“It’s BBQ food. It's food that we had fun making with friends and family. Just cooking up on the beach or in the woods.”

The  Staff Canteen

Nathan Davies new book is not a restaurant book but an informal and fun look at the recipes he loves cooking.

When most people imagine writing and creating a cookbook, they think of carefully planning and writing out each recipe and then at a later date recreating those recipes so that they can be photographed.

They probably don’t imagine inviting a bunch of friends to the beach for a BBQ, but that is exactly how Nathan went about writing On Fire.

Nathan said: “We did a big BBQ on the beach, with friends from the restaurant. On one of the days, we were closed we all went down, laid a big table up and just cooked loads of fish, loads of shellfish, and some meat and stuff, and just put it on the table and had a bit of a feast."

"The fun of just doing it was amazing, But what we got for the book from doing that was just cool. Because it was what we would have done if we were all hanging out and having a beach fire anyway. We just went that step further because it was for the book.”

However, Nathan didn’t just do this because it was fun. There was actually a reason behind why he decided to make the dishes first and then write up the recipes based on what dishes they’d been able to make.

This decision stemmed from both where he is located and his ethos of using as much as possible what’s available locally that day in his cooking.

 

“Because of the way live out here in west Wales, it was whatever we had available for us on the days we agreed we were going to do some bookwork we then turned them into recipes. So, whether we'd been out fishing and caught some seabass or some mackerel or we had some crabs off the fishermen or whatever else,” Nathan explained.

“It was a real-life scenario; you cook in the restaurant what you can get locally and what you can get that's in season. We did exactly the same process with the book. That was how I wrote the book and that was how I wanted to write it because from that we've got a much more natural outcome.”

What is in the book

The food in the book is as, Nathan described: “It’s BBQ food. It's food that we had fun making with friends and family. Just cooking up on the beach or in the woods."

“It’s achievable high-end BBQ food is what I'd say it was. I didn’t want it to be an unachievable book.”

While he hopes people will enjoy making the food in the book he also described it as a coffee table book, the type of book you can just read and through reading get to know his style of cooking and food.

Because of this the book is designed to easily readable and is broken down into sections that - partially because of the way the book was written - flowed together.

So that, while there is a section on meat, a section on fish, and then a section on vegetables, they aren’t completely separate with skills and dishes crossing over.

Along with this, Nathan did say that the book isn’t a recipe book, exactly.

While there are recipes in it a lot of the information isn’t going to end up in a full dish.

“It's not so much giving you a full plated dish at the end, but it's just talking through the process of, for example, how I barbeque the dairy beef on the fire to get it nice and tender and then simple dressings to serve with it,” Nathan explained.

“So, people can take from that and then add their own little twists to it to make it their own. On the other hand, he also discussed how there are some sections which do have full dishes. For example, the scallop course."

He said: “As it’s quite a big dish for us at the restaurant and because of that there's a very in-depth recipe that goes even down to the way it's plated – there’s techniques on how to do that.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nathan (@nathandavieschef)

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th November 2022

“It’s BBQ food. It's food that we had fun making with friends and family. Just cooking up on the beach or in the woods.”