Cook Out – Fell Foodie’s guide to over 80 gourmet recipes to cook in the great outdoors
October 12, 20232 min read
“This is a book for those that love adventure but don’t like to compromise when it comes to the food they eat. It’s a gourmet repertoire of camping recipes designed to be crafted outdoors with the use of a camp stove. Food unites people, since our ancestral days around an open fire to a table and chairs in a bricks and mortar restaurant.” – Harrison Ward.
Many people will already have heard of Harrison, aka The Fell Foodie, via social media and television appearances. There is something profoundly relatable about his journey to this point in time, with the forthcoming publication of his first book, Cook Out. He writes with refreshing honesty and a sense of pragmatism about his recovery from depression and alcoholism:
“It felt like medicine; a substance I could use to forget and shut off my dark thoughts each night so I could attempt to continue existing despite having little desire to do so.”
At a time when mental illness is on the increase and so many are searching for a way to stay grounded, it is significant when men (in particular) find a way to voice their experiences. Coupled with a heightened awareness of the healing power of nature, exercise and healthy eating as ingredients vital for wellbeing, this is a timely and brilliant debut book.
Harrison found a way to climb out, literally and metaphorically: moving back to Cumbria, the county of his childhood, and taking to the hills. It was here that his passion for cooking reached another level and packed lunches evolved into meals cooked out in the open, up on the fells.
“Cooking outdoors felt very primal. A homage to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. I found it a relaxing, mindful process, and adding nature to the mix only amplified the sensation.”
There is something almost playful about the design of the book: It is inherently accessible, beginning with a list of Dos and Don’ts for mountain chefs before launching into breakfast recipes: some warmly familiar and simple; others more challenging.
Each recipe is clearly laid out, with a brief introductory commentary and stunning images – all taken in situ. A wonderfully global celebration of food, from simple but delicious sandwiches to stews, and plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.
So much more than a recipe book: Cook Out is about adversity, courage, the healing power of exercise, being in nature and the importance, not just of eating well, but the process itself of preparing it.