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10 new cooking skills to learn in The Artisan Kitchen

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 22 January 2021

If you’ve got a little more time on your hands and are looking to pass the hours by expanding your breadth of kitchen skills, The Artisan Kitchen is the cookbook to know. Author James Strawbridge is a chef, sustainable living expert and TV presenter will arm you with the scientific understanding and practical know-how to help you master the basics of creating all of your favourite artisanal products at home, from sourdough to sausages. With step-by-step illustrated guides and fascinating insight into the processes behind the produce, you’ll soon become more self-sufficient in the kitchen and will stock your cupboards and fridge in the process. Here are just ten of the different projects you can try when you pick up your copy of The Artisan Kitchen.

From the book

James Strawbridge

Make your own marmalade

Make the most of citrus season with James’ guide to mastering what he describes as a rite of passage for any cook: learning to make jam. By first exploring the basic science behind the making of preserves and then moving on to step-by-step instructions to achieving the perfect set and perfumed flavour, you’ll be left with a cupboard full of fire-toned marmalade to see you through to spring.

Turn your favourite fruit (and veg!) into a curd

Thought curd was a happy destiny reserved only for lemons? Think again. James will teach you to master the basics of a curd and then apply your new knowledge to your favourite fruits and even vegetables. Think cardamom-infused carrot curd sandwiched between the layers of your favourite carrot cake. Perfect for using up a glut of leftover produce.

Learn to brew kombucha

Spending half your wages on kombucha at your local health food shop? Why not try to make your own batch of this fermented tea. Once you’ve completed your first batch, you’ll be left with a SCOBY, or “mother”, a cellulose disc that ferments the base drink that can be used to start new batches. You’ll soon be a one-person kombucha factory.

Create kefir

In the chapter dedicated to making your own dairy products, you’ll find James’ guide to creating your own kefir, the ever-popular tangy cultured milk packed with beneficial bacteria. Enjoy straight from the bottle or with your favourite granola or cereal. 

Preserve your own biltong

Using the technique of dehydration, James will show you how to make your own biltong, a South African snack of dried steak marinated in spices and vinegar. Once you’ve got the basic approach down, you can use the same method to preserve many other meats.

Fill your fridge with feta-style cheese

Learn about the science of cheese making and turn your new-found understanding and a few basic ingredients into a block of perfectly crumbly feta-inspired cheese.

 Bake your daily bread

A whole chapter in The Artisan Kitchen is dedicated to the science (and art) of bread making. From explaining the basics of wild yeast fermentation to helping you get going with your sourdough starter and make your first loaf, the chapter also includes the likes of flatbreads and focaccia to help you expand your bread making repertoire.

Get James’ recipe for sourdough here.

Cure your way to gravlax

Included in the chapter on curing, you’ll find a recipe for beetroot-cured gravlax, a twist on the Scandinavian classic that’ll add a touch of fancy to your scrambled eggs and salmon. 

Make your own chorizo

Learn to make this classic Spanish charcuterie and make your next tapas feast artisanal triumph.

Smoke your own brisket

Master the technique of hot smoking to create a deeply-flavoured brisket, rubbed in aromatic spices and smoked over charcoal and wood chips to create that irresistible hickory-smoked flavour.

From the book

James Strawbridge


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