced him to the world of cooking. JD believes that your true calling is what you can do effortlessly, and for him, cooking is just that. JD’s larger-than-life charisma is undeniably magnetic, and his radiant smile and treasured recipes lift up everyone who meets him and eats his food. @socafrokitchen

blasta books 2024
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