Chef Michael Rantissi and his partner Kristy Frawley have always loved cookbooks; their combined collection totals more than 100. The couple can now add another to the collection with the release of their very own, entitled Falafel for Breakfast. The cookbook comes off the back of their own success in the restaurant business with two immensely popular venues; Kepos Street Kitchen in Redfern and the more recently opened Kepos & Co. in Waterloo.
The extensive 255-page offering is big and bold, printed on heavy parchment paper with a matte finish. Sumptuously photographed by Alan Benson and Jane Hann, the book has more than 130 recipes ranging from simple breads and dips to more complex lunch and dinner ideas. The idea came from the inspiration Rantissi felt sitting at home as a child in Tel Aviv watching his mother cook for the family.
Fans of Middle Eastern cuisine will love thumbing through the pages. Highlights include herb and potato latkes with poached eggs and turkey; stuffed spatchcocks with lamb and pine nuts; chewy pistachio slice and layered kataifi with mascarpone and fresh berries. Menu highlights from both Kepos restaurants are also included, such as a lamb kefta burger with harissa relish and kohlrabi slaw from Kepos & Co.
“We had to be very selective with our choice of recipes for the cookbook,” Rantissi says. “We had ideas for over 300 recipes, so we had to take the emotion out when deciding what to include.” In addition to his family recipes, he’s included a series of feasts sprinkled throughout the book.
“These recipes are great for sharing,” says Frawley, who works closely with Serge Dansereau at The Bathers’ Pavilion as well as on both Kepos venues, and the dishes are easily adaptable if, “an extra two friends are invited to dinner”.
Adaptation is a common thread throughout the book, with Rantissi reinforcing that people shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the recipes or Middle Eastern ingredients. “It’s easy to swap or leave ingredients out if you can’t find them,” he says. An impressive drinks section is also included with a host of teas, cocktails and juices.
Falafel for Breakfast is published by Murdoch Books and is available online and in all good bookstores.