The second instalment from Blasta Books, Hot Fat, is on shelves today. It’s a 72-page A5 hardbacked cookbook illustrated by Dublin artist Nicky Hooper and costs fifteen euros.
In Hot Fat fried food aficionados Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon, also known as the Gastro Gays, want to bring readers ‘into a world of delicious possibilities. The duo have taken familiar favourites and chipper classics fused them with flavours we can’t get enough of. They have created the ‘ultimate’ version of every recipe. From onion rings to oysters to prawn toast there are all kinds of delicacies to find.
Russell and Patrick acknowledge that this is not an everyday cookbook, of course. This is food for fun, for celebrating and for special occasions. ‘Hot Fat is ultimately about pure, unadulterated, edible joy,’ they say. ‘We were very conscious to avoid attaching any negative connotations or emotional charge to any of the recipes or ingredients, so you won’t find phrases like “guilty”, “dirty”, “cheat” or even “fakeaway” in the pages of our book.’
The Blasta Books series was launched through a Kickstarter campaign in May 2021. It raised over €55,000 towards producing the first four books in a quarterly annual series.
‘Blasta Books are to cookbooks what street food is to restaurants,’ says publisher Kristin Jensen. ‘They give people a fun, accessible and affordable way to eat exciting food.’
Each book stands alone. But as a quarterly series, they also provide a more inclusive snapshot of Ireland’s modern and diverse food culture. From tacos to tapas, spice bags to sushi they are little books with ‘big voices’.
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