Depot has been one of Auckland's favourite restaurants since the day it opened, and now here is its stunning cookbook.
Depot is not overly precious or pretentious – it reflects perfectly Al Brown's attitude towards food: in season, beautifully cooked, to be enjoyed with friends.
This book is subtitled 'The biography of a restaurant', and in it Al Brown writes extensively about the philosophy of Depot, explaining why Depot has achieved iconic status among New Zealanders. Al wanted to recreate the feeling of being at a Kiwi bach (or crib, for South Islanders, or beach house for non-Kiwis).
The New Zealand bach is typically a small homely place where people live the simple life and cook easy but delicious meals. There’s a retro feel with mismatched old crockery and chairs and there’s always a feeling of generosity, of sharing the fish you caught that day, of enjoying meal times with the whanau and neighbours.
And so this is the feel and the design aesthetic that Al wanted to recreate with Depot, which he’s done really successfully. But never forget that Al is a highly trained chef. So while the food looks simple, everything is top quality and the flavours are out of this world. His dishes favour the unusual – using cheap cuts of meat and fish but cooking them with skill and talent.
In this book Al offers all the recipes that have been cooked at Depot so that you can make them at home. Once again, Al has created a cutting-edge book – it’s handsome with a stunning design. It also contains coasters that you can pull out and use at home – a special gift for the buyer, just like the postcards in Stoked and the fortune fish in Go Fish.
This isn’t a book – it’s an institution, and everyone will want to be a part of it.