It was in Paris that food writer and blogger, Katrina Meynink, first got a taste for the bistronomy movement. “I kept having these mind-blowing meals all over the city,” she says. “Food that sat between the traditional overblown tourist bistro meal and the throat-constricting, wallet-evacuating Michelin environment.”
Her latest cookbook, called simply Bistronomy, seeks to capture the spirit of this new wave of cuisine. The idea is to embrace fine dining at its best, while rejecting the traditional high-end restaurant setting. Meynink defines the style as ranging from beautifully sophisticated to dishes as homey as a dent in the couch.
Embracing the diversity of the movement, the book brings together more than 100 recipes from chefs around the world, including a host of Australian talent.
Meynink talks excitedly about the recipes shared by local chefs. “Ryan Squires’ air-dried beef and kimchi is something I could eat all day long,” she says. Josh Murphy from Moon Under Water dishes up an artichoke soup with scallops, which Katrina says, “is not only a flavour bomb, but pure artistry on the plate.”
Another favourite is from Sydney’s Sixpenny. It’s the restaurant’s signature fennel strawberries with strawberry granita and sour cream. “It tastes so good it should be illegal.”
Other notable recipes come from chefs Karl Firla of Sydney’s Oscillate Wildly, Beau Vincent from Subo in Newcastle, and Victorian chefs Scott Pickett of The Estelle and Matt Germanchis from Pei Modern, among others.
Flicking through the pages of delicately plated duck confit, smoked eel, steamed oysters and venison tartare, home cooks may feel slightly out of their league. But Meynink emphasises Bistronomy is not just a chef’s cookbook. “Yes, some recipes are daunting, but others are very, very simple with only a few ingredients,” she says. “The mix of recipes is broad so it caters to a range of cooks and food fiends.”
Bistronomy is available at all good book stores and online at allenandunwin.com