Excellent book that is based on the concept of a "cookery school" rather than being just another "cookery book". There's much more in here than just a series of recipes and methods. The concept is to equip you with the necessary skills, and confidence, needed to advance from a good basic level of cookery onto a more complex level. The recipes are mainly light, modern and packed with flavour, think Masterchef and you'll have a good idea what to expect, but they're possibly not the type of food you'll want to cook for the kids when they come home from school in the evening, unless you're living a Nigella lifestyle of course, they're more sophisticated. If you have time to make your own pasta and bread, if you can afford sea food and you have time to clean your own fish then you'll love this book. The layout is nice, very modern, plenty of photos and the methods are reasonably straight forward but; the ingredients might prove difficult to source unless, of course, you have an excellent supermarket nearby. You'll have to bear that in mind before you fling yourself into preparing any of the dishes. I enjoyed the skill sections and thought them very well presented and not too confusing, it's always nice to be able to prepare your own fish and meat. As someone who has spent a lot of time in the kitchen, over the years, I found the book overall a decent buy and it presents me with some challenges. However; if I was just starting out then I think I'd have found it too advanced, too complicated, and gone for a more general cookery book. 5* for an experienced cook or an enthusiatic beginner but maybe only 3* for a timid beginner....depends on how confident you feel.