When I think of this cookbook, I think... average. Nothing dazzling. Nothing bad. It's good, solid food. I guess I'm spoiled; I like to see more than that. Most cookbooks have at least a few truly wonderful recipes in them-otherwise, why spend money on them?
There are some very brief informational sections toward the beginning, which present a mix of "duh" and "okay, I guess that's useful" information. Layout is fairly clean and easy. Recipes are generally one-page affairs, easy to make sense out of.
The chapters are divided into Fish & Shellfish, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, Vegetables, and Desserts. Yes, desserts! Most of the recipes in this book are fairly simple. Fish steaks are marinated and grilled; occasionally they're served with a simple sauce. The plum sauce that goes with the red mullet looks quite good: plums, brown sugar, garlic, lemon zest, and cinnamon. The seafood kabobs are served with a cucumber and yogurt dip. There are Seafood Tikka Kabobs, Lobster Tails with Lemon and Tarragon Mayonnaise (yum!), and Grilled Sardines with Ginger and Mint Butter. The recipes sound so delicious, that I'm continually surprised by the "good but not great" nature of the food once it's cooked.
A brief complaint: this cookbook does not like to provide amounts when telling you to add pepper and salt. Sometimes this works, but not when you're adding it to, oh, say, raw hamburger meat. The "perfect hamburger" recipe (which was pretty good, but I wouldn't call it perfect) even says "seasoning to taste." I would not recommend this, due to bacterial worries, and the author should have known better too.
The desserts chapter looks like one of the best chapters in the book: Rum-Flambeed Pineapple, for example, and Bananas with Cinnamon Mascarpone. Certainly these are more original than many of the other recipes. The Calvados Apples look amazing, as does the Warm Bananas with Chocolate Cream. While the Fruit and Marshmallow Kabobs look fantastic, however, we found it nigh-impossible to get the marshmallows to blacken at all before simply melting (contrary to the artful picture).
This is an average cookbook. Nothing we've made out of it has been bad; everything has been reasonably good. I'm used to seeing a higher ratio of very good recipes. I want directions that don't imply that I should be tasting raw hamburger for its salt content. I want "helpful" information that doesn't make me say "uh, yeah? So what? Where's the useful stuff?" We'll certainly make use of this cookbook and I marginally recommend it, but it won't be one of our dog-eared, well-worn cookbooks.