38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Worth the wait., 24 Sept. 2012
I've just spent 2 hours with the eagerly awaited, long time delayed but most importantly just delivered 'The Square' restaurant cook book. Phillip Howard, The Square team, and his publishing team have crafted a great book that is a fitting testament to The Square's 21 years existence delivering superb food service after service.
Mr Howard describes his personal history in the introduction and premises each section of the book with his thoughts on what is important. This volume contains only the savoury elements of the 2 Michelin starred The Square's offering yet still weighs in at 500 pages. Pastry to be published at a later date I guess.
The recipes are seasonal, harmonious and make clear sense engaging both my head and stomach. This is not the oxygen depleted terroir of the brilliant Ferran Adria or Grant Achatz et al where special equipment or a long list of hard to come by ingredients is required. The brilliant Mr Howard's cooking and his book occupy a ground to be walked and consulted day after day. It is clearly laid out with excellent descriptions and helpful advice for each recipe. The photography captures each dish well and straightforwardly.
Owning quite a few of the heaving hitting fine dining restaurant books, and taking into account I cook for a living, I would say this book will be used a great deal more than some of the others are. As beautiful as some of the other 2 and 3 Michelin star books are to leaf through and inspire and perhaps grab the odd technique, ingredient or flavour combo The Square book is a book for the kitchen over and above one for the 'coffee table'. The Square's intelligent and sympathetic cooking might be seen as a little too safe by some who prefer high concept and cutting edge technique but the rock solid technique and good sense in The Square's cook book is the foundation of superior cooking anywhere.