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Economy Gastronomy: Eat Better and Spend Less Paperback – 19 Aug 2010
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About the Author
Paul Merrett owns and runs the Victoria Pub and Dining Rooms in Sheen. He has been awarded a Michelin star twice, and is the author of Using the Plot: Tales of an Allotment Chef (2008).He was the presenter of BBC Two's Ever Wondered About Food... series, and co-presented a BBC Two ten-part prime-time series called The Best. Paul is married with two children.
Allegra McEvedy co-founded Leon, the award-winning healthy, fast-food restaurant group. In 2008, she was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry. She is the Resident Chef of the Guardian's G2, and writes a blog column for the Observer Food Monthly. Her second book Allegra McEvedy's Colour Cookbook won the IACP 2007 Cook Book award. She was born and educated in West London, where she still lives.
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Top customer reviews
I stumbled across this book and I have to say every single recipe I have made has come out perfectly. I already sit down and plan food chains and I have very little waste as I only buy what I need. However, I'm always on the look out for inspiration and this is a really good solid book, filled with recipes for all of the family.
I do agree though that book is more about reducing food waste, rather than living on a really tight budget (Jack Monroe is the way to go for true budget meals).
Finally, I have to say I really prefer Allegra's recipes and will definitely buy more of her cookbooks
Nonetheless, There is plenty of inspiration here and their ideas for batch cooking mince, etc could be time-saving as well as economical. All in all, it's a good book but one aimed more at people who are not really poor but may be feeling the pressure of mortgage payments and rising fuel bills rather than those who are really struggling to make ends meet.
There are a hundred recipes in the book, balanced between Merrett's, which are slightly more ambitious and restaurant-y, and McEvedy's which are tasty, tasty, tasty. (I'm not sure macaroni cheese with added artichokes is ever really going to make a truly 'cheap' meal, artichokes are just too pricey, but it tastes amazing.) She is the founding chef of London's LEON restaurant chain which specialise in really cheap delicious 'fast food', so she's great at knowing how to do things.
Most of the money-saving ideas are really good, and I'm impressed by the totting up of how much various households saved switching over to Merrett and McEvedy's system. Totally avoiding food waste is the most important element, with bits and pieces being used up to make stock, flavour soups and so on. And also they are great at sneaking illicit vegetables into dishes for kids who refuse to eat them normally.
This would be an okay book if it just put forward the system, but the recipes from these two fine chefs make it a must-have. Brilliant!
PS you can check out some of the recipes on the Guardian website, google Guardian and Economy Gastronomy and you should get four ways of cooking salmon.
It accompanies the BBC2 series (check out iplayer) and is a breath of fresh air in the 'economise and cook' genre of cookbooks. It is so refreshing to have the 'gastronomy' side of things - really tasty and 'proper' food, but done with an eye on the frugal.
Favourites so far include the Biriyani, the Brownie cookies (gone in 10 minutes though!) and the Macaroni cheese.
Easy to follow recipes, explained and illustrated well. No nonsense and realistic too.
A really worthwhile cookbook. 5*.