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The Caribbean Cook [Hardcover]

Patrick Williams
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 2001
Patrick Williams trained in classical French food, but he has always looked at ways in which West Indian food could benefit from the techniques of classical French food - and vice versa. In this book he creates his own Caribbean style of cooking. The recipes are modern but bring together the "raw" essence of the Caribbean and Pat's creativity, resulting in mouth-watering dishes for the modern palate.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; 1st Edition edition (5 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718144325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718144326
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 18.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 825,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Nothing brings sunshine to rain-soaked British summers like Caribbean tastes, which makes the release of Patrick Williams's The Caribbean Cook very timely indeed. These recipes are lush and tempting, glorifying the hot, sweet Caribbean flavours. Starters include sticky Crab and Mango Salad and velvety Roast Plantain Soup with Ginger Chantilly; mains boast crunchy-sweet Coconut Chicken and Deep Fried Squid in Curry Batter; gooshy desserts like Sweet Banana Fritters and Carmelised Pineapple with Tamarind Ice Cream abound.

Traditional Caribbean ingredients star in many of the dishes: shiny red ackee fruit pairs with fresh salted cod; green bananas bolster fried kingfish; callaloo, plantains and christophene are sprinkled liberally throughout breakfast, barbecue, and even dessert recipes.

Williams also likes to mix Caribbean spice with British favourites: his Bubble and Squeak features a buttery-rich blob of yams; turmeric and lime give mellow sparkle to Roast Chicken, and a traditional fry-up sizzles with roast breadfruit and peppery baked beans.

However, if you like a bit of context with your cooking, Williams doesn't provide much. An established professional and celebrity chef, who has had stints with the Criterion and Titanic restaurants and has presented children's cooking programmes, his book feels like restaurant fare sent straight to market, with little provision or adaptation for the home cook. Williams writes a colourful introduction and includes a handy glossary for the ingredients, but beyond that, there's nothing more than the recipes. With those, instructions are basic, photos are few--and the absence of context and homeliness, especially concerning such a warm, richly historical cusine, leaves the book a little flat. But if you're happy to skip the stories and get right to the seared blackened salmon, The Caribbean Cook can deliver.--Marisa Lencioni

About the Author

In 1997, Patrick Williams was appointed Head Chef at Green Champagne and Oyster Bar in London, before moving on to work for Marco Pierre White at both the Titanic and the Criterion restaurants. He has co-presented 'Hey Pesto', a cookery series for children, on cable television and has more recently been filming a series for Carlton Food Network.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time 28 Oct 2006
I wanted to impress my friend from Trinidad by cooking something authentic so was glad to have received this book as a present. However, the event turned into a disaster thanks to Patrick William's book. All 3 recipes I tried seemed to be randomly thrown together with no understanding of tastes. For example, his rum and raisin cheesecake has no sugar in it at all(Patrick Williams' quote "This cheescake is totally and utterly delicious - you must try it!"). This is meant to be a dessert but the filling consists of cream cheese, eggs and cream. That's all. Disgusting, more like some kind of failed quiche. Second, his Chinese Pork marinade has 2 tablespoons of salt (yes tablespoons) 2 tablespoons of Chinese 5 Spice, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce amongst other things. The result is a salty excrescence which totally ruined the beautiful piece of organic pork belly I had bought from the butchers. Finally he recommends serving this dish with his 'stir-fried egg noodles', a somewhat bizarre suggestion as these are meant to be whipped up from leftovers including cooked meat or fish and again include 1 tablespoon (yes tablespoon) of chinese 5 spice. Again, inedible. I wasted a lot of my time with these recipes and would advise against anyone else doing the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very useful cookbook 27 July 2010
Whilst i would say that some of the recipes in this book miss the mark for my own personal tastes, the recipes that do work more than make up for it! I also found that experimenting with the existing recipes and altering some of their components/amounts made for some brilliant results.

As with all cook books there will be recipes that people love and others will not (i guess that's the problem with subjective areas such as taste) but don't forget recipes are "more guidelines than rules" so if you enjoy experimenting with your cooking you will find plenty to inspire you. Also the jerk paste recipe in this book is one of the best variants I have found (try a tbsp of smooth honey or cane sugar syrup in it though to really make it rock!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars caribbean cook with a twist 15 May 2009
By Rebelle
i received this book as a present and enjoyed trying the receipes. it gives a european twist to caribbean flavours and ingredients. i enjoyed trying some dishes on relatives and friends and it was fun getting feedback on their versions of Patrick's dishes. It's a nice introduction to 'west indian' cooking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Regular buy! 4 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have had this book for years and have used several of the recipes in it to the enjoyment of friends and family. I've now bought a copy for my mum and my sister!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 15 Nov 2011
Brilliant seller.Highly reccommended. Great book, very exciting recipes. I have tried the oxtail soup which was a big hit with the family. Dying to try another recipe.
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