Fergus Henderson, the man behind London's lauded St. John restaurants and hotel, has always been ahead of his time.
Before the term “pop-up” existed (a term Henderson decidedly deplores), he entered the food world by cooking makeshift weekend meals of shareable dishes like cassoulet and choucroute garni. Each meal served 200 people in a borrowed restaurant.
Later, when he opened his flagship, St. John, in 1995, he championed the return of nose-to-tail cooking; thanks to his efforts with offal, the practice is now de rigueur. He published his first definitive book on the subject, The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, in 1999, when the notion of a chef’s cookbook was still novel.
So we find it fitting that when Henderson joins us in the Test Kitchen for our Guest Chef Series on October 19, his visit will coincide with the release of his latest and last cookbook: The Complete Nose to Tail ($29), which includes all of the original recipes from The Whole Beast, as well as his follow up book, Beyond Nose To Tail. It will also have a series of new recipes and photos.
At the dinner he’ll cook some of the dishes from his magnum opus in a tag team reunion with Mario Batali, an old friend whom he met during his first book tour.
We’ll be taking notes: What Fergus does, others will surely follow.