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The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: February 2018

The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: August 2019

Welcome to the Great British Chefs Cookbook Club! Find out how it works, how to get involved and what prizes you can win.

Even with the vast number of recipes available on the internet these days, there’s nothing quite like leafing through a beautiful book full of recipes. It’s a medium that’s stronger than ever before, with cookbooks topping bestseller charts throughout the year. If you’re anything like us then you’ll have shelves upon shelves of them in your home – some kept in pristine condition, others earmarked, stained and scrawled over after years of use.

It’s this national love for cookbooks that has prompted us to start our very own cookbook club. Each month we’ll select a cookbook that we think stands out from the rest and ask you, the Great British Chefs community, to cook a recipe from it. We’ll publish a small selection of recipes on our site so, even if you don’t already have the book, you can still get involved and see how your cooking compares to everyone else’s. Apply to join the Facebook group here and take a look at this month's book (and recipes) below. We've also included the winning post from last month's book, as well as some of our other favourite entries.

Apply to join the Cookbook Club today!

Click here to apply to join our cookbook club, meet likeminded home cooks and share your creations for the chance to win prizes. Please make sure to answer the two simple introductory questions to speed up your application.

This month's book: Charred by Genevieve Taylor


Barbecues in the UK usually mean an overload of meats (sometimes undercooked, sometimes burnt to a crisp, depending on who's in charge of the grill). But when the sun is shining and you're spending the best part of the day outdoors with friends and family, do you really want the meat sweats to take hold? Vegetables can be just as exciting and flavourful when cooked over coals, taking on a savoury, smoky flavour that's guaranteed to get mouths watering. That's why we've chosen Genevieve Taylor's Charred – a book all about vegetarian barbecuing – for August.

Sides, starters, mains, desserts – they're all in here and either vegetarian or vegan. Best of all, they can all be cooked inside the kitchen too, so even when it's raining you can get stuck into all the dishes.

For a taste of what’s inside, take a look at the three recipes below. However, if you're really looking to up your barbecue game and discover how smoke and fire can transform vegetables into things of wonder, head over to Amazon to bag yourself a copy.

Panelle with grilled Romano peppers, avocado and egg

Panelle are savoury pancakes made with chickpea flour, and they form the perfect base for all sorts of other ingredients. In this dish, Genevieve layers them with charred Romano peppers, crushed avocados and a fried egg. It can all be cooked over the barbecue, or in a griddle pan if the weather's a bit glum.

Watermelon with halloumi and lime-pickled red onions

Crisp, refreshing watermelon works surprisingly well in a savoury context – especially when it's paired with something salty like halloumi. Finished with crunchy pistachios and tangy pickled onions, this is a simple salad that might just steal the limelight from your centrepiece.

Lentil-stuffed courgettes with ricotta and fresh mint sauce

When courgettes are given a lick of smoke from the barbecue they take on an incredible flavour, so they're definitely worth firing up the barbecue for. Stuffed with lentils and dolloped with creamy ricotta and a fresh mint sauce, this is the perfect thing to prepare when serving a variety of dishes, as it's best served room temperature (so can be made in advance).

Last month's winners

Last month we uncovered the little-known cuisine of Mauritius with Selina Perimpillai's book The Island Kitchen. Cookbook club members whipped up some stunning dishes, many of which combine the food of India, France and China. Congratulations to Nichola Procter who took the top spot this month – she wins a cookbook! Take a look at her dish and all the other honourable mentions below.

John Harlow's tuna curry looked like it came straight out of the book
Anagha Godbole served up king prawns with tamarind and coconut in this beautifully moody shot
Marilyn Braendeholm's Bol Reversé proved why Mauritian cooking is so special
Dominique Deslances made a smoked fish salad – just what you want in the hot weather
Charlotte Taylor's beef and pork stew was guaranteed to satisfy any hunger pangs
Marta Biris cooked sticky chicken with garlic and ginger – a wonderfully fragrant plate of deliciousness
Sophie Rushton-Smith's zingy mango and coconut salad looked fantastic
Tracy Carey's caramelised pineapple with coconut ice cream proved a tropical hit in the group

Make sure you post photos along with commentary of the dishes you cook from Charred in our Facebook group to be in with the chance of winning.