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4.3 out of 5 stars85
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on 29 December 2005
I bought this because it seemed different to all those high profile highly promoted celebrity cookbooks. It seemed to be aiming at an audience wanting wholesome and traditional recipes without the hype.
However, when I got into it, I found a cookbook full of strange recipes (Brains, kidneys, offal etc.) and hard to find ingredients.
The book is often so insistent and specific about particular types of ingredient (early season garlic from a particular region, a particular breed of chicken for example) that it can become discouraging from the outset. You feel that the garlic you have in the cupboard and your organic chicken from the supermarket just isn’t good enough.
There are constant references to particular French restaurants and bistros discovered on holidays. This book often slips into a nostalgic trip for the author. I know its only an attempt at scene setting for a dish, but I feel that the tone unfortunately becomes a bit aloof at times. Never, does this book go along the down-to-earth lines of ‘don’t worry if you cant find ingredient A, if you can only get ingredient B it will work just as nicely’. All too often it’s a sort of ‘it has to be from <somewhere in France> to be good’.
Its not a cookbook that will readily provide you with a balanced meal, it is structured by individual ingredient (chapters on potato, aubergine, endive, offal, garlic, etc.) and you will have to put in some planning to make up your own balanced meal and work out what goes with what. I think that this is its biggest drawback, I find that the list of recipes simply does not lend itself easily to providing an inviting and wholesome modern meal for family or friends.
I would only recommend this book for those with a specific enthusiasm for unusual and rich French bistro food, and the time to seek out the specific ingredients and plan a menu.
For the rest, there are dozens of fine cookbooks out there.
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on 7 November 2005
This book came highly recommended - what a let down. It was said to be as useful a cookbook as Delia Smith or Jamie Oliver write. Not so. Be warned!! These recipes are not for everyday cooking and that apart, they all sound really strange. I gave my copy away to a charity shop.
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on 7 June 2014
I followed the roast chicken recipe exactly. The chicken finished up burnt on the outside & raw in the middle. I can't recommend this book.
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on 15 August 2007
I wrote some time ago that this book was not worth buying, but it never got published. Give me Nigel Slater any time. I love to cook and over the years have bought many recipe books, but this was definitely the worst.
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