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4.2 out of 5 stars26
4.2 out of 5 stars
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His new book, Week In Week Out is a collection of 52 `seasonal stories'. It kicks off in winter with such dishes as Devilled Whitebait and Grilled Veal Kidneys with Creamed Onions and Sage. Spring offers Tomatoes stuffed with Crab & Basil, Summer makes the most of Broad Beans with Cream & Mint while for autumn he suggests Scallops with Verjuice & Chives. These recipes echo Simon's philosophy of `cooking for pleasure, rather than slavishness towards fashion'.

This book is not just for the complicated. Check out what he says about something as simple and foolproof as boiling new potatoes. Apparently it's just not good enough to plop them into boiling water, skin intact, as I always do. Oh no, you should take the trouble to scrape them all over which results in potatoes "of another texture". And do you know - he's right.

Simon is dismissive of modern food fads. A lot of restaurants, he feels, serve food to please the chef's ego rather than the customer. His `classic' recipes will stand the test of time simply because they make good - even the best - eating. It's worth remembering that his Roast Chicken and Other Stories, published in 1994, was recently voted the most useful cookery book of all time by Waitrose Food Illustrated.

Good cooking, clear concise recipes and strong flavours will out. And what makes Simon one of the greats is his attention to detail, his loving and understanding approach and, above all, the fantastic food that every home cook can create simply by following his instructions.
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on 9 October 2007
There are some things you wait for with childlike excitement and once I'd heard Simon had this book in the offing I couldn't wait. I even pre-ordered.

Straight from it's Amazon packaging into the kitchen. The oil-slicked Caponata and the heady Tiramasu proved once again that from book to plate Simon delivers. You are in a safe pair of hands that guide you in a commonsense way to a competent plate of food.

The knowledge, the care and concern for the recipes and ingredients shine through. Both he and Nigel Slater have raised the bar on creating recipes that translate so well and encourage readers to have a go.

Simon, should you read this, be aware that you can still find tasty Jersey spuds just the way you remember them. Kidney shaped, with a slight iron taste and skins that slough off with your thumb. Lovely. You just have to know where to look. If you are ever over just call me up!
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on 12 October 2009
This is a very nice book, and I'm a fan of Simon Hopkinson but it can't really be called a cook book. It's a book about food for food enthusiasts. So it would have been good if that distinction had been made when it was described . It's a book you curl up on the sofa with, not one you use in the kitchen necessarily.
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on 21 June 2013
For once this is a really useful recipe book for almost every kitchen, the recipes are what people want to eat rather than what the chef wants you to eat!
The recipes are easy to follow and cover a wide range that are for the most part quick to get on the table. As ever, Simon Hopkinson writes in a style that is so easily absorbed and even the novice will not be intimidated by this book. It has been out for a long time in paperback but I always prefer my recipe books to be in hardback format and this is still available to buy with relative ease on line.
All the Simon Hopkinson books are super, well written, given decent colour photography and having interesting recipes which are very appealing. As the former head chef at Bibendum in London, he has to rank as one of the top chefs currently writing and presenting on television. I give this book 5 stars rating for excellence and recommend that you get a copy.
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on 9 July 2008
I too, was misled by the title into thinking this would be everyday recipes, arranged by the seasons, but it turns out that 'Week in, week out' refers not to the cooking but to the writing of his weekly column in the Independent. Although there are 52 columns there are no headings and no very discernible order (starts with New Year, Christmas still being mentioned on p.67) so you can't easily find a recipe suitable for a particular time of year.

Although some of the recipes are very good, and the methods given are very thorough, this was spoilt for me as an enjoyable read by the sheer tetchiness of the author's tone. As the favourable review by Henrietta Green notes, he is 'dismissive of modern food fads'. Well, he seems to be dismissive of plenty of other things too: supermarkets, celebrity chefs, idiot readers who make his recipes using low quality ingredients, idiot shoppers who are too stupid to care what they are buying, even recipe descriptions (apparently it should be 'crisp' and not 'crispy'). He writes: "The suggestion that there is no need to top and tail a gooseberry is yet another indication that we, as a nation, have become the most slovenly of cooks". Well, it sounds like common sense to me if you're going to sieve them anyway, and this suggestion was made by Elizabeth David in the 1950's in her excellent 'Summer Cooking' so it can hardly be used as an indicator of modern culinary doom either.

This book would suit you if you cook a lot of offal and less mainstream ingredients and if you, too, feel pretty grumpy about the modern world.
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on 13 January 2014
Beautiful book and excellent value. Made a great Christmas present. Well illustrated. Some of the recipes unexpected as I thought it would have had more that have been seen on the television which are more current and up to date so surprised to see meats not used as much in this day and age.
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on 28 December 2015
This book is timeless and has class written all over it. I love Simon Hopkinson's work but avoided this book because of the impression given by some of the reviews here. However, I finally bought it and for me its actually his best book. If you are dazzled by the food fads of the moment you will probably see this as a dated load of laughable rubbish. If you enjoy putting seriously tasty, elegant food rooted in history but still a hidden hint of modernity then you will get this book and love it. Too often now chefs are using cheap tricks and gimmicks as a smoke screen for dull cookery. Hopkinson is the complete opposite. Slow it all down, buy good ingredients and cook these recipes and you'll be seriously rewarded. The cold ham soufflé is just genius.
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on 15 May 2011
This is one of the good ones. If you are a true 'foodie' (blech, what a word) it will be no surprise to you that this sort of 'old school' cooking is rather de rigueur these days and rightly so. Much maligned Britain is currently enjoying a coast at the fore front of 'modern' cookery whether you want to sample molecular gastronomy, samey Michelin fare, or good cooks like Simon that are so far out...they are in. The best of London at the mo is all chop houses and 'grandes brasseries'. I'll get my kicks at HIX rather than Hospital Road, thank-you very much. And as for being grumpy...too right! A cook without opinions is a meal without flavour. Take this to the bank- Simon's recipes work, which is more than I can say for flailing Gordo. Simon writes from the heart with a head full of knowledge in his wee kitchen, enjoy his certain take on classic, unfussy fare. Up there with the classic 'Roast Chicken'
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on 14 January 2012
This is a really useful cookbook, reminding us how to make good pastry, puddings etc., and drawing attention to what flavours go really well together. It is inspiring for a food lover.
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on 16 June 2013
A great book about food by one of the greatest food writers. I would recommend it to any one with an interest in cooking and/ or eating
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