When I’m not obsessing over stationery I can often be found in the kitchen. My Instagram feed is evidence of my love for cooking and eating. I love to try new recipes or recreate old favourites. I’m not brilliant at sticking to the recipe though which means that I often create something delicious but have no idea what I put in it.
This is my mum’s recipe book (you can tell the most cooked recipes from the splattered pages) with a groovy 70s cover. I’ve had a few books for recording recipes over the year but they’ve never really worked for me. They often have an index which includes areas of food I don’t cook.
And I confess they are usually so pretty and shiny and precious that I don’t keep them in the kitchen in case they get covered in food. Which means I write down my recipe variations at some later point (and can’t recall what random spice selection I used).
So I was delighted to have the opportunity to test out the Chef’s notebook from Stone. It had never occurred to me before that professional chefs made use of notebooks to record their experiments and creations but it makes perfect sense.
Size – how big is it?
First up this is a nicely sized notebook with a vegan leather cover. It is similar in size to my Moleskine page a day. As this goes everywhere with me I know how easy it is to throw in a bag or have in your working space.
What’s the paper like?
The paper is amazing. It feels lovely and luxurious. This is exciting as the paper is waterproof and greaseproof and made from stone offcuts stone that would usually be wasted.
I tested out the paper by smearing it with my favourite Punk Rock Chickpea gravy (see Vegan with a Vengeance). It wiped off with no problem – and several hours later I couldn’t even work out which page it had been on.
Will the storage pocket hold all my random bits of paper?
I initially thought the back pocket was a bit small. However, I then realised the benefit; I could actually see what was in. This is vital when your hands are potentially going to be covered with something sticky and dumping the contents of the pocket on the side probably isn’t an option.
The page perforations are a thoughtful feature. I’ve ruined many a notebook by tearing out pages.
What about the pen loop?
I tested out the pen loop with a pencil and some pens. It was obvious that my chunky felt tip wouldn’t fit and the pencil was a bit loose. My other pens fitted just fine; the metal one was a particularly fine fit. Maybe it’s time to commit to writing with something that won’t smudge!
Is that a conversion page?
I absolutely love the conversion pages. I don’t know how many times I’ve been cooking and realised that it’s an American cookbook and that I have no idea what the conversion is. Usually, I guess or try to find another cookbook that has measures and temperatures from in metric, imperial and cups or smear flour all over my phone. Ideally, at this point I make a note in the cookbook but life isn’t ideal so this rarely happens meaning that I repeat the guessing approach over and over again…
So would I recommend this notebook? Yes without a doubt. This is a lovely piece that you will feel comfortable using. It practically asks you to write all over the pages. It will be your constant companion in the kitchen and is a far superior gift for a keen cook to the more standard blank recipe book.
Stone is currently running a rather successful Kickstarter campaign for this notebook. If you want to own your very own Chef’s notebook you can do so for pledging as little as £17. The campaign is live until 27 April with delivery for the end of May.
So I’ll be continuing to use this starting right now by recording the ‘top secret’ recipe for Ink Drops pasta.
P.S. Sadly I have no metal counters so I was unable to test out hidden magnet which stops the notebook sliding away from you and makes looking for the right page while stirring the pan a workable option.