Born in Mexico and raised in India and Tanzania, this food lover has put his passion into practice by opening his own London-based “Jolly Gardeners” restaurant and publishing the cookbook Spice. And spices were precisely what made it possible for Dhruv to win the British MasterChef in 2010, whose finale was watched by seven million Brits.
Reviews for the cookbook SPICE:
Dhruv Baker has a unique understanding of spice and layering of flavours. In this crafted recipe collection, Dhruv decodes the delicate complexities of spice and shares his spicing genius.
Dhruv ‘palate of an angel’ Baker. He won the competition with a deft use of spices and flavouring, and now he has written a book about cooking with spices. ‘My spice cupboard is my heaven, my treasure trove of flavour,’ he says. ‘I want to share this love with you.’ Along with more than 100 recipes (chicken chukka, Malabar prawn curry, rum- and star anise-poached figs, cassia custard and so on), Baker has included a spice guide (for example, ‘allspice: the dried unripe fruit of the allspice tree, good in desserts’) and a flavour map. Thus armed, you can transform a plain diet into a thing of wonder.
Masterchef fans may well remember Dhruv Baker, the winner of the 2010 series. His deft use of spice and astounding palate were often commented on by judges John Torode and Greg Wallace. Baker has now put that experience and his love of flavour between the covers of his first cook book, Spice.
Split into practical sections, based around ingredients, Baker demystifies spices, saying that spice is about flavour, not heat. This book shows you how to get the best flavour from ingredients that are easily available from the supermarket and many of which may already be in your kitchen cupboard.
Unlocking The Spice Cupboard at the back of the book is an alphabetical list of spices with clever descriptions of flavour and uses, from Ajwain Seeds to Vanilla Pods. It includes the different ways that spices can be used beyond the obvious: making flavoured oils, dry roasting, marinades, rubs and flavoured butters.
This book is an all rounder with great dishes, it instills a confidence with spices in the cook and has some new and out of the ordinary dishes to experiment with and Baker wants his readers to do just that. “Once you have tasted some of the recipes…you might want to add more or less spice, or add or take away ingredients…..however you use them, I hope that you will make them your own.”