Among the latest batch of celebrity chefs, Marco Pierre White is undoubtedly one of the most talented and outspoken. The blurb for Whites Hell's Kitchen
describes him as legendary, and for once the adjective is not just hyperbole. And while this same blurb mentions Whites outspoken opinions and reminiscences, the most important element here is the collection of 100 tempting recipes, from starters and soups to ambitious (but achievable) meat and fish main courses and (of course) the exquisite deserts that are one of the chef's specialities. As many of the great French chefs will assert, the basic sauces, stocks and essences are at the heart of fine cuisine, and they are lovingly celebrated in the recipes here.
Among the most useful features here are the shortcuts and tips designed to get us through more difficult aspects of cookery. And it is particularly welcome to note that the recipes (though usually contained in just one or two pages) are still detailed enough to give us the wherewithal to create, say Breast of Pigeon with Foie Gras wrapped in Cabbage or Panaché of Langoustines and Sea Scallops with Cucumber and Ginger (for the latter recipe, Marco Pierre White points out that langoustines, while fished in the Scottish seas, are mostly exported to France and Italy, making them hard to find the UK -- as well as expensive). But after reading the recipes here, readers will be inspired to make the effort.
It goes without saying that we won't be able to achieve results as impressive as Marco Pierre White, but the recipes here are designed to give us the confidence necessary to tackle them. And we can dream, cant we? --Barry Forshaw
"You don't have to be a genius to be a good cook. Chopping food isn't difficult. Good cooking is about doing lots of small things well." (Marco Pierre White