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Customer Review

16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. These are not Michelin Star Desserts!, 29 July 2007
This review is from: Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts (Hardcover)
Gordon Ramsay is a great chef and there is no doubt that his Chelsea restaurant is worthy of its 3 Michelin stars. It is a shame therefore that this status is not reflected by his book 'Just Desserts' which I have recently purchased.

The book is 211 pages long.

Pages 6 to 119 comprise 1)roasted fruits, 2)fruit salads 3) jellies 4) ice creams 5) parfaits 6) sorbets 7) mouses 8) souffles 9) crepes.
These are all very basic recipes and in any event repeated multiple times with just different flavours presumeably to pad out the book.
Pages 168 to 189 are how to make biscuits and petit forts.
Pages 190 to 211 are entitled 'basics' (ie how to make meringues , pastry etc).

What most people would think of as proper dessert recipes are only from pages 120 to 168.
That is only 49 pages of a 211 page book.
It gets worse however because pages 120 to 145 are entitled 'homely deserts' e.g. rice pudding, rhubarb crumble, creme brulee. These are all easily available from any standard cook book.
Only pages 146 to 167 contain desserts for 'special occasions'.
So do these mere 22 pages contain the holy grail Michelin 3 star desserts? As you've probably guessed the answer is no.
These recipes are also disappointingly dull eg chocolate tart (2 pages) and then a recipe for Dark chocolatte torte (another page). Strawberry tart (another page). Meringue nests with berries (2 pages). Profiteroles (2 pages). Pumpkin cheescake (2 pages).
There is perhaps 1 recipe 'sabayon topped fruit gatin, pannacotta and a hot raspberry souffle' which is Michelin standard but that is it.
One useful recipe out of 211 pages.

As a basic recipe book there are much more comprehensive books out there (eg Delia Smiths Complete Cookery Course).
As a Michelin star recipe book it simply does not deliver.

I do not think it unreasonable that when you buy a book from a Michelin star chef that there is a level of expectation that the contents of that book will reflect this level of cooking.
Clearly this is not an expectation shared by Ramsay.

If you want to cook Michelin star food try 'Essence' from the 2 star Le Champignon-Sauvage in Cheltenham or 'The French Laundry Cookbook' from the world famous Napa Valley restaurant. The recipes in these books though complicated are stunning and definitely Michelin Star standard. Interestingly Ramsay writes the forward for 'Essence' and comments that ' the keen amateur cook and dedicated professional at last have a chance to recreate part of the Le Champignon Sauvage experience'. Something that could certainly not be said about this book.
Note: As of Oct 6th 2007 Gordon Ramsey has released recipes of a 3 star chef which is a truely superb book.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Apr 2008 21:27:27 BDT
not trying to be rude, but no where on the book did it say, "michelin starred desserts" all it said was, (i quote) " gordon ramsay demystifies the notoriously tricky topic of desserts" it doesnt anywhere say, " this book will show you how to create michelin starred desserts at home" so how can it be dissapointing if it does not contain any michelin starred recipes, i understand that because he is gordon ramsay people will assume that it will be michelin starred, but lets face it, im sure he will not be thinking michelin stars 24/7 he is perfectly in his right to write a book that explains simple things, i mean, say you were a plumber and you stayed a night at a hotel, i doubt the management will make you fix your own sink if it leaks or anything like that, JUST because your a plumber, so dont be too dissappointed by this book , because at the end of the day: it is a very good book

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Apr 2008 09:21:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Apr 2008 11:53:36 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2008 18:01:18 BDT
how can you say this is a bad book? i see what you mean by wanting a fine dining book, but it's still a very good book, you really shouldn't be so critical

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jul 2008 20:52:21 BDT
Mr H Currie says:
Amazon is full of idiots like Dr. Richard J. Prickard who believe they are the one true voice. My advice - - ignore his review.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2009 11:17:32 GMT
I totally agree with you, as a pastry chef myself I thought I would give it a go and was very dissapointed. Yes there are some really helpful factors in this book that a keen amature can recreate such as parfaits, basic petit fours and the like but it lacks impact on anything outside of the domsestic kitchen. If you really want to spend your money in a good place buy 3 star chef,. Failing that if you really want to approch uncomplicated Michelin Star cookery buy Black Pudding and Foie Gras by Andrew Pern, Essence by David Everitt-Matthais, ANYTHING by Thomas Keller, The Clatter of Forks and Spoons by Richard Corrigan or the Big Fat Duck Cookbook. Any of these will do for a keen amature looking to experiment or a professional with a little free time at work wants. As a whole I dont really find any of Gordons books THAT great but there are still a lot of relavent topics covered in all of them. After all the guy is a massive hero for any chef in the country but as far as his books are concerned it doesnt really show his capabilitlys at all, in fact if they were all like 3 star chef he wouldnt be going far wrong. Take Thomas Keller, every book he does, even Bouchon his cafe book, still demonstrates why he righty has 3 michelin stars. Or you could just make a really good investment in Leiths Cookery Bible, I use it about as much as my Larousse.
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