Love fried food? Then you’ll love this cookbook

By easyFood

05 May 2022

Easy Food is delighted to partner with Blasta Books this year on its revolutionary cookbook series — these are little books with big voices, making space at the table for the most exciting voices in Irish food. What’s even more exciting is that the second book in the series — on sale now! — is authored by none other than Easy Food favourites (and previous guest editors) Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon, the dynamic duo behind GastroGays.

In Hot Fat, their debut cookbook, fried food aficionados Alford and Hanlon want to bring readers into a world of delicious possibilities. And it’s not all beige! They’ve taken familiar favourites and created the ultimate version of every recipe, from onion rings to oysters, doughnuts to corn dogs, prawn toast to the perfect potato crisps.

“Where has the joy in food gone? The joy in the crunch, the sizzle, the dip and the dunk; the joy in every delicious bite? Looking at all the wellness, weight loss, get fit and healthy eating books that have topped the bestseller lists over the last few years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that meals have become all about denial. What happened to enjoying some of life’s most delicious morsels in moderation?”

Hot Fat is ultimately about pure, unadulterated, edible joy,” the authors say. “We were very conscious to avoid attaching any negative connotations or emotional charge to any of the recipes or ingredients, so you won’t find phrases like ‘guilty’, ‘dirty’, ‘cheat’ or even ‘fakeaway’ in the pages of our book.” You can read more about the story behind their book here.

Russell and Patrick are quick to point out that this is not an everyday cookbook, of course. This is food for fun, for celebrating and for special occasions, for those times when you want to lean into the most delicious possibilities the kitchen can afford.


‘Blasta Books are to cookbooks what street food is to restaurants,’ says publisher Kristin Jensen. ‘They give people a fun, accessible and affordable way to eat exciting food.’

Each book is a hardcover, 72-page A5 cookbook illustrated by Dublin artist Nicky Hooper. They are all standalone books, but as a quarterly series they also provide a more inclusive snapshot of Ireland’s modern and diverse food culture, from tacos to tapas, spice bags to sushi. They are little books with big voices; read more about them here.

  • Blasta Books #1: Tacos by Lily Ramirez-Foran (out now)
  • Blasta Books #2: Hot Fat by Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon (out now)
  • Blasta Books #3: The United Nations of Cookies by Jess Murphy and Eoin Cluskey (04 August 2022)
  • Blasta Books #4: Wok by Kwanghi Chan (03 November 2022)

Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon are the food and travel writer duo behind GastroGays. Begun in 2013, GastroGays has grown into an internationally recognised and award-winning brand and website, specialising in food and travel through recipes, features and guides as well as highly engaged social media channels. Russell and Patrick co-produce and present the popular Chew the Fat podcast and regularly contribute to the media landscape, both in print and online. They are also brand ambassadors for the Boyne Valley Flavours region of food and drink producers and venues around their home area of Louth/Meath. @gastrogays |


At Blasta Books we have been inspired by Seth Godin’s advice to ‘make things better by making better things’, so we will be donating 1% of the net profits from all sales of books and merchandise from now until the end of 2022 to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. So now when you support the Blasta Books project, you will also be helping UNHCR to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Together, we are all making more room at the table.

For a sneak peek at one of the recipes from Hot Fat, pick up the May issue of Easy Food today. To buy Hot Fat (€15) or to learn more about the Blasta Books initiative, visit the website here.