New book from award-winning chef Dave Critchley

Dave Critchley

Lu Ban chef Dave Critchley is a whirlwind of creativity – in the kitchen, in business, and in the community.

Now, the western world’s first and only apprentice to a Chinese Master chef has found time to turn author – with Cherry Blossom (hardback, 224pp).

It plots his rise and dedication to Chinese culinary arts and also features more than 75 recipes created and served at Liverpool’s award-winning Lu Ban Restaurant, for readers to recreate at home.

The award-winning chef, who has just seen Lu Ban named Liverpool’s best restaurant by the city’s tourism bosses, brings his unique personality to each page. He shares anecdotes of his time in China, while many of the recipes are also influenced by Dave’s expanding knowledge of flavour combinations.

The book’s title ‘Cherry Blossom’ reflects its strong association with China. Each spring it coats the Far East nation in blankets of pink – filling the air and fragrance and offering a sense of new beginnings.

Cherry Blossom captures that feeling – with eye-catching photography of the mouth-watering dishes, while Dave’s journey into the world of Chinese food and culture is still very much at its start.

The last apprentice of Master Wu, Dave continues to learn the culinary arts and his expanding knowledge of flavours influence the food and menu at Lu Ban restaurant, which distinguishes it from any other restaurant in the country.

The recipes in the book are inspired by Dave’s travels and experiences in China and each recipe in the book has featured on the Lu Ban menu.

Across more than 200 pages, Dave, in partnership with Lu Ban director and fellow chef Mike Mounfield, delivers a wealth of appetising options across defined chapters and catering for all tastes with meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.

Chapters include snacks, soups, dim sum, small plates, large plates, side dishes, dumplings and desserts. There is also a chapter to recreate the kitchen’s sauces and seasonings while Cherry Blossom also includes a section dedicated to the restaurant’s cocktails.

Dishes include:

  • Five flavour cucumber – Dave’s very first Chinese dish
  • Jasmine smoked pork baby ribs
  • Kung Pao Cauliflower
  • Poached Chinese Pear and Jinhua Ham
  • Chicken Wings Critchley Style
  • Bok Choi GBM –
  • Cherry Blossom – Lu Ban’s signature dessert

The book, published by A Way With Media, is priced at £35 (plus P+P) and is available to buy online or in person from the restaurant.