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A Year in my Kitchen [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Skye Gyngell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2008
"A Year in My Kitchen" is destined to become one of the classic cookbooks and consolidate the already remarkable reputation of its author Skye Gyngell, as one of the most inspirational chefs cooking today. As food editor for "Vogue" magazine and "The Independent on Sunday", and chef of the Petersham Nurseries Cafe, a magical 'townmeets-country' oasis in southwest London, Skye's refreshingly original approach to cooking yields superb results. Her unfussy but intensely flavourful food is based on the components of her culinary 'toolbox' - ingredients and flavourings that Skye uses to 'build' her dishes from earthy base note flavours to the fresh top notes that make the dish 'sing'.Seasonally inspired and produce led, Skye maintains that her secret is 'not to mess with good ingredients - just to turn the volume up'. The recipes in the book are an absolute treasure trove of dishes especially created to make the most of ingredients at their seasonal best. Try a refreshing springtime Panade of Broad Beans with Pancetta, Mint and Ricotta; a summertime treat of Tea-Smoked Wild Salmon with Chilli Sauce; a warming Sweet Potato and Ginger soup in autumn; and a Spicy Italian Sausage with Rosemary, Chilli, Red Wine and Polenta to cheer you through the dark winter days. Simple, clean and clear flavours are the prevailing characteristics and the food sings in the mouth as well as visually on the plate. Her enthusiasm for great-tasting food is conveyed on every page, providing a constant source of inspiration.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (1 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844005925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844005925
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 16.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond, Surrey, and an established food writer, contributing regularly to the Independent on Sunday, Vogue and delicious.

Born in Australia, Skye has worked as a chef in Sydney, Paris and London. Since 2004, she has been pivotal in establishing Petersham's reputation for excellent food and an impressive number of awards. including its first Michelin star in 2011.

A Year in my Kitchen was named the Guild of Food Writers 'Cookery Book of the Year' in 2007 and 'Best Food Book' at Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards. The sequel, My Favourite Ingredients, was published in 2008. A further book, How I Cook, was published in Autumn 2010.

Product Description


Winner of 'Cookery Book of the Year' at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2007 --Guild of Food Writers

'I am completely in tune with Skye Gyngell's approach to food, which is suited to a Mediterranean repertoire of ingredients and I often go to her A Year in My Kitchen for inspiration.' --Independent on Sunday, October 2012

About the Author

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nursuries Cafe in Richmond, Surrey, and an established food writer, writing regularly for The Independent on Sunday and Vogue magazine. Australian by birth, she has worked as a chef in Sydney, Paris and London. Since 2004, Skye has been pivotal in gaining Petersham Nursuries Cafe its reputation for excellent food and an impressive number of awards.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and exquisite food 9 Feb 2007
Skye Gyngell is the chef at Petersham Café, a heavenly café-restaurant in the middle of Petersham Nurseries. In the old greenhouses, surrounded by plants, flowers and many a ravishing household accessory, you will eat simple but exquisitely prepared food.

`A year in my kitchen', Skye's first book, is a real labour of love written with great warmth, thoughtfulness and a serious concern for the seasons. Feeding friends - or customers - is in part about the right attitude; a `generosity of spirit', so she positively encourages us to put our hearts and souls into our cooking.

The basis of her recipes is her `culinary toolbox', a range of flavours that are the starting point for her dishes. The toolbox is based on `sky and earth' flavours that range from leafy green herbs, citrus zest and vinaigrettes (sky) to the earth-bound, woody herbs, toasted nuts or roast spices that add depth to winter meals. Trust me, it does make sense once you have read her explanation and it is far less airy-fairy than it sounds.

Truly a treasure to be absorbed and used throughout the year, "A year in my kitchen" focuses on choosing fresh seasonal produce and preparing it with flair and individuality. It will excite and inspire you and - should you feel the need - put the passion back into your cooking. It will also leave you itching to get in the kitchen to try Skye's ideas.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book 16 Nov 2006
Although I have not tried many recipes from this book as yet all those I have tried have worked and been wonderful. This book is a delight to read and Skye's prose is quite inspirational. She tends to compose simple recipes with a careful use of sweet, sour salty etc and the end result is very good indeed. I hope to use this cook book a lot, however, some of the recipes are prohibitive in terms of the ingredients. There are nevertheless many ideas that I hope will make it into my kitchen. Great book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Hiro
This is probably the most beautiful cookery book ever written.

I have a feeling that this book was not written for profit. This book is a mere result of her love for seasons, the gardens in Nurseries, natural ingredients from the mother nature, and the food to put a smile on your face.

I always feel that Australian cooks understand the essence of Oriental cuisine very well - the importance of contrasting textures in a dish, and the importance of balance in saltiness/ sweetness/ sourness/ bitterness/ spiciness/ umami in flavour. I think they excel at throwing this essence into European dishes to come up with something outstanding.

As below reviewers already mentioned, this book is not for beginners (if you are, go for "The First-Time Cook" by Sophie Grigson. A great book. Fun to read too), and some ingredients are hard to get if you live far away from big cities (well, but, looking at he sunny side of life, you stand far greater a chance to be able to pick wild garlic).

Having said that, this book is brilliant just to have on the bed side. The pictures are so wonderful and it is a sheer joy just to look at them. It makes you feel the world is still a nice place, and there is something you can look forward to making for lunch at the next weekend.

I am going to the Cafe in Petersham Nurseries one day soon!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Foodie reading 31 Jan 2009
I thought this would be an interesting cook book as the premise is that it concentrates on cooking with the produce of the seasons. Something I am quite keen to get into. It is a really beautiful book with dreamy, misty photographs and is beautifully put together. Recipe-wise though, it really is more appropriate for the professional cook running a large kitchen as the recipes require you to use components from a previously prepared 'storecupboard'. These are pickled ingredients, flavoured oils, etc, all prepared in large quantities but to be used within days or weeks!

It is a beautiful book to have around the kitchen or to give as a gift, but, practically, there are few recipes I could see myself settling down to make. The recipes are quite complicated and involved but obviously created with love and enthusiasm by the author herself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice to read but do the recipes work? 27 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a really experienced cook and enjoy using a wide range of cookery books. I decided to make Baked blackberry and stem ginger pudding for Sunday lunch. Quite fiddly to make but I was optimistic until I turned the individual puddings out to find no pool of syrup surrounding them. I thought perhaps I had made a mistake but. when you compare the recipe and the picture it is obvious that 1 tbsp of syrup could never give the pool in the photo. In fact I had added more than the recipe said and there was nothing to see when cooked. The pudding was lovely but not what I expected and that makes me doubt the quality of testing and wondering if it is worth trying others. This disappointment rarely happens with other writers and I felt rather let down.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Skye's the limit? 30 Jun 2010
On the surface there's a lot to recomend this book. It's nicely written and presented. There's a stong commitment to seasonal eating. There's some interesting and informative ways to think about and approach food; top notes vs base notes, for example.There's also a recommendation from Nigel Slater.

However, the recipies are simply not that good. To start with there's a one size fits all spice mix. Which when used in the Morrocon inspired Lamb with Prunes gives the dish an incongruos Indian flavour due to the intrusion of the distinctive taste of fenugreek.(It should also be added that this spice mix recipe lists cardamon as ingrediant but doesn't specify which type.I assumed green, but the picture shows black). The honey and walnut tart- and I'm not first person to mention this- doesn't quite set.I also found the flavour a bit one dimensional. Perhaps it would benefit from the inclusion of one those 'top-note'flavours which the author claims are so important to avoid flat tasting food..... The sherry in the Lemon Syllabub may also be little too 'raw' for some palettes. I couldn't help feeling the dessert would have worked better as cooked lemon posset, which would have some of the harshness of the alcohol.

Then there is the insistance on seasoning with tamari - a low sodium soy sauce- instead of salt. Which when combined with Gyngell's talk of 'earth' and 'sky' flavours and banal platitudes like 'the most imoprtant ingredient being love' will have even right mind folk shouting 'hippie' like they're Jeremy Clarkson. Finally, so this doesn't appear too one-sided, I will say I am a big fan of the rhubarb ice cream.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Content good, quality of book poor
The content is good, there are some really lovely recipes, but the book itself unravelled as I opened it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Wesley Allesch-Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Encapsulates all that is great about modern cuisine. An valuable addition to my cookery library. And I have weeded out the really dated ones in favour of books like this. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anne Kennedy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes
The spine left the rest of the book on first opening, otherwise there are no obvious problems. The risk you take with a second hand book I suppose. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Madge
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book!
This is such an inspiring book! I am a keen cook but like real food. This book is everthing I had hoped for and more! Simple but delicious ideas with no unecessary 'faffing'. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs B
5.0 out of 5 stars Flavoursome recipes
It took me ages to decide whether or not to buy this book - unfortunately I find Ms Gyngell's writing style slightly irksome (am I alone in finding her language a little... Read more
Published 6 months ago by EFP
5.0 out of 5 stars A great cook book
Liked the lay out, the recipes were interesting and it is a beautiful original and worthwhile book for you cookery bookshelf.
Published 7 months ago by Anne Cox
3.0 out of 5 stars lovely book
"A precursor to "How I cook".It's good, but buy the other book first"
a lovely book, maybe as a gift
Published 24 months ago by art books
5.0 out of 5 stars As expected
Super quick delivery and exactly as expected. excellent book, a must for all keen cooks. Try the chestnut starter - it'll amaze you,
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by matron
5.0 out of 5 stars great inspiration
This is a fantastic cook book from an inspirational chef. There are some great standard recipes for basics plus some really original ones to try new stuff. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2011 by ninka
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's right
I think there's truth in all the reviews. This isn't an open-and-go cookbook, but it is very lovely, and if you enjoy a wet afternoon pottering in the kitchen, it can find a... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2011 by footle44
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