10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Gastropub Classics (Hardcover)
If you need one concise book that can define what a gastropub is, through its recipes, then maybe this is for you.
Despite the gastropub revolution hitting the UK many years ago, it has left an unforgettable mark on the quality of food served in many pubs and restaurants and generally "lifted the bar" and encouraged a whole new generation of chefs to try something different and push boundaries.
Pretentious? Not intentionally. But is was at the time a bit of a culinary gastronomic revolution in the making, that is for sure and deserves to be marked accordingly. Of course, with this book, you are able to recreate many recipes and possibly transform your own table at the same time.
Straight from the beginning you can feel that a lot of feeling has gone into the production of this book. A series of "Notes for American Readers" carefully highlight the differences in measuring systems used by the two countries and a range of conversion tables are conveniently provided. Even a glossary translating many British English to American English terms is provided - aubergine is eggplant for example. This latter feature is something that many cook books could provide - think of their broader potential international audience and the aid that a couple of extra pages may provide.
An introduction to the gastropub is also provided but for many it will be more than likely that they dip straight into the food and find something within the 150 different recipes of interest. Split into 12 distinct sections you are able to fine tune your search if you are looking for inspiration for a given food course. If you prefer to search on a given main ingredient then the index stands ready at your service.
Each recipe starts with a brief introduction and suggestions for possible customisation. Care should be given to the number of persons that the dish will typically serve as this varies throughout on a recipe-by-recipe basis. Mental arithmetic, fingers or calculators at the ready as needed. The recipes themselves seem easy to follow and are well laid out and described. It would have been nice, however, if the recipes had featured an approximation of the preparation and cooking times as sometimes this can be a boost to a busy home cook to get an estimation of whether they must save a particular dish for another less time-constrained day.
The range and diversity of the recipes is impressive, featuring something should be of interest to nearly every taste and budget. Many of the recipes seem familiar but, of course, even a good recipe can possibly be improved upon so you are advised to look also at the familiar and see just what they might be doing differently.