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4.6 out of 5 stars
Perfect: 68 Essential Recipes for Every Cook's Repertoire
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
OK, I admit it, I love to cook and I love to get my hands on decent recipes to turn the mundane task of making a meal into an extravaganza for the taste buds. Yet the major problem with a lot of the books out there is that there's a large percentage of recipes that you really either won't try and really don't attract your attention enough to make you want to try them.

What this title by Felicity does is trawl through recipes from a multitude of established books and chefs and brings the tastiest to the reader in one easy to access title. Add to this a whole host of everyday recipes and it's a title that will get more than a little use. Recipes include all sorts of dishes that I want to make better and whilst some are simplistic, it's the key to getting them right that has eluded many a home cook. If you want to know how to obtain that top notch crackling on your Pork Joint, that's here, you want great Yorkshire Puds, yep that's there as well. Your Roasties are failing, not any more. There's also a section for desserts, a section on vegetables as well as many other recipes that you really can't afford to turn down.

Finally add to all this glory a wonderful introduction that gives you the basic items required for any kitchen, some that are useful but not essential as well as key ingredients that make sense to have in stock (and we're not talking Nigella's pantry that has about £5K worth of food items in) such as flour, eggs, bread as well as other basics that most people have and the whole thing is a title that you can learn along with as well as pass along to the next generation.

All in, this book is not only useful but for me, perhaps the best cuisine title that I now own as I can ensure that the basics I create are to the best of my ability which will not only make the meal something to celebrate but also turn the everyday into something that you can't wait to enjoy. I really am inspired to go and create something shortly and with this little gem in hand and whilst I have an early print its ring bound which will keep it all the easier to reference, the only thing I would change would be to get the pages laminated so that any food spills can be wiped clean. With luck hopefully the publishers will look into something like that for future editions.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2013
I bought the kindle version simply because the book is out of print, and second hand copies are selling at ridiculous prices. Like any kindle book, it's hard to get a feel for how big a book you're embarked upon. Suffice it to say I read this from 'cover to cover' in less than 3 hours.

Having greatly enjoyed the detailed comparisons Felicity writes in the Guardian each week, taking close note of the chefs and well kent recipe writers she tests and trials, before coming up with her 'perfect' version, I was expecting the same. So it is with some considerable disappointment that I found the book provided a synthesis of those more lavishly descriptive and thorough deconstructions. Also, several of the recipes are for the most basic of items - how to boil an egg, how to emulsify oil and vinegar into a vinegarette. The book's title is at least accurate - you do only get 68 recipes and for £11 for a kindle download this has to be the very worst value for money e-book I've ever bought.

Don't get me wrong, there is value in each of these recipes, but for me without the detailed reasoning of why this approach and not that found in the articles, they are a lot less convincing.

Like another reviewer who pointed out you can read ALL of Felicity's 'Perfect...' articles for free on the internet, my advice is don't buy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2015
First of all I have to confess to not reading the author's column as many others who have also purchased this book have. Because of seeing this book without reading the columns I have found the text before each recipe to be of just the right amount of information to explain why various ingredients add or could possibly detract from the final result. I think anymore information would be a bit of an overload!

Secondly, I would have given this book five stars in a heartbeat, but unfortunately the index is extremely basic grouping the recipes into rough groups such as meat and fish. This really isn't sufficient for a book with a lot of extra text and I haven't really got time to search through a whole chapter just for one recipe. And then the reader has to remember that Yorkshire Puddings are to be found in the potato, pasta and rice section...a full index with each recipe covered really is an unfortunate oversight! Perhaps this could be remedied in an update? To make do for now, I've highlighted each recipe name in orange to remind me this is where a recipe starts when I look them up on the annotation section on my kindle app. Once this has been rectified I will amend my review to the full five stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Really a book to pull out on a rainy day and plan a campaign to make your perfect favourite. I have followed her series and think this book is magic !
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2011
This book is brilliant and so well written. There is an excellent range of useful and interesting recipes - they are all dishes that you would actually want to make (or make already, but can now improve!). It is a very interesting book to read and the recipes are all clear and easy to follow.

We have made a few of the dishes already and they have been a complete success. The chocolate mousse was absolutely delicious, and the fish pie was really good too. The book has also hugely improved my roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding (which I had thought were pretty good until I used these recipes). It completely solves the dilemma of which recipe to follow when Delia, Jamie and Nigella,etc have a completely different receipe or method for the same dish.

I regularly read Felicity's column in the Guardian and so have been waiting eagerly for this book to come out, especially as I saw on the Guardian website that Felicity recently won The National Guild of Food Writers' award for "Food journalist of the year" - and I have not been disappointed! It really is an excellent cook book - perfect for everyone to use.

It even looks great as well, with lovely old-fashioned illustrations and design on the cover and so it is a great book to have sitting on the kitchen shelf!

All in all, the perfect cookery book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2011
I normally don't buy cookery books unless there a numerous glossy photos to entice me into the kitchen in the first place and to show me the end product that I am aiming for.
Perfect does not need any glossy photographs. The prose is so well written that I could see, taste and smell the recipes coming up off the pages. Having read the book from cover to cover - it is a joy to read as a piece of prose as much as a recipe book - I was in the kitchen, elbow deep in maris pipers and perfect fried eggs.
For what its worth, the recipes are clearly explained and (so far) have all been rip-roaring successes.
Thank you so much Felicity Cloake; move over Nigella, I have a new kitchen heroine!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2014
I read through the night - not many cookery books can make me do that. Good advice from a charming writer.
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on 28 May 2015
What a brilliant book! I would never normally choose a recipe book with no pictures but this one just doesn't need them. The text at the beginning of each recipe almost tells a little story which is very interesting to read! I bought it as a present for a friend and one for myself too.
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on 5 May 2015
What is fascinating is this is a cookbook from the point of view of the cook, not a chef or a celebrity Also, I like the detail and readability of it it. Who would expect that detailed thoughts about making an omelette can be interesting?
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on 5 June 2014
Perfect is the appropriate word. The fairy cakes and Victoria sponge are to die for. Some things seem time consuming like the roast pork, but well worth the effort. Everything i have cooked from this book has been great
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