This is a beautiful book. The production standard is high. The pictures are beautiful. The layout is great. It is a delightful thing. The premise of the book is to offer the cook a good selection of hearty, winter recipes from all over the world. There is everything you could want to make your winter,and particularly your festive season, go with a very unusual bang. If you like wintery dishes and you want something new I heartily recommend it. The recipes are easy to follow and the instructions are clear.
The layout is not very intuitive in terms of how the recipes are arranged, and I found myself hunting about for things a few times, but as the book is not enormous this is not too much of a problem and the index is very straightforward, unlike say Nigella Lawson's latest books, which have two indexes just to make it doubly hard to find things.
The book is not for the novice cook, not because it is particularly difficult to follow, although some of the recipes have lots of steps to them and involve a fair amount of marinading and/or waiting around, but none of the recipes are 'safe' or old favourites. It would work wonderfully for an established cook who is looking for something fresh to do.
My one criticism is that quite a few of the recipes call for meat in fairly substantial quantities, and because it is a winter cook book there is a fair amount of game and meats which are not cheap. I made the roast duck breasts which were marinaded in honey with figs and roasted chestnuts and by the time I had made it for my family the dish cost about £25. Great for a treat, but not for every day use. Having said that there are recipes which involve less exalted ingredients and simpler things to try if you want. My family weren't keen because it turns out they don't particularly like things with cranberries and figs and chestnuts etc in, so it's not going to be a firm family favourite in our house, but if you are drawn to these kinds of flavours, this book will be a wonderful experience for you.