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Modern Classics: Book 1 [Paperback]

Donna Hay
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Oct 2002

This is what we've all been waiting for: Donna Hay's fresh new two-book series that updates timeless cookery classics and establishes some modern ones. These are the essential handbooks to perfect (or kick off) your cooking talents.

The first of a duo of titles, ‘Modern Classics: Book 1’ revisits the classics with a modern edge and presents the essential recipes of contemporary cooking with Donna Hay's signature simplicity, clarity and beautiful styling.

Master a roast, make the ultimate meat pie, whisk up the perfect salad dressing…Donna Hay's modern classics will become the handbooks of a new generation of home cooks and indispensable refresher manuals for those who came before them. No kitchen will be complete without her fantastic modern take on the food everyone would love to cook if only they knew how.

Chapter by chapter, Donna Hay gives you the basics, step by step and beautifully photographed, as well as some simple but wonderful recipes to use every day, then takes you beyond with extras, variations and twists for special occasions and adventurous days. Includes soups, salads, vegetables, roasts and simmers, pasta and delicious pies.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (7 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007148704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007148707
  • Product Dimensions: 29.6 x 22.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


‘If you are anything like me…almost always hungry, almost always pressed for time, almost always in the market for a fresh idea and absolutely always put off by the daunting complexity of chefs’ recipes – Donna Hay is for you.’ R.W. Apple Jr, food critic, New York Times

‘Donna Hay is my inspiration.’ Jamie Oliver

‘Hay’s are those affordable, big, sexy paperbacks, oozing irresistible things…the photography is equally seductive.’ Independent

From the Author

Like a lot of people I know of my generation, I treasure the commonsense kind of basic cookery books that were given to us by our mothers and grandmothers, and I'll often use them for an inspirational starting point when I'm thinking of old things to cook in a new way. I also love to see a new dish with incredible staying power making its mark as a next-generation classic. And that's what the Modern Classics are a combination of – an update of the timeless classics and an establishment of some new ones.

What macaroni cheese was to me, risotto will be to the children of today when they become the adults doing the cooking in the future. But who wants to see as formative and influential meal as macaroni cheese fall off the everyday meal agenda? Certainly not me. That’s why recipes for a new-look macaroni cheese and a step-by-step guide to making risotto both feature in Modern Classic Book 1, along with delicious juxtapositions such as spaghetti and meatballs and pad thai, coleslaw and tabouli, pea and ham soup and laksa. They’re all there, as well as the basics you’ll need no matter whether you’re cooking in retro or future classics mode – how to make stock, cook rice, make pastry or a mash.

In updating the classics, I’ve taken into account the different ways we cook and eat food in modern life, and the new kinds of ingredients that are now readily available. My aim was to present commonsense cookery in a modern way, so that mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers would have something practical and inspiring to give the next generation of young adults as they leave home, and enjoy a cooking revival in the own kitchens. There’s a sweet version – Modern Classic Book 2 – on the way, too.

Here’s to a whole new generation of passionate cooks, and to a newly inspired current one!


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and mouthwatering 21 Jun 2004
By nicola1459 VINE VOICE
This book is a joy to look at with stylish, mouthwatering pictures accompanying every recipe. But it is also a joy to use with simple, clear instructions and lots of hints and tips. For novice cooks, it gives you the confidence to try dishes which look impressive but are really quite simple. For those who are more confident in the kitchen, there are lots of ideas here that can be adapted depending on what you happen to have in your cupboard at the time. I often turn to it for inspiration for quick supper dishes as well as for more special meals. Recipes are grouped by common ingredients, with chapters on pasta, pulses, salads etc, and by regions, with chapters on mediterranean and asian cooking. The premise of the book is that it gives a modern twist on traditional old favourites. Donna Hay certainly achieves this - and gives heaps of inspiring new ideas as well, which will have you itching to get cooking and eating!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need 19 Jun 2003
I have had this book for several months now and unlike every other cookbook on my shelf, it really has been used and is beginning to look a bit dog-eared! The recipes are great and easy to follow, there are no "strange" or "hard to find" ingredients. You will find simple recipes like how to cook a roast, to how to make Thai Green Curry (one of the best recipes for Thai Green Curries I've ever found). Even the basics are covered, like how to cook great rice and make great mashed potatoe.
The only problem is that it doesn't have any recipes for desserts, but this will be covered in her second book "Modern Classics Book 2". Otherwise, an essential kitchen tool for the person who wants to improve and expand their cooking skills!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Cookbook. 20 Jan 2006
By MrShev
This is how cookbooks should be written. The recipes are short, without any preamble about good the result will taste, and give you the highlights of what is the most important part of the recipe. The recipe for French onion soup is one of the best that I have ever used and produces perfect results every time. My wife, who is a self confessed non-cook, made the cheese soufflé - trust me on this: soufflés are the Everest of dishes! - and it was perfect and absolutely delicious.
She doesn't muck about, she doesn't lecture (like Delia) and she sticks to the point. There are nice big pictures to show you what it'll look like at the end and there is a glossary at the back and a kit list. If you lack confidence in the kitchen or want a bible of dinner party savers then this is the book for you.
Highly recommended - I shall be buying her other books.
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