Michael Caines' extraordinary talent for cooking has earned his restaurant at Gidleigh Park hotel two Michelin stars, as well as numerous other awards. His passion for great food shines through in his many television appearances and now, more then ever, in his first ever recipe book, Michael Caines at Home.
Obsessed with cookery books as we are, when The Happy Foodie had a chance to chat to Michael, talk turned to his own cookbook collection. It turns out Michael has a veritable library of incredible books covering every aspect of cookery. He even let us take a photo to share with you (a cook's #shelfie, if you like). Can you spot any of your own favourites on these packed shelves?
Here, Michael talks us through the highlights of his collection and celebrates his food hero, Raymond Blanc.
If you could only keep three cookery books from your collection, which would they be and why?
Anything by Bernard Louiseau, because I had such a fantastic time in France working with him.
Crust by Richard Bertinet because it’s the ultimate book on baking.
Larousse Gastronomique because it’s great to have a classical reference book always on hand when you’re cooking.
What was the first cookery book you ever bought?
The first, most memorable, book I bought was Recipes from Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons by Raymond Blanc. I found it a difficult book at the time and it led me to really want to work with Raymond, which I went on to do.
Who is your food hero and why?
Raymond Blanc was a real inspiration – he is self-taught and breaks boundaries with his cooking.
Bernard Louiseau cooked regional food, very seasonal, and taught me to extract the most possible flavour from ingredients.
Joel Robuchon is a technically brilliant chef, who taught me to work with absolute precision.
Each one of these chefs has left a culinary footprint on my career and on my outlook on food.
Michael Caines at Home is out now.