6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Gorgeous recipes but not properly kitchen-tested, 22 Mar 2013
If you like cooking moderately complex dishes, this book has some truly stunning recipes for you, and for vegetarians like me it offers some exciting new ideas. His innovations with mash are delightful. I've been cooking my way through this book for some months now and the results often put us in vegetarian heaven. Other reviewers have covered the difficulty level of this book, so I will simply say: it's not for beginners and it's not for 30-minute meals.
However I came here to write a review because I've been sorely disappointed at the frequency of errors and omissions in the recipes. It seems clear that no one tested these recipes AS WRITTEN before publication. Often a recipe will say "put in half the ____" and never tell you what to do with the other half of that ingredient. Other recipes tell you to add various amounts such that the total amount (for example 6 tbsp olive oil) is not equal to the amount in the ingredient list (4 tbsp) which leaves me wondering which is correct and have I made a mistake. A couple of the recipes simply didn't work at all as written, which suggests that a step or ingredient was not correctly transcribed.
For one recipe (a gorgeous dried-fruit tagine) I saw that Dennis Cotter published a corrected recipe on his Cafe Paradiso blog, but I was really disappointed to see that in doing so, his tone was a bit disparaging as though a cook with any brainpower could have figured it out. I see his point, but Dennis we paid for your book so we expect that the recipes in it can actually be made, from accurate instructions -- that seems the least that can be provided for the money we spend on your product. And it can be *stressful* to get partly through a challenging dish and find that no matter how many times you read it, some information you need doesn't seem to be there!
I say this sadly -- because I want so much to love this book, his food can be beautiful -- that I won't be buying any more of his books because I don't feel I can trust the accuracy of the recipes.