...not a go-to cook book per se, as it is a healthy dose of a lot of really interesting things that a lot of chefs have forgotten, or not used, or that they don't do anymore.
—Scott Bagshaw, Deseo chef
Sporting one of the more daring menus in the city, Deseo Bistro is the go to place for people looking to expand their culinary horizons.
Chef and co-owner Scott Bagshaw's ever-evolving tapas menu has a little bit for everyone; the less adventurous can enjoy dishes like a ludicrously good smoked paprika mac and cheese, while the daily special sheet often utilizes less-celebrated cuts like sweetbreads and other bits of offal for those with a more daring palate.
On that note, it shouldn't be too big of a surprise to learn that when Bagshaw looks to a cookbook, he goes to none other than one of the leading figures in whole animal cooking, Fergus Henderson of St. John restaurant in London.
"The Whole Beast: Nose To Tail Eating" by Fergus Henderson (Ecco)
Henderson's The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating
is "not a go-to cook book per se, as it is a healthy dose of a lot of really interesting things that a lot of chefs have forgotten, or not used, or that they don't do anymore," said Bagshaw. "It's usually where I find my little gems."
While The Whole Beast
may not be every cook's cup of tea, one cannot deny its continued influence throughout the culinary world. The cookbook contains Ferguson's now über-famous recipe for roast bone marrow and parsley salad, which Anthony Bourdain has often claimed to be his ideal last meal.
"The whole bone marrow movement, while it wasn't too big in Winnipeg, there was a period where bone marrow was on about every menu and it was because of this guy," said Bagshaw.
"He was like, I don't know why we aren't using this bone marrow -- it's there, it's pretty cheap, and it's really good. And he created this bone marrow and parsley salad which became the end-all and be-all of bone marrow eating."
But what Bagshaw likes most about Ferguson's book, which was published in 2004, is how his food essentially went against the grain of the last decade's most popular culinary trend.
"When he first put out the book it came at a really interesting point in the whole culinary scene," said Bagshaw. "You really had the science of food getting big...the whole molecular gastronomy movement."
"Most chefs, especially young chefs, are pretty easily swayed once something new and neat comes out. And he sort of put the book out at the time and, just sort of went the opposite direction of that whole molecular movement and was doing really simple, classic English cooking."