In this stunning new book Marianna Leivaditaki, Morito Head Chef, goes back to her childhood home to celebrate the simplicity and integrity of Cretan cooking.

A natural storyteller, Marianna grew up in Chania, on the Greek island of Crete, where her father is a fisherman. She spent her childhood helping out in the family-run taverna, standing on a chair peeling potatoes and gutting and de-scaling the day’s catch. By day she would carry her blue notebook, writing down the recipes she would like to prepare for her family and absorbing the kitchen wisdom of the Greek grannies she knew.

In Aegean, Marianna offers achievable, yet delicious dishes that celebrate seasonal, fresh food that you can take time to enjoy with friends and family. Derived from the SEA, the LAND and the MOUNTAINS, these inspirational recipes marry authentic Cretan culture and food with contemporary flavour combinations that embrace the ingredients and influences of the wider Mediterranean. Dishes include Pan-fried Red Mullet with Rosemary, Tomato and Sweet Vinegar, Tomato and Oregano Fritters with Whipped Feta, Chicken with Okra, Oregano and Aged Vinegar, Slow-cooked Leg of Lamb with Orzo and Apple, Peach and Almond Tart with Sweet Yogurt.

‘This book is so much more than a cookbook, it’s a love song to a very special place and we are lucky to have the brilliant Marianna as our guide.’ Itamar Srulovich, co-founder of Honey & Co.

Marianna Leivaditaki is the head chef at Morito, Hackney Road London. She grew up in Chania, Crete, where her father is a fisherman. They had a local seafood restaurant where Marianna helped in the kitchen from an early age. After studying forensic psychology in the UK, cycling round southern Europe and volunteering in Ecuador on an eco-tourism project, she went back to work in the family restaurant for two years. She returned to the UK and asked Sam and Sam Clark of Moro for a job at Moro and has worked for them ever since. She has written recipes for Guardian Cook, was on the front cover of OFM magazine and helped to write the Morito cookbook. She is a judge of the Observer Food Monthly Awards.