Food: food insanity brilliance & love: A review


Bursting onto the food scene with a brilliant first edition is the celebratory and utterly beautiful collection of food and wine essays edited by Lotta Jörgensen and Per-Anders Jörgensen and bound together in a magazine called Fool.

From the minute you see the expressive cover photo of chef Magnus Nilsson wearing a thick fur coat, set starkly on a black background, the magazine reels you in.

In their introduction called Food memories the editors say:

In a world where time has become a luxury, Fool does things differently. We allow ourselves to reflect, understand and take our time. We want to inspire our readers and tell stories that only appear if you look a little bit closer.

The articles provide a rare insight into the thoughts of some of the world’s most exciting chefs and some of the most exciting winemakers.

A feature article by Tara Stevens with photographs by Per-Anders on the wonderful Mugaritz restaurant just outside San Sebastian resonated with us. We loved the introduction where they visited during a time when the restaurant was closed for winter but 60 staff were working diligently and one was collecting primulas and dandelions from a nearby field because as the head of the R&D kitchen, Oswaldo Oliva (who also contributed a story on Mexican paletas) said ‘when you have been at Mugaritz for a while, you come to understand that a flower is a far greater luxury than a lobster’.

This accords with some of the best meals we have had over the last decade at places such as Mugaritz, Michel Bras, Noma, Per Se, Attica, Loam, Garagistes, Bentley Restaurant and Bar, Momofuku Ko, Septime, the Royal Mail, The Stackings and Commonwealth where huge slabs of protein rarely feature, but vegetables are revered and take centre stage.

Another article and accompanying art and photography that appealed was the 21 page paean to natural wines by two of the world’s leading exponents of the movement, author Alice Feiring and sommelier Linda Violago. Alice is the author of two immensely popular books on the subject and Linda who originally was sommelier at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago has been sommelier at some of the world’s leading natural wine restaurants including Mugaritz, then the short-lived Trio in Malmo, then In der Wulf in Belgium, then at Geranium in Copenhagen (which has one of the most interesting natural wine lists on the planet) and now a consultant sommelier.

The natural winemakers featured include Champagne superstars Pascal Doquet and Bertrand Gautherot, Albarino specialist Todd Blomberg from Galicia in Spain, Hans Beckmeyer who produces the stunning La Clarine Farm wines in California, Gloria Garriga from Els Jelipins in Spain, Olivier Cousins from the Loire and Frank Cornelissen, a Belgian who now lives in Sicily on the slopes of Mt Etna. The artwork that accompanies each of the descriptions of these winemakers is exceptional.

Another article that caught our attention was a photographic essay of Peter Blombergsson photographed and written by the editors. Peter supplies ducks to the famous Fäviken Magasinet restaurant that is run by Magnus Nilsson in northern Sweden. (We were lucky enough to attend a dinner cooked by him in Australia last year.) This is an amazing piece! In a few sparse words they have captured the essence of the care that goes into tending the ducks that are supplied to the nearby restaurant. The photographic essay showing only the heads of five of the ducks is an exemplar of the art form which captures the very spirit of these gorgeous creatures.

A story by Andrea Petrini about the search for bitterness by Paolo Lopriore the chef at the upmarket hotel, Certosa di Maggiano in Tuscany made us want to jump on a plane and head straight there!

And, of course, we must mention the 24 page piece on Attica chef Ben Shewry that resulted from the recent visit to Australia by the editors. We were delighted to see the attention paid to this talented chef and we just loved the photo of the native fruits that are now being grown for Attica by an aboriginal community in South Australia.

There are also articles about Rene Redzepi and one by the very talented Massimo Bottura and a survey of Derek Jarman’s garden in remote Dungeness.

We can’t finish without commenting on the fact that they even provided space to wine writer Bruce Palling to pen a ‘diatribe’ (his word) against the natural wine movement.

Fool is unique. Fool does not follow convention. Fool is delightful to dip into for inspiration and information. We will be fascinated to follow the journey it has embarked upon.

Fool magazine is available from:

AUSTRALIA: Books for Cooks, Melbourne

CANADA: The Cookbook Store, Toronto

CHINA: The Door, Hong Kong

DENMARK: Manfreds No 1, Copenhagen

THE NETHERLANDS: Athenaeum Boekhandel, Amsterdam

SWEDEN: Saltimporten Canteen, Malmö

SWEDEN: Solde Kaffebar, Malmo

SWEDEN: Très Bien Shop, Malmo

SWEDEN: Paper Cut, Stockholm

USA:  Kitchen Arts & Letters, New York


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Our book recommendation

We recommend the excellent and entertaining book by Alice Feiring who is one of the foremost writers on natural wines.