Big Has HOME: Recipes from north London to north Cyprus
“This book is just about food. Nothing flashy, no expensive equipment and gizmos. It’s entirely about flavours and understanding. Food in its entirety is more than about filling your stomach; it’s about stories, history, and those shared moments.” – Hasan Semay
Grounded and honest (and a little bit sweary), Hasan Semay (a.ka. Big Has) is a bright and talented North-London based chef and YouTube presenter. Having dropped out of school and tried his hand at odd jobs from plumbing to security, Has was accepted onto the prestigious Jamie Oliver “15” programme in 2011 which unearthed a true passion and flair for cooking. HOME is his debut cookbook and a celebration of the dishes, the places and the people that have made him who he is today.
Fans of Hasan’s Instagram page and enormously popular YouTube series ‘Sunday Sessions’ will recognise his ability to make incredible restaurant-quality food available to the masses, teaching his viewers how to appreciate ingredients and understand cooking not through dull step-by-step methods but by connecting more intuitively with the process. In this debut cookbook, Has takes those principles to the next level talking you through the stages of lighting a BBQ and how to prepare a variety of dishes from small plates to Turkish Cypriot classics as well as meat and fish straight off the grill.
His food is beautiful and robust with familiar Mediterranean influences from his Cypriot heritage as well as from his time working in professional kitchens across London – think grilled butter-milk chicken thighs with chermoula, flame-licked steak and salsa verde, marinated lamb chops with salsa rossa, all countered by neat folds of glistening home-made pasta and the occasional jaw-dropping dessert. Now don’t think this means flashy, fiddly food – this is real food, treated with respect and cooked right – no tablecloths or fancy china, just your friends, round the BBQ proper Sunday session style, because food is a celebration of coming together.
Peppered with anecdotes about working in professional kitchens and the characters and inspiration behind his food, HOME is a refreshing and accessible cookbook from a uniquely bold chef.