Eats and treats


There is no getting away from it: New York is a wonderful town – always a pleasure to pay it a visit. And now we are even more determined to make a return. We are desperate to eat at Estela.

Estela, a restaurant…

Estela is the name of the bistro-style restaurant– one flight up overlooking Manhattan we gather.

Here Chef Ignacio Mattos turns ingredients into delicious dishes; earning him accolades such as having been named by Esquire magazine as ‘Chef of the Year’ and the restaurant as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants.

…and a cookery book

And Estela is also the name of Ignacio Mattos’s first cookbook; and it is great.

He was born and grew up in delightful Uruguay where he trained and worked before venturing out into the world discovering different cuisines and working in some renowned restaurants prior to settling down in New York. The philosophy behind his cooking and dish presentation as mentioned in the book’s Introduction is fascinating and well-worth reading.

Straightforward information

Following the Immigrant Cooking Introduction is a straight forward list of Tools that Ignacio uses and recommends – nothing unusual or fancy. Things get a little more complicated in the Pantry with the ingredients – especially for those of us not living in the USA – but sensibly he does offer advice on substitutions and only on a few occasions would we be defeated.

Over 130 recipes…

Then we get down to the fully-illustrated recipes, over 130 of them. We very much appreciated the generous spacing of the recipes on the page, making them easy to read and follow. Beneath the name of each recipe in bold type is a handy introduction to the recipe, and occasionally, where considered necessary, in italics a Practical Note of advice is added.

…and ‘cookery lessons’

The method section of each recipe is rather like having a cookery lesson from a valued friend standing next to you – suggesting the best way of skinning a fish, grinding spices, dressing a plate, the best way to sear and cook a steak.

Ignacio admits to not being much of a dessert fan. Nevertheless there are some interesting recipes including some unusual ice creams.

An inspiring book

Estela is for us not only a book with recipes we shall certainly be trying, but also a book that we will turn to for advice on how best to prepare or cook an ingredient. And it is a book that inspires and makes us want to pack our bags and head for New York to experience the restaurant for ourselves. Many congratulations to Ignacio Mattos and Gabe Ulla and to the photographers involved.

More information and preview

Estela. Ignacio Mattos with Gabe Ulla.
ISBN: 9781579656706. £26.99. Artisan Books.

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