Formulas for Flavour: How to cook restaurant dishes at home Hardcover – 15 Oct 2001
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John Campbell is a two-Michelin starred chef and winner of the Caty Award for 'Chef of the Year 2008'. This is the first major chef book to reveal the secrets of restaurant-calibre gourmet dishes in easy photographed steps. Inspirational for professional chefs. Innovative flavour and texture combinations from a chef renowned for his scientific understanding of what makes a dish successful. Stunning step-by-step photography shows clearly how to cook and present the dishes to best effect. Entertaining to read, yet practical to cook from. Includes advice on shopping for speciality ingredients. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
John Campbell has had Michelin recognition for the past 12 years and was awarded a second Michelin star in 2007 during his time was Head Chef at The Vineyard, in Berkshire. Among a host of accolades, his continued dedication to the industry was further acknowledged when he received the honourable Catey Award for 'Chef of the Year 2008'. In 2009 John joined the prestigious Dorchester Collection where he was appointed Director of Cuisine and Food and Beverage for their new luxury country house hotel and spa, Coworth Park.
Top customer reviews
The recipes are very clear and concise and are beautifully illustrated with photos to help you along.
The recipes are quite intricate so I would only recommend for an accomplished home cook.
Unlike a lot of other books that promise to show you "the secrets", this one really does.
Don't bother buying it though unless you really want to make the effort to re-create the dishes. You'll need time, patience and determination to match the results.
However you'll learn a lot of solid techniques along the way.
If you are the kind of person who loves to spend time just playing in the kitchen and want some new inspiration, then this is the book for you. If you think Delia is exotic or Nigella extravagant though... pass this over!
In this deceptively-slim volume, Michelin-starred chef John Campbell is virtually standing behind you, whispering hints, tips and the benefit of his wisdom of how to cook restaurant-quality dishes at home.
To use a musical analogy, lots of people can play a given instrument relatively well. Yet not so many have that next degree of finesse that shows they have really mastered their art. Just like with cooking, bunging a few spices into the mix and trying to make the finished dish look pretty is not sufficient. Diners are being more and more demanding, whether at a top restaurant or at home. Taste is also formed not just with the tastebuds. Eyes, ears and nose can play their part too. And that is before the quality of the ingredients are considered.
This is quite a clever book, if not titled and cover-pictured slightly ambiguously so that you might have got the impression that it is another "Cook like Heston Blumenthal"-style book with his innovative, mad cap styling. It does not help that Heston wrote an introduction either... Once you get into the book its quality begins to shine. Focussing on a few good things well, rather than a lot of things in a mediocre fashion, the reader is presented with a number of recipes that they can follow at home. Rather than, though, the usual recipe book-style, you get a very clear, step-by-step hands-on guide to making the dish to restaurant standard. Explanatory text within helps show why a certain approach is taken too so once you get bored (?) with the range of selected recipes, the additional knowledge and confidence that you have gathered will help you shine with other dishes.
Making these dishes is just like standing in a hot, sweaty top restaurant kitchen, with the highly-strung top chef close at hand for advice, and yet so near to giving you a boll.... err, constructive, gentle criticism.. Make no mistake, this is a great chance no matter how arduous you might think it is.
The book focusses on typical meal scenarios - starters, mains and desserts as well as breaking out "foundation" basic items for closer scrutiny too. Ending with a very cursory look at the science and methodology behind a good recipe, a guide to composing your own recipes, a glossary and good index, you feel you've had a whistle-stop tour of the entire kitchen.
You won't be the next Heston Blumenthal or John Campbell by only reading this book, yet for its very low price you are getting a privileged front row chance to learn at the elbow of a master, pick up a few hints and tips along the way, refine a bit more your style and develop even further.
So YUM reviewer, is this a tasty little book that will have you wanting more? Yes Chef!
These recipes are all moderately easy, and there are always ways you can do things a little easier by cutting a few corners to arrive at something not far off the finished product. The ingredients are often quite expensive (like I said, there are a lot of foie gras recipes, and almost every recipe calls for several vanilla pods) and you may need some additional kitchen kit, but it does show in the finished product and you can feel the "I did that" smugness as you enjoy what you have created ;)
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