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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have currently
I have over 30-40 different cookbooks from very quick and easy to very complicated. This book is one of the best I have seen for creating top end fine dining at home.

The recipes are very clear and concise and are beautifully illustrated with photos to help you along.

The recipes are quite intricate so I would only recommend for an accomplished home...
Published on 13 Dec. 2010 by Reviewer Thornton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bought this because it says the author is Heston. ...
Bought this because it says the author is Heston. Returned it because he not. Also, the food is so extravagant you would be hard pushed to find most of the ingredients
Published 7 months ago by Katherine Hayes


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have currently, 13 Dec. 2010
I have over 30-40 different cookbooks from very quick and easy to very complicated. This book is one of the best I have seen for creating top end fine dining at home.

The recipes are very clear and concise and are beautifully illustrated with photos to help you along.

The recipes are quite intricate so I would only recommend for an accomplished home cook.
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal, 20 Mar. 2006
By 
Emile AULD (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you want to see how a Michelin Star chef really cooks, then buy this book.
Unlike a lot of other books that promise to show you "the secrets", this one really does.
Don't bother buying it though unless you really want to make the effort to re-create the dishes. You'll need time, patience and determination to match the results.
However you'll learn a lot of solid techniques along the way.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 16 Feb. 2007
By 
The recipes in this book are hard work and no mistake and can be quite daunting if you try to replicate them in full. Providing you are reasonably comfortable in the kitchen though you can easily cut them down to more manageable components and find pre-prepared alternatives for certain elements.

If you are the kind of person who loves to spend time just playing in the kitchen and want some new inspiration, then this is the book for you. If you think Delia is exotic or Nigella extravagant though... pass this over!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good cookbook is like a good pornographic magazine, 28 Nov. 2008
By 
Kuma "kuma" (Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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As the young Jamie Oliver probably once said, a good cookbook is like a good pornographic magazine, when you open it up the pages are all stuck together. Well, my copy has certainly seen as much action in the kitchen as the teenage Jamie's copy of Razzle saw in the bedroom, and its pages track a year of boiling up stocks, stirring up sauces, grilling fishes and hoping the communists down the street look through the window and see me enjoying the guilty pleasures of foie gras.

These recipes are all moderately easy, and there are always ways you can do things a little easier by cutting a few corners to arrive at something not far off the finished product. The ingredients are often quite expensive (like I said, there are a lot of foie gras recipes, and almost every recipe calls for several vanilla pods) and you may need some additional kitchen kit, but it does show in the finished product and you can feel the "I did that" smugness as you enjoy what you have created ;)
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars almost essential, 19 Dec. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Formulas for Flavour (Hardcover)
this is an almost essential book to every kitchen. it is not about trends or experiments, but lays solid foundations -without being boring or condescending.
attention is given to what you can do in advance (and how long in advance), and nice step-by-step instructions are offered (with photographs). i've made about eight recipies from this book (two starters, three desserts and three main courses), and all went splendidly fine. i even made the lamb stock (18 hours of simmering, reducing 8 litres of water to less than 1 litre of fond) and it came out extremely rich and broad (?) in flavour.
(sits on the shelf next to another essential: 'moro: the cookbook')
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy if you love food, 9 Feb. 2012
Bought this book solely because Heston Blumenthal wrote the foreword for it which, in my opinion, is a damn good start to any cook book. But....don't think of it as a cook book as such. Yes there are a shedload of amazing recipes that you will want to make and yes you will be inspired to get in the kitchen. But the beauty of this book lies in it's approach to food. Campbell, in his introduction, basically tells you to experiment and offers a range of ideas for each component of the dishes. If you usually follow recipes to the letter, I don't think you will fully appreciate how good this book is. A must have for anybody who believes you should live to eat as opposed to vice-versa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but you will want more!, 26 Feb. 2013
By 
I. Darren (Fi) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Taste is a very strange beast. By nature it is highly personal yet many of its attributes are commonly shared. Finding a taste that truly hits an individual's and a group's tastebuds can be a challenge. Nonsense you may think but it is true.

In this deceptively-slim volume, Michelin-starred chef John Campbell is virtually standing behind you, whispering hints, tips and the benefit of his wisdom of how to cook restaurant-quality dishes at home.

To use a musical analogy, lots of people can play a given instrument relatively well. Yet not so many have that next degree of finesse that shows they have really mastered their art. Just like with cooking, bunging a few spices into the mix and trying to make the finished dish look pretty is not sufficient. Diners are being more and more demanding, whether at a top restaurant or at home. Taste is also formed not just with the tastebuds. Eyes, ears and nose can play their part too. And that is before the quality of the ingredients are considered.

This is quite a clever book, if not titled and cover-pictured slightly ambiguously so that you might have got the impression that it is another "Cook like Heston Blumenthal"-style book with his innovative, mad cap styling. It does not help that Heston wrote an introduction either... Once you get into the book its quality begins to shine. Focussing on a few good things well, rather than a lot of things in a mediocre fashion, the reader is presented with a number of recipes that they can follow at home. Rather than, though, the usual recipe book-style, you get a very clear, step-by-step hands-on guide to making the dish to restaurant standard. Explanatory text within helps show why a certain approach is taken too so once you get bored (?) with the range of selected recipes, the additional knowledge and confidence that you have gathered will help you shine with other dishes.

Making these dishes is just like standing in a hot, sweaty top restaurant kitchen, with the highly-strung top chef close at hand for advice, and yet so near to giving you a boll.... err, constructive, gentle criticism.. Make no mistake, this is a great chance no matter how arduous you might think it is.

The book focusses on typical meal scenarios - starters, mains and desserts as well as breaking out "foundation" basic items for closer scrutiny too. Ending with a very cursory look at the science and methodology behind a good recipe, a guide to composing your own recipes, a glossary and good index, you feel you've had a whistle-stop tour of the entire kitchen.

You won't be the next Heston Blumenthal or John Campbell by only reading this book, yet for its very low price you are getting a privileged front row chance to learn at the elbow of a master, pick up a few hints and tips along the way, refine a bit more your style and develop even further.

So YUM reviewer, is this a tasty little book that will have you wanting more? Yes Chef!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to front excellent., 2 Jan. 2013
If you open this book like a normal western book, (i.e. reading from left to right), the first page after the foreword and introduction is a recipe for roast salt cod and clam chowder. The first page of that is a photograph, the second is a list of ingredients with a tip about thinking ahead, and the next two pages are the method and photos of the process. The same format is repeated for each recipe throughout the book. There are 30 recipes spread out like this with photographs. After that, there's a chapter on bread with 7 bread recipes (no photos). Then a chapter on stocks and nages with 6 recipes (no photos, a chapter entitled basic recipes which starts with pasta dough, and includes fish mousse, Mirepoix, tapenade, Chlorophyll, herb oil, strawberry dressing, puff pastry and brandy snap, among others. Then there's a chapter on Science and Methodology which tells you details about what happens to the food in the preparation process as well as some interesting bits on hardness of water and then there's a chapter giving you notions about the kinds of things you need to take into account when composing your own dishes, eg balance of flavours, portion size, presentation. After that there's a glossary and notes on the recipes and finally an index and a list of suppliers and sources. There is no list of chapters at the front and it does feel like the course in this book is for practical people who like to be hands on first and then maybe find out about the theory. In my case, I like to understand the theory first, so I really enjoyed the back pages. Have not yet tried the recipes as they look time consuming and sometimes are set out over several days, even though they are beautifully presented and probably worth the effort for a gastronome. The other thing about these recipes is that they are quite modern and display an interesting mix of flavours such as sweet with sour (balsamic strawberries), textures (including savoury tuiles) and temperatures hot with very cold (such as risotto with ice cream).
There's no doubt that following the method in this book would take one's cooking to a lofty level even if only once in a blue moon. I do wonder, though, who has the time to do this on a regular basis, unless you intend to become a professional - because it is definitely worked for a home cook with the normal equipment one finds at home and nothing more (though I don't have a foam whisk which is required for foams). You could, though, prepare the constituent parts of a dish individually, just to taste on your own and that would be practice in itself.
One tiny niggle is that occasionally, as a bi-lingual French English speaker and writer, one finds the odd typo/spelling/grammatical mistake, which can change the meaning slightly. For instance, the word "fondue" is misspelled "fondu" consistently: in French one talks about "une fondue", which is a particular kind of dish, but in the glossary the misspelled word is used. The word "fondu" (meaning melted) is a state of being, not a dish - as in "le fromage fondu" (the melted cheese). But if your kitchen French is so good that you can register these slight errors, your culinary skill may be sufficiently high not to care anyway.
It is not an all embracing course but it goes a long way.
I would, in any event, recommend this book for its sheer beauty. It is a work of art, beautifully photographed, very well explained and made with the utmost delicacy and care and skill - just what you'd hope for in a true professional. Thanks to John Campbell for his generosity in sharing his know-how with us and for Heston Blumenthal in recommending him.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than it looks, 11 Dec. 2011
I have had this book for over 4 years now but just revisited the little angel
and just had to comment on the little belter....
It's kind of a cross between The Cook's Book and David Everett-Matthias's Essence, if that's any help.

Everyone I've ever recommended it to has agreed it's one of the best cookbook's around. The recipes are all really strong, maybe not as complex as Thomas Keller's, but what really makes it worth owning is the way it shows the (experienced) home cook how to replicate restaurant-level food - Campbell had just been given a 2nd Michelin star (around the time of publication)- without killing themselves with stress.

On the surface the book just shows how to recreate a bunch of starters, mains and desserts, with little reference info for stuff like bread or pastry, but by including step-by-step instructions and photos for each stage of every dish, along with useful explanations about which elements can be prepared in advance, it actually imparts loads of great practical knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to follow, 12 Dec. 2013
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I bought this a couple of weeks ago and have found it invaluable, the recipes are great just what you would expect in a top class restaurant. the book is full of great ideas, practical methods a must have for any decent chef!!
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Formulas for Flavour
Formulas for Flavour by John Campbell (Hardcover - 15 Oct. 2001)
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