Mitchell Beazley, part of the Octopus Publishing Group, has acquired 2015 Masterchef finalist Emma Spitzer's Fress: Bold Flavours from a Home Kitchen, a debut cookbook with a strong Jewish identity.
Alison Starling, publisher at Octopus, acquired world rights from Heather Holden-Brown, to publish in April 2017, priced £25.
"Fress", used in the book's title, is a Yiddish word meaning "to eat copiously and without restraint". The cookbook will showcase Spitzer’s "unfussy and uncomplicated" style of cooking, promising to extract "the maximum flavour from the humblest of ingredients without spending hours in the kitchen".
Her "sociable" food, big on flavours and spice, won her a place in the final of BBC1’s MasterChef 2015. Inspiration for her food comes from Poland and Russia, from Jewish recipes learned from her mother, travels in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and North Africa, as well as Algerian recipes shared by her mother-in-law.
Spitzer was born and raised in Brighton to Jewish parents of Polish and Russian descent. Following her success on reaching the final of BBC1’s MasterChef, she has been teaching cookery classes and demonstrating at food festivals, running sell-out supper clubs and catering for private dining events.
Starling said: "Emma’s warmth and her robust, bold-flavoured food quickly won her a large following on MasterChef and she has brought these qualities to her first book. As John Torode commented 'she is definitely someone who cooks from the heart' and Fress provides a glorious celebration of food and family."
Spitzer added: "Fress is the realisation of a dream to bring classic, Jewish dishes from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, into the modern day, in a book where the recipes are both accessible and exciting for the home cook to recreate. It’s been a real joy to work with Alison Starling and her team at Octopus who have so clearly understood my passion for the nostalgic food of my heritage and allowed me to express this so vividly in a colourful, beautifully curated book."