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Doing without Delia: Tales of Triumph and Disaster in a French Kitchen Paperback – 2 Apr 2009


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Doing without Delia: Tales of Triumph and Disaster in a French Kitchen + Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know About Cooking + Eat Pray Eat
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009949423X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099494232
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 624,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Booth is an award winning English author and journalist.

He has written five books: 'Just As Well I'm Leaving - To the Orient with Hans Christian Andersen', which was nominated for an Irish Times first time author award; 'Sacré Cordon Bleu', a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week; 'Sushi and Beyond', which won a Guild of Food Writers award and has recently become a best seller in translation in Japan; 'Eat, Pray, Eat', which was nominated for a British Press Award; and the forthcoming 'The Almost Nearly Perfect People - The Truth About the Nordic Miracle'.

He has written for all of the UK broadsheet newspapers, as well as numerous magazines in the UK and abroad including Condé Nast Traveller and Monocle, for whom he is currently a correspondent. His books have been translated into several languages.

He is married with two sons.

Product Description

Review

Mail on Sunday `...the most enjoyable book about food I've read since Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential'

The Daily Telegraph `Michael Booth's entertaining romp through Parisian kitchen life'

Time Out '...as sharp as a Michelin chef's collection of knives... A flavoursome offering.'

Bookseller `hysterically funny account of an English cook's experiences at the Cordon Bleu in Paris...Bill Bryson for gastronerds...I loved it'

Metro `fast-paced, laugh-a-page...[with] more tips than a library of Gordon Ramsay books'

The London Paper 'Hilarious account of a Brit chef's time at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.'

The Good Book Guide 'Mouth-watering and hilarious'

Book Description

An amateur English cook moves to Paris and enrols at France's - and the world's - most famous cookery school - with hilarious consequences.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By First time buyer on 20 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved the book - it really made me laugh and the author's enjoyment and fulfilment in doing the course shone through. It's also a book that I've re-read in parts quite frequently for sheer enjoyment, and the author comes across not only as the ideal dinner party cook but also as guest. That said, the recipes were a bit unnecessary, and the book would have benefited from providing more of a critique of the school and its approach to cooking. The "manifesto" at the end could also have been expanded, although that might have sat rather uneasily with the light-hearted nature of the rest of the book.

Anyone tempted to follow in the author's footsteps should realise that taking the same courses would incur tuition fees of over 22000! That's on top of living costs, and at the end of it you are qualified to work in a kitchen on the minimum wage!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the first page of this book I was hooked. Imagine giving up everything including your cookery book collection and taking your family to live in France whilst you learn to cook at the best cookery school in the world - Le Cordon Bleu. Michael Booth spoke very little French when he moved to Paris but he wanted to learn to cook from the best in the world. Read about his fellow students from all over the world, the eccentric chefs and the escaping lobsters. The sentence that sticks in my mind is a description of a lobster wriggling like 'a knight with ants in his armour'. If you're even vaguely interested in cooking or Paris - read this book. There are some recipes as well, but it's the tips you pick up which are useful - for example always let meat rest for half as long as you've cooked it for. If you love chocolate you'll drool over the short course he did in chocolate making. Brilliant
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hypercat on 10 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyable book that makes you immediately want to move to Paris. I don't know if burning your cook book collection is warranted, but Michael Booth certainly makes the case for good old fashioned french cuisine and trainng. Well written, entertaining, and manages to avoid the more nauseating traits of the 'I moved to france/paris/provence etc.' and he doesn't patronise the natives. The author manages to both engage your interest and remain likeable. Not sure whether on one book he can quite earn the Bill Bryson title, but he sure makes me wish for that small(ish) lottery win to follow in his footsteps. As an interesting follow on classic french cuisines try Jacques Pepin's 'The Apprentice' or as a complete contrast in style at the other end of the french food lover's spectrum, Anthony Bourdin's Les Halles Cookbook.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Thomas on 17 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
It's not a bad read and he sums up his feeling about cooking in a professional kitchen very well, but I don't need a lesson in stock-making or the Maillard reaction from someone at a cookery school. The recipes are pretty useless. but that's not the reason to buy this book.

The one reason you would not buy this book is that it has to be the most shoddily put together publication I have ever read. Doesn't anyone proof-read the book before it goes to press. There were times when I literally had to decipher what had been written. I'm sure that this isn't Michael Booth's fault, but someone at Jonathan Cape needs to learn their job.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Mcpartlin on 4 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
For anybody that is interested in becoming a chef this is a must read. In the same vain as any of Anthony Bourdain's non-fiction books Sacre Cordon Bleu gives the reader a first hand insight into life in a profesional kitchen. I love cooking and, like Michael Booth once did(!), have a large collection of cookery books. Although I am not a profesional I feel I have reached the limit of working through recipes. I learnt more about food from this book than any of my cookery books. The only downside to this book is that it reconfirmed my experience and views of turning, for want of a better word, a hobby into a job. I would love to be a profesional chef but have yet to find a sain reason to give up my career to follow my passion. I feel like Booth has lived this for me. "Any chef who says he does it for the love is a liar" MPW
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wim Goelen on 8 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great read, indeed in the vein of Bill Bryson's travelbooks. However, Amazon should mention that this is just a retitled version of "What the french know about cooking" !! After reading that one I decided to buy the other 3 titles by the author and found out I already owned this one! Also, wherever french is used in the names of the dishes, it contains errors ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Wilkins on 26 Feb 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book, it's refreshing, hugely entertaining and you get some really good advice too!!
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By AnnM52 on 21 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not enjoy this book very much. I disagreed with most of what the author had to say and at times felt quite irritated by it. But that's just my personal view, others may love it.
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