This is a very pretty cookbook with some interesting recipes, but not terribly doable for my life. If you live in or around Mallorca, this is probably a great cookbook. In fact, this is exactly the kind of cookbook I coveted 20 years ago. I received an ARC of this cookbook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Marc Fosh is a British expat chef who owns and runs a Michelin starred restaurant on Mallorca. Mallorca is blessed with many fresh local ingredient and the culinary history of the Mediterranean. The restaurant, Fosh, focuses on fresh local ingredients, which is commendable and exactly what he should do. I am landlocked in Texas, and while Austin has a good food scene, I don’t have easy access to a lot of the ingredients in this cookbook. The ingredients that I can access locally are quite pricey, and not likely to be fresh. This is my explanation for why I am breaking my rule about reviewing a cookbook without testing a couple of recipes.
Modern Mediterranean is an aspirational cookbook. If you have access to good quality ingredients and enjoy exploring cuisines, this would be a good cookbook for you. There are some interesting recipes in here and the way Fosh divides the cookbook by primary ingredient highlights the scope of how ingredients can be used to give different experiences. One caution I would add is that the recipes look like they are written by an experienced chef who is talking to experienced cooks. This can be a positive, because it encourages fearlessness and a willingness to experiment. I would suggest given the expense of most of the ingredients that you read through a recipe and think it through a few times before attempting. Fosh marches through the steps with speed and less experienced cooks might find themselves at a loss.
Not all of the recipes are complicated or out of reach for the average home cook. The Mediterranean Potato and Herb Salad looks lovely and refreshing and a creative dish to accompany a summer picnic. A Salad of Iberian Ham with Grilled Peaches, Hazelnuts and Goats’ Cheese Dressing is also simple to prepare, but combines flavors beautifully. I love grilled peaches and I like adding sweet and savory ingredients to salads.
Mostly this cookbook makes me want to travel to Mallorca. Finding the ingredients for a lot of these dishes here in Austin feels exhausting, but I can picture going to the markets in Palma and then going home to prepare Hake in a Lemon Coriander Crust with Red Pepper Aioli.