Essence: Recipes from Le Champignon Sauvage Hardcover – 21 Sep 2006
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"Of all the chefs' books this season Essence is the one...great
recipes, great descriptions." -- The Guardian, 25th November, 2006
'The Rolls-Royce of recipe books. It is breathtaking.' -- The Shropshire Star, October 2006
'This is a book, unlike many, that will get well thumbed over the
years.' -- Caterer and Hotelkeeper, October 2006
'This is a very special book and a good recommendation for the
serious cook.' -- The Bookseller, July 2006
About the Author
David Everitt-Matthias was awarded two Michelin stars before the age of forty.
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Top customer reviews
There are wonderful inclusions of rare and wild ingredients -- leaning towards David's passion for hedgerow ingredients (which is appendicised into a handsome wild food glossary at the back of the book) -- with sensible more widely available alternatives suggested to make sure that all of the recipes remain within the capabilities of the home cook.
The book is beautifully photographed, showcasing David's fine eye for presentation and the intrinsic beauty of each dish and component part.
And if this note or praise doesn't convince, then read the words of two of the few who could genuinely be regarded as David's peers: a glowing foreword by Gordon Ramsay and a couple of dozen words on the back of the book from Heston Blumenthal: they sum up the significant contribution to this country's cuisine that Everitt-Matthias has made over the last twenty years.
Essence is a singular and stunning book by one of the most talented, dedicated and insprirational chefs around.
Is this just another Michelin star chef cashing in on his prestigious awards or is it something more? You could be forgiven for thinking so, having randomly opened the book and seen a recipe for 'Cannelloni of veal breast and burdock with celeriac cream, horseradish froth and wood sorrel'. Frightening, and you could be forgiven for thinking this book is for professional chefs. However, you would be wrong!
This has to be one of the most exciting and interesting books about food and cooking I have read in a long time. David Everitt-Matthias is no celebrity chef writing a book to fulfil his media commitments or to cash in on TV fame. This is a delightful introduction to the cooking of a great chef and in such a way that you or me can understand the recipes . . . and cook them! None of the recipes are include for show, they are all working recipes included with the intention that anyone should feel capable of cooking them with success.
All right, if you have trouble cooking an egg then perhaps this book is not for you. But if you enjoy your food and you enjoy cooking then this books is very much one to add to your collection. There are some truly wonderful recipes throughout but the book is a great read in itself for how it explains so much about the food and what is involved in the preparation and cooking of each dish.
Essence opens with a brief Introduction followed by advice entitled 'storecupboard', described as ". . . some of the standbys we use in the restaurant kitchen. It certainly makes life easier to have them on hand and you'll find they appear in a lot of the recipes in this book." This is followed by 'foundations' - "Good cooking depends on good foundation recipes - for stocks, pasta dough, pastry an so on." Armed with your basics the main section of the book is recipes from le champignon sauvage - starters, mains and desserts.
This is one chef who knows how to write a recipe so that his readers can understand it and, because each one is broken down into its individual components is not at all daunting. Each recipe has its own introduction which explains the dish and how its flavours work together and at the same time provides alternatives to those often difficult to find ingredients. The recipes are then broken down, both for ingredients and method, into the component parts of the dish making the whole thing easy to follow. To really understand how simplified the author has made the recipes you need to have a look at one or two.
Something David Everitt-Matthias is very keen to use in his cooking when the opportunity presents itself is wild ingredients - wild garlic, nettles, ground elder and many more - and the book closes with a wild food glossary, plus photographs, which describes many of the plants and mushrooms used.
Would I recommend the book? Definitely. There are some amazing recipes but also there are so many elements to each dish and so many different techniques explained that you cannot fail to learn something new and benefit from this book whether you are a relative beginner or an experienced hand in the kitchen.
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Having enjoyed a few excellent evenings eating at Davids first class establishment...Read more
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