So why didn’t I buy a book at the actual launch? Because, although I arrived early at The Instituto Cervantes in Eaton Square where the launch was held, all the hundreds of books which the publishers took sold out before I got there. At least I managed to get my hands on the ham which had arrived directly from Spain.
Jeannie and Sam Chesterton with Tim Clinch in the middle.
Sam Chesterton is an ancient friend, with whom I used to run around London during the Seventies. This was before he met and married his lovely wife Jeannie who is a brilliant gourmet cook.
For the past thirty years the Chestertons have run their unique Bed and Breakfast in their unique pink coloured farmhouse called Finca Buenvino on their 100 acre estate, near Seville, Andalucia, Spain.
The estate is in a protected park, with unspoiled scenery, so if one wants an idyllic holiday with beautiful views and superb food, this is the perfect place to be.
The Chestertons grow their own certified-organic vegetables, keep their own chickens and pigs, and have apple, pear, quince and fig trees, all of which ingredients are used in the dishes, as well as local game and other seasonal produce such as mushrooms foraged from the woodland. And that's just for starters.
Jeannie also runs exciting and innovative cooking courses, explaining the Mahgrebi (North African) influences in southern Spanish recipes, many of which date from Moorish times.
All the Chestertons’ guests and friends love Finca Buenvino’s naturally produced food so much, over the years they have continually begged them to produce a cookery book and finally the couple have done it.
Titled The Buenvino Cookbook: Recipes from our farmhouse in Spain with illustrations by Tim Clinch, this book is already a success by word of mouth alone.
The book looks gorgeous and I’m already drooling at the thought of reconstructing the unique Spanish recipes, but I shall have to wait until the official publishing date of April 15 before I can get my hands on it. Then, I shall be able to personally start cooking the Chestertons’ recipes from their wonderful farmhouse.