Top critical review
43 people found this helpful
on 29 December 2010
I love Nigel Slater's approach to food and use several of his books on a regular basis, most notably 'Real Food' and 'Real Cooking'. His aim in 'Appetite' is to free readers from the slavish following of recipes, to encourage them to follow their own minds. Unfortunately this is my least favourite of his books. In part I think that this is because (a) I already possess and use a number of his other books and am used to his philosophy and (b) I am an experienced cook who has been adapting and tweaking recipes for years.
The first 150 pages or so introduce the concept, ingredients, equipment, the idea of seasonality. Then follow the recipes. The approach here is to provide one recipe and then follow with variations & adaptations. For example, in my favourite recipe, a thin onion and taleggio tart, the alternative suggestions are leek & taleggio, onion & camembert, mushroom & taleggio, red onion & parmesan, pancetta & onion. There is a simple tomato sauce followed by suggestions for using roasted tomatoes, chilli, baked pasta with tomato sauce & mozzarella. The same applies for various soups, pasta dishes, etc.. The trouble for me is that none of the variations are unexpected, nor really beyond the capabilities of even a relatively inexperienced cook. There is also much that is familiar from NS's other books. Therefore, for me at least, there isn't much point to the book. I think it would be useful for a relatively inexperienced cook or someone who doesn't already have Nigel's other books.