Top critical review
I don't get the hype
16 October 2018
After winning Masterchef, "Digger" Dean did a stint at Midsummer House in Cambridge - Mrs E. L. Wisty was lucky enough to get to eat there once, though I never did. Since then I hadn't kept track of his career, so I was surprised to say the least that he has gone from fine dining to "family food" and doing stints on the "Light Channel". Seems like a step downwards to me, but he explains this re-orientation towards family food here as coming from having a daughter.
Fair enough. Good luck to him. But I don't get the hype around this book at all. It's common or garden recipes - beef ragù, shepherd's pie, lasagne, fish pie, French onion soup, beef bourguignon, sticky toffee pudding etc. etc. etc. Nothing radical or out of the ordinary or particularly inventive that I can see.
It does have an 'angle' in that nearly all the recipes are designed to be able to be prepared in a slow cooker and reducing the amount of after-work preparation time before being able to sit down and eat (though of course the flip-side can be more time spent before work). If this book gets people who might otherwise be eating convenience food to start cooking from scratch, that's all well and good, and it serves a purpose. If you want to go beyond the everyday and familiar (even overly familiar) recipes, then there's not a lot to be found here.