If you have a reasonable knowledge of food (just what it looks like - the book will tell you how to cook it) then this is a must have. It is the first book I turn to when I have an idea what I'm trying to cook or want to recreate a dish I ate in a restaurant, but need advice on timings, method, ingredient quantities etc. I agree that it might not be as visually inspiring as some books because it isn't full of photos, but personally I don't need photos of most of the dishes I want to cook - I can imagine a leg of lamb, a caserole, a crumble, a pasta dish etc etc for myself. If fewer photos means I get ten times as many recipes as most books have then I'm OK with that! If I could only have one cookbook this would be it. From a shelf of maybe 40 or so cookbooks not one comes anywhere close to covering more of the dishes I cook throughout the year than this one does. The only way I can describe it to someone considering buying it is that it's a bit like having every book Delia has ever written all rolled into one.