Cookbook takes readers on a culinary tour of London – The London Free Press

It’s a little taste of London one page at a time.

The Forest City Cookbook aims to celebrate the chefs, farmers and other people who make the London culinary scene so special.

The crowd-funded cookbook has 138 recipes spread over 504 pages. The book, which took 20 months to create, takes readers on a culinary tour of the city through interviews with farmers and chefs.

The book’s creative director, Alieska Robles, hopes the stories in the book will help readers connect with each person.

“Behind each kitchen, there is a passionate person,” she said. “I feel that farmers and chefs work so hard and they are not recognized and appreciated all the time.”

Robles said the hardcover cookbook will have broad appeal. Each chef featured in the book has a different background, meaning there is a wide variety of recipes and flavours, she said.

“I wanted to have at least one perfect recipe for everyone,” she said. “There are very simple recipes and very complex ones.”

There are three difficulty levels for recipes in the cookbook — easy, intermediate and advanced — making it great for home cooks and chefs alike. The cookbook also has options for vegetarian, vegan and traditional diets.

The recipes range from small plates and cocktails to main courses and desserts. The book will even walk you through how to make your own ice cream or brown ale beer at home.

There is also opportunity to customize some recipes, Robles said – for example, you can choose a different sauce recipe for a gnocchi dish in the book.

The Forest City Cookbook, with 138 recipes, celebrates the area chefs, farmers and foodies that make London’s culinary scene special. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)

“You can find something that will appeal to you,” she said. “We all love food, why not celebrate it?”

A small team of five people were the masterminds behind the cookbook’s creation, but Robles said the book would not be possible without help from the entire community.

As a part of its crowd-funding campaign, many customers pre-ordered a copy of the cookbook. About 300 pre-ordered copies were picked up on Thursday.

More copies are available to purchase online and at local businesses in London.

The cookbook and accessory products, such as T-shirts, cutting boards and aprons, will be available for purchase during the book launch at McKaskell Haindl Showroom at 362 Talbot St. on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as Monday to Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m.

The books are also available at other London bookstores and kitchen shops. The full list is at

Alieska Robles and Brian Blatnicki are two of the people behind the Forest City Cookbook. The volume of recipes was released in London on Friday. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)

Forest City Cookbook by the numbers
504 pages
138 recipes
60 featured chefs
40 featured local producers and artisans
4 craft breweries
3 difficulty levels: easy, intermediate and advance
3 dietary choices: traditional, vegetarian and vegan
$95 cost of book
Examples of Recipes:

Apple Cider Braised Pork Ribs

Dill Pickle Potato Soup

Forest City American Brown Ale

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Blueberry Cheesecake

Honey Walnut Bagels

Whisky Ice Cream

White Hot Chocolate Brulee