This is, without a doubt, the most thumbed book in our kitchen. Over the past few years it has become our standard reference in all things cookery.
Starting with the downsides:
- precious little in the way of illustrations;
- the recipes that form part of some of the entries tend assume a great deal of background knowledge and are not for the novice;
- the book is French and comes at the subject from the standpoint of that cuisine. Some of the remarks about "foreign" cooking are a little offhand (though the British kitchen is spoken of warmly - I checked in the French languauge version in a bookshop and it's not just a tactful addition to the English version!)
On the plus side:
- everything is here. If you want to know what to do in the unlikely event of being presented with a freshly shot donkey, or what a "figatelli" is or what was the sequence number of the pressed duck Edward VII ate at the "Tour d'Argent" it is in here.
This book gave me the confidence to buy things that looked interesting without having the faintest notion of how to cook them, secure in the knowledge that the answer would be found. I cannot commend it highly enough.