I'm lucky enough to get to eat at Terre a Terre in Brighton about once a year and consider it to be my absolute favourite resturant. I'd go there a lot more only I live in Italy, and so I was depserate to get my hands on this book to at last try and recreate some of the dishes. Some ingredients I really can't get here, but probably easier in the UK in specialist and ethnic shops. I've deliberately waited awhile before writing a review to actually use it and see if the recipes work, I see no point in a cookbook if the food you make doesn't actually taste good! I can see why some have judged it a coffee table book, and I thought the same myself when I first got it, I didn't think I'd actually use it as the recipes seemed so complicated. But one wet weekend I gave some a try and was amazed at how well they turned out. As a result I've continued to try things from it whenever I've got TIME. That's the key thing, TIME, these recipes take a lot of preparation, although most of the accompaniments, dressings and sauces can be done well ahead and then finished. But you have to be in the mood, those Sundays when you're happy to potter.
I've found that the results have been so good that I'm willing to put in the time, and once you've made something once the next time seems much easier. The real tribute to this book is that my mum has bought herself a copy now and reports back weekly on what she's made from it. I say that's the real tribute because she is not into cookbooks or fiddly recipes at all, she usually just cooks tried and tested old favourites, but she was so impressed by the things I'd cooked from it she decided to give it a go.
So here are some of the recipes I've cooked from it that worked well for me, and were worth the effort.
Dunkin Doughnuts (parmesan and porcini dust doughnuts to dip into chestnut soup), Arepas Mojo (corncakes with salsas) Skordalia and Seasame Discos (sesame sumac aubergines with garlic puree), Walnut Whip (red onion and blue cheese bruschetta with walnut whip topping, lentils and seared radicchio - this is a particular fave, probably the one I've made most often) No Cocky Big Leeky (cheesey sausages, mash and cinnamon merlot onions, with the best gravy ever), Lettuce and Lovage (pea and parsley pikelets with st germain sauce-though I've no idea about lovage, I just left it out!)Sodden Socca (chickpea fritters, caponata, marmara tapenade, saffron orange dressing) Bum (sheeps milk cheescake with sambuca sultanas on walnut biscotti with rosemary syrup). These were all good! One recipe was only okay, Send My Regards to Broadway(mille fouille with mousse and asparagus and broad bean salad) and one didn't work and was an annoying waste of a lot of time- Saltimbocca, I just couldn't get the thin sheets of sun dried tomato to wrap around the polenta sauages and ended up with a crumbly mess!
So overall that makes 8 I was pleased with, some of which I've now made quite a few times, and 2 I wasn't pleased with, so I'd judge that a successful book. So to those who have it on the coffee table still then please try some, to those thinking of buying it - its not a book for those in a hurry but if you are the sort of cook who enjoys taking time over a recipe and fiddliness if the end result is worth it then I'd highly recommend it.