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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and exquisite food
Skye Gyngell is the chef at Petersham Café, a heavenly café-restaurant in the middle of Petersham Nurseries. In the old greenhouses, surrounded by plants, flowers and many a ravishing household accessory, you will eat simple but exquisitely prepared food.

`A year in my kitchen', Skye's first book, is a real labour of love written with great...
Published on 9 Feb 2007 by Henrietta Green of FoodLoversB...

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Foodie reading
I thought this would be an interesting cook book as the premise is that it concentrates on cooking with the produce of the seasons. Something I am quite keen to get into. It is a really beautiful book with dreamy, misty photographs and is beautifully put together. Recipe-wise though, it really is more appropriate for the professional cook running a large kitchen as the...
Published on 31 Jan 2009 by A. Eastwood


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and exquisite food, 9 Feb 2007
This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
Skye Gyngell is the chef at Petersham Café, a heavenly café-restaurant in the middle of Petersham Nurseries. In the old greenhouses, surrounded by plants, flowers and many a ravishing household accessory, you will eat simple but exquisitely prepared food.

`A year in my kitchen', Skye's first book, is a real labour of love written with great warmth, thoughtfulness and a serious concern for the seasons. Feeding friends - or customers - is in part about the right attitude; a `generosity of spirit', so she positively encourages us to put our hearts and souls into our cooking.

The basis of her recipes is her `culinary toolbox', a range of flavours that are the starting point for her dishes. The toolbox is based on `sky and earth' flavours that range from leafy green herbs, citrus zest and vinaigrettes (sky) to the earth-bound, woody herbs, toasted nuts or roast spices that add depth to winter meals. Trust me, it does make sense once you have read her explanation and it is far less airy-fairy than it sounds.

Truly a treasure to be absorbed and used throughout the year, "A year in my kitchen" focuses on choosing fresh seasonal produce and preparing it with flair and individuality. It will excite and inspire you and - should you feel the need - put the passion back into your cooking. It will also leave you itching to get in the kitchen to try Skye's ideas.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book, 16 Nov 2006
This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
Although I have not tried many recipes from this book as yet all those I have tried have worked and been wonderful. This book is a delight to read and Skye's prose is quite inspirational. She tends to compose simple recipes with a careful use of sweet, sour salty etc and the end result is very good indeed. I hope to use this cook book a lot, however, some of the recipes are prohibitive in terms of the ingredients. There are nevertheless many ideas that I hope will make it into my kitchen. Great book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the most beautiful cookery book ever written, 5 Sep 2007
By 
Hiro "Tokyoite" (West Hampstead, London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
This is probably the most beautiful cookery book ever written.

I have a feeling that this book was not written for profit. This book is a mere result of her love for seasons, the gardens in Nurseries, natural ingredients from the mother nature, and the food to put a smile on your face.

I always feel that Australian cooks understand the essence of Oriental cuisine very well - the importance of contrasting textures in a dish, and the importance of balance in saltiness/ sweetness/ sourness/ bitterness/ spiciness/ umami in flavour. I think they excel at throwing this essence into European dishes to come up with something outstanding.

As below reviewers already mentioned, this book is not for beginners (if you are, go for "The First-Time Cook" by Sophie Grigson. A great book. Fun to read too), and some ingredients are hard to get if you live far away from big cities (well, but, looking at he sunny side of life, you stand far greater a chance to be able to pick wild garlic).

Having said that, this book is brilliant just to have on the bed side. The pictures are so wonderful and it is a sheer joy just to look at them. It makes you feel the world is still a nice place, and there is something you can look forward to making for lunch at the next weekend.

I am going to the Cafe in Petersham Nurseries one day soon!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Foodie reading, 31 Jan 2009
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This review is from: A Year in my Kitchen (Paperback)
I thought this would be an interesting cook book as the premise is that it concentrates on cooking with the produce of the seasons. Something I am quite keen to get into. It is a really beautiful book with dreamy, misty photographs and is beautifully put together. Recipe-wise though, it really is more appropriate for the professional cook running a large kitchen as the recipes require you to use components from a previously prepared 'storecupboard'. These are pickled ingredients, flavoured oils, etc, all prepared in large quantities but to be used within days or weeks!

It is a beautiful book to have around the kitchen or to give as a gift, but, practically, there are few recipes I could see myself settling down to make. The recipes are quite complicated and involved but obviously created with love and enthusiasm by the author herself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's right, 18 Jun 2011
This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
I think there's truth in all the reviews. This isn't an open-and-go cookbook, but it is very lovely, and if you enjoy a wet afternoon pottering in the kitchen, it can find a place, even in a single, working person's cooking. I bought it beguiled by the styling and the sound of the recipes. When I realised that to get started on many of the recipes you had to concoct the "tool-box" elements first (slow-cooked red onions, slow-cooked tomatoes, braised lentils, various oils, the divergently maligned and praised spice mix), the book went on the shelf for a while. But a couple of weekends ago, I had that afternoon pottering. Nothing was particularly difficult, and for a fortnight afterwards, I've been having delicious remains, and various new recipes pulled from the book that have been very swift to prepare with the toolbox elements already in the fridge - brilliant morale-boost on getting home late. I haven't died from eating 10-day-old red onions or basil oil, but obviously different people are variously sensitive (over-anxious?) when it comes to smell-it-and-see food testing. The index isn't very helpful with regard to using the tool-box, so I've been through and annotated mine, which makes it much more practical - you do want to have all the ways of using this stuff listed. The recipes: most are delightful, some, as others have said, not completely original, but they're all very fresh and very evocative of the seasons. NB, not everything relies on the toolbox. Gyngell's tone can be hectoring: "last night's roast chicken simply will not do", lends to the, "Go away, I'm a working woman, so have some understanding that last night's roast chicken is *exactly* what I'll be using", response. However, I can overlook that for the beauty of the book, and I'm enjoying being inspired by it for a month, despite having limited time for cooking. If cooking is a hobby, you like the thrift of combining elements in different ways over consecutive days and are uplifted by seasonal food, this book is pretty good. If not, not!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Skye's the limit?, 30 Jun 2010
This review is from: A Year in my Kitchen (Paperback)
On the surface there's a lot to recomend this book. It's nicely written and presented. There's a stong commitment to seasonal eating. There's some interesting and informative ways to think about and approach food; top notes vs base notes, for example.There's also a recommendation from Nigel Slater.

However, the recipies are simply not that good. To start with there's a one size fits all spice mix. Which when used in the Morrocon inspired Lamb with Prunes gives the dish an incongruos Indian flavour due to the intrusion of the distinctive taste of fenugreek.(It should also be added that this spice mix recipe lists cardamon as ingrediant but doesn't specify which type.I assumed green, but the picture shows black). The honey and walnut tart- and I'm not first person to mention this- doesn't quite set.I also found the flavour a bit one dimensional. Perhaps it would benefit from the inclusion of one those 'top-note'flavours which the author claims are so important to avoid flat tasting food..... The sherry in the Lemon Syllabub may also be little too 'raw' for some palettes. I couldn't help feeling the dessert would have worked better as cooked lemon posset, which would have some of the harshness of the alcohol.

Then there is the insistance on seasoning with tamari - a low sodium soy sauce- instead of salt. Which when combined with Gyngell's talk of 'earth' and 'sky' flavours and banal platitudes like 'the most imoprtant ingredient being love' will have even right mind folk shouting 'hippie' like they're Jeremy Clarkson. Finally, so this doesn't appear too one-sided, I will say I am a big fan of the rhubarb ice cream.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny, 27 Jan 2008
By 
Tiff Angus "Tiff" (Dollis Hill, London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
I've had this book for about 6 months now and have used it endlessly. Recipes that surprise and delight and that I keep coming back to. Fresh, delicious and I love the organisation of it. Perfect for cooking seasonally for needing inspiration when facing a large pile of leeks or chard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A year in my kitchen - Skye Gyngell, 5 Jan 2010
By 
D. Roet "Dr Chaucer" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
Impressive visuals, wonderful paper on which the book is printed, inspired and engaging recipes that seem to come from the heart of a true love of cooking and all the joys of creativity therein. Almost impossible not to be inspired, engaged and motivated. I bought x4 copies for various 2009 Christmas presents and even still, despite it's being published over 3 years ago, it was a warmly appreciated gift that delighted the food-interested recipients. A pleasure to read and to learn from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Year in my Kitchen - review of Skye Gingell's book, 3 Jan 2010
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This review is from: A Year in my Kitchen (Paperback)
Some thought-provoking muses from a wonderful cook on getting the best from local, seasonal produce and some very good recipes. As yet, only a few tried, but really well-balanced, many inspired. Not a flashy production number, but quietly thoughtful and straightforward guide. Like the food at her place in Petersham Nurseries, I find myself going back for more.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book but a bit complicated, 13 Aug 2008
By 
Sabine Zimmermann (Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Year in My Kitchen (Hardcover)
I'm not a beginner by far, but even I find it a bit too much, if I have to prepare toolbox ingredients first, before I can actually start to cook. Apart from that, the book is very beautifully laid out and contains some nice recipes and a lot more that sound interesting, so if you've got some time to spend in the kitchen, the book is certainly worth having. I'm probably not going to use it on a large scale, since I'm working and haven't got that much time (bit of a pity).
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A Year in my Kitchen
A Year in my Kitchen by Skye Gyngell (Paperback - 1 Feb 2008)
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