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Orient Express
Fast Food from the Eastern Mediterranean
Sivena Rowe; photography by Jonathan Lovekin

published 2012 • 7.75" x 9.5" • 188 pages • full-color photos
ISBN 9781566569187 • hardback • $30.00

"Highly recommended for readers looking to explore new spices."—Library Journal

More Reviews »

Orient Express is for busy cooks who want a touch of the light, beautiful cuisine of the eastern Mediterranean.

Following her acclaimed Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume, Silvena Rowe turns her focus to the delicious small dishes that you would find in the bustling street markets of Damascus or Istanbul —koftes, falafels and pilafs—as well as delicious puddings such as vanilla baklava, and chocolate and pistachio mousse.

In this treasure trove of a book she presents 100 light, enticing new recipes, perfectly balanced for mezze-style summer meals. This is a cuisine both for celebrating and for sharing: Ottoman-inspired food, based around stunning combinations of sweet and sour—honey and cinnamon, saffron and sumac—and given a brilliant modern twist by one of the most exciting chefs working today.

Silvena Rowe has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the foods and culinary traditions of the eastern Mediterranean. Her cooking is light and the presentation of her dishes is elegant and sophisticated, while the flavors are powerful and the textures balanced. Her enthusiasm for the food of her heritage is evident on every page.

Silvena Rowe is a London-based food writer, cookbook author and celebrated chef. She is the Chef Patron of The May Fair Hotel, where, her new flagship restaurant Quince has opened its doors in the spring of 2011. Silvena's first book, The Eastern and Central European Kitchen, won a prestigious Glenfiddich Food and Drink award, and in 2010 Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume won the Gourmand award for the best book on Mediterranean cuisine. She is also an established and distinctive TV presence, making regular appearances on the hugely popular BBC program Saturday Kitchen and ITV's This Morning. In addition, she was a judge on BBC Young Chef of the Year 2010.

With a love of cooking instilled in her by her Turkish father and by her upbringing in the ancient city of Plovdiv, just 500 km from the ancient Ottoman capital of Constantinople, Silvena is uniquely placed to enthuse the widest possible audience of food lovers and travelers with her passion for the best of the eastern Mediterranean kitchen.

Media Reviews

Orient Express combines no-fuss, speedy recipes with unusual combinations that are showcased through fantastical sounding chapters – Emerald spice & Gold dust (Za’atar and Saffron), Fire & Noble Velvet (Chilli and cumin) to Exotic Perfume & Delicate fragrances (Cinnamon and flowers). These combinations of sweet and sour all pay homage to her Bulgarian and Turkish heritage and showcase flavour profiles to make your palate sing.”—Hello! magazine

“…the inspiration for Orient Express came from the street foods of Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep, Beirut, Damascus and Aleppo…Each chapter is based on a coalescence of flavours…This structure enables one to combine a selection of diversely spiced dishes into an impressive banquet…Alternatively you could also serve a selection of one or two dishes with drinks. Either way Rowe’s recipes are brilliant for entertaining family and friends.”—Readings

Orient Express…presents recipes for small plates that are organized by key flavours and ingredients rather than course… In adapting the traditional recipes, Rowe used less fat and oil, changed the techniques slightly to suit today’s home cooks, and shortened the cooking times…Rowe’s enthusiasm for the region comes through both in conversation and on the pages of her books. She emphasizes that she focused on flavours in Orient Express because she finds them so evocative.”—

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