Allegra McEvedy, author, chef, and entrepreneur, is also a world traveler whose interest in culture and people has fueled her wanderlust. In turn, her wanderlust has enriched her with discoveries of the peoples of this earth, and the foods they love the most. Whether eating a fluffy pancake on a rooftop in Morocco, sampling chicken & peanut rice in a hut in Africa, tasting old Ottoman cuisine in Istanbul, or downing a doughnut on a street in New York's lower east side, Allegra discovers, not only the best food, but the culture of the people, and the people themselves. In the sensational Bought, Borrowed & Stolen she offers her favorite recipes paired with stories that are rich with personal anecdotes of people and places. Bought, Borrowed & Stolen is set apart from other cookbooks by the unique curiosity of its author, as well as her skills as a chef.
As a chef McEvedy knows that the two things that matter most in cooking are good ingredients and a good knife. She proudly displays the unique collection of knives that she has collected. Indulging in her own love for a good knife wherever she went, she discovered knives that are unique to a place and its culture. We could easily be jealous of her collection, but instead are in awe of her fascinating discoveries. The knife that started her obsession is the Burmese Machete, a two-foot long tool that could hack at plants or be used for slaughter. Yes, she brought this home, and went on to discover other amazing knives. In her collection are knives such as a Pig Leg Boner, a unique tool from Brazil; the "heart-throb" of her collection - the Unagi-Saki, a sharper than sharp knife from Japan; the Grenadine Scrimshaw, a Caribbean hand knife with a handle carved with a sea horse that reflects proximity to the sea; an ornate, inlaid knife from Lebanon that made a detour on its way home to England by stopping at a fashion show in Paris.
We want to eat everything included in the book, whether from Burma or the Philippines, from Cuba or Mexico, from France, Italy or Spain, from Turkey, South Africa, Lebanon, or China. And McEvedy does not ignore the country where she learned so much as a chef - the USA. Each recipe carries the culture of the country with it, as told by one who has talked, laughed and cooked with people in countries that are impoverished or wealthy. This is a rich book, full of the exuberant discoveries made by McEvedy.
The recipes are sensational. These are McEvedy's favorites - the stars, chosen by a chef after twenty years of travel, and honed in her own kitchen at home. There are such delights as Sweet Goat Cheese Pancakes from Brazil; Chicken Noodle Curry from Burma; Lamb & Aubergine Kebabs from Turkey; Tequila Ceviche from Mexico; Salmon & Leek Soup with Crab Toasts from the Norwegian Arctic Circle; Clafoutis aux Abricots from France; Catalan Sausage Tortilla from Spain; Crab Dumplings from China; Stuffed Pot-Roast Chicken with Pine Nuts & Pomegranates Molasses from Lebanon. Are there any countries that McEvedy has not discovered?
We admire, not only McEvedy's exuberant and exceptional recipes, but also the curiosity that makes this so unique a book. There are color photographs throughout by Andrew Montgomery