Book Review: Hannah Grant's 'The Grand Tour Cookbook'
It's a motto that I subscribe to very strongly, too. Food is an integral part of cycling. Food is your fuel and your conditioning agent, as well as your recovery. Energy bars and gels can do so much, when you're on the bike; but it's what you eat the rest of the time that really makes a difference. Cycling teams realised this some time back, and that's why a number of the top teams now have top chefs working for them; their role is to ensure that the nutritional intake of the riders is optimal for their performance.
Hannah Grant is one of those top chefs, and just as the mechanics at Tinkoff-Saxo play an integral role in preparing the bikes for the riders each morning and evening, Hannah and her apprentice play a fundamental role in ensuring that the riders are correctly fuelled throughout the day. A Grand Tour is clearly the most demanding in terms of athletic requirement, as well as the need for nutritional variety, so in 'The Grand Tour Cookbook', Hannah showcases the kind of meals that she would prepare for the team, to keep them in the best possible physical (and mental) shape.
I'm not one for owning many cookbooks, in fact most of my recipes are scribbled down in notebooks and on blog posts; but, this is one cookbook I am incredibly pleased to own.
It is beautiful book. It's a work of both photographic and nutritional art, as well as giving an incredible amount of detail and insight into why certain food groups are good for you, and why Hannah has selected them for the riders at different times of the Tour.
There are also some excellent interviews with the riders, where they explain the difference good food makes to their performance. Christopher Juul Jensen advocates: "proper food makes a massive difference in terms of performance". Peter Sagan agrees: "Diet is one of the basics of performance". Michael Rogers gives the ultimate praise: "I've never been faster"! It is clear that these recipes make a huge difference to the success of the Tinkoff-Saxo team.
Do I have any favourite recipes from the book? Yes! I've tried a lot of the recipes from this book, and there's not a single one that I wouldn't make again. My favourites include the chicken with peach, capers and tarragon; ruby grapefruit with avocado and pine nuts; cinnamon toasted muesli, and monkfish cheeks.
You are indeed what you eat, and this book provides some of the best insights I've read on how you can tailor your diet to optimise your performance; all through are mouth watering and relatively simple recipes. If you're a fan of great recipes, or you're stuck on how you could improve your own home-cooking to boost your speed, then this should definitely be on your bookshelf!
Shop 'The Grand Tour Cookbook' at Hannahgrantcooking.com (Link)
|Monkfish cheeks with pointed cabbage and spring onions|
|Chicken with peaches, capers and onions|
|Cinnamon roasted muesli with seeds and berries|
|Fresh salad with yellow tomatoes and frisée lettuce|
|Couscous with melon, orange and carrot|
|Speck with braised fennel and fresh fig salad|