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Leaders in Luxury: Josh Emett

29th January 2020 // By Kristen Shirley

One of New Zealand’s most esteemed chefs, Josh Emett, recently wrote The Recipe, a comprehensive cookbook that covers 300 recipes from the world’s best chefs.

Josh Emett

Before going out on his own, Emett worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants, most notably spending 10 years with Gordon Ramsay. Then, he moved home to New Zealand and opened several very popular restaurants. In his new book, he shares a special collection of recipes, ranging from simple to extremely complicated, that he deems the world’s most important dishes. Each recipe comes directly from an incredible chef, including Eric Ripert, Guy Savoy, Daniel Humm, Ann-Sophie Pic, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Clare Smyth. “The idea with the book was to do 300 of the greatest classic recipes from the last 50, 100 years with contributions from 150 of the world’s top chefs,” Emett says. “The focus is classic recipes for the home cook that you should have either cooked or eaten once in your lifetime. There are dishes in there that you can’t not have as a foodie. Most of them are complete classics.” 

Some of the chefs contributed recipes for dishes that made them famous, like Nobu Matsuhisa’s Black Cod with Miso and Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Turkey. While some recipes are complicated and geared towards dedicated gourmands, Emett was adamant that most of the recipes be accessible for home cooks. He says, “About 80% of the dishes in the book are very doable. I mean, there are things as simple as scrambled eggs. But then there’s more aspirational, ambitious recipes.” Emett admits it wasn’t easy to convince some of the chefs to participate in the project. Humm declined the first time he was asked, but after a year of writing and photographing the recipes, Emett went back to him and Humm agreed to contribute his famous Duck Honey-glazed with Cherries and Onions, which is one of the more ambitious recipes in the book. 

While there are plenty of big names in The Recipe, it doesn’t feel like a celebrity cookbook. “We shot everything on either a white or black background on a white or black plate, with pretty few exceptions. It was important to take all the personality out of the personalities involved in the book, and make sure it was purely about the food. It’s made to be a bible, a manual more than anything else, which is why it is super simplistic.” When asked if this could be the only cookbook a home cook could need, Emmet says, “It is the one that has everything and anything in it you would ever need. All the classics.” 

To purchase a copy of The Recipe, click here.