Book review: Blasta Books series

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Blasta Books is a new series of cookbooks that champion lesser known chefs

Related tags Blasta Books Aishling Moore

The latest series of little food books with big voices is on a mission to champion lesser-known voices in food.

Taking its name from an Irish word that roughly translates as ‘tasty’, Blasta Books was launched in 2022 by Ireland-based publisher Nine Bean Rows and is on a mission to 'change the way cookbooks are published in order to make more room at the table'. With traditional cookbook publishing tending to favour authors that are both mainstream and established, the imprint’s raison d’etre is to champion lesser-known voices in food. 

This includes that of Aishling Moore, whose Goldie restaurant in Cork is a pioneer of gill-to-fin cooking and a champion of sustainable aquaculture. She launched her debut solo restaurant just ahead of the pandemic and has attracted a slew of accolades including a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

Out later this year, Whole Catch gives an insight into how the talented young chef sources, cleans, prepares and cooks her seafood. Example dishes include karaage nuggets made with hake tails, cured shime mackerel, oysters Rockefeller with kimchi and braised squid with Beluga lentil dahl. 

Like the rest of the series, Whole Catch is a beautifully designed, 72-page A5 book. The illustrator for the series is Dublin-based illustrator Nicky Hooper. Other highlights of the series include shopkeeper and food writer Lily Ramirez-Foran’s Tacos, sustainably-minded food writer Conor Spacey’s Wasted and chef Sham Hanifa’s upcoming Agak-Agak, which explores the multiple influences behind contemporary Malaysian cuisine.      

Blasta Books series
Number of pages: 72
Standout recipe: Drunken beef barbacoa tacos (from Tacos)
Publisher and price: Nine Bean Rows
Publication date: Various (Whole Catch is out in April)

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