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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully quirky - part travelogue, part cookbook, totally inspiring!, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Bought, Borrowed & Stolen: Recipes and Knives from a Travelling Chef (Hardcover)
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This is a completely delightful, quirky cookbook - and now Allegra McEvedy is my current cookbook crush. What a fun book. I like how the book combines a selection of recipes with photos and stories behind the author's collection of knives. The knives are beautiful, unique - and most importantly, practical. The fabric cover is gorgeous and the book is beautifully produced with thick matte paper and gorgeous colour photos of food and knives, recipes interspersed with stories.

The 'travelogue' part of the cookbook means that the recipes take in a glorious varied array of cultural influences, from Turkey, the States, Burma, Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Cuba, Malawi, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Lebanon, China, France and Spain. Brilliant combination. Not everything appeals but it's a wonderfully readable and engaging treasure trove of inspiration.

I really don't agree with the reviewer below who thinks this is an enthusiast's book. I am a complete amateur and I loved this book and find it really easy to pick out every day recipes to make. In some ways it is a combination of cookbook and travelogue/autobiography. But that's one of the things I like about it most. I mean, do you really remember the food you eat completely out of context? Ok, maybe you do, but I don't. I remember eating things in context - who I was with, how it felt, what it looked like, the smell and taste and noise all combining into one heady memory. And I love this cookbook for sharing the author's memories with me - I can use them as inspiration for making my own new dishes and memories.

Like Leon (the restaurant chain that the author started) the flavours are big and punchy and the emphasis is on taste rather than looks. I'm vegetarian and I'm using it very much as inspiration - I don't always follow recipes exactly but often adapt general ideas and flavour combinations so I can make them vegetarian.

Also, I've been inspired to purchase my first really good knife! Thanks Allegra! I had no idea of what a big difference it would make. I'm a complete convert.
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