How I Cook Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Oct 2010
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British Produce at its very best
--Living etc - 13th july 2010 -
Skye is that rare thing - a genuinely original and creative cook. Her feel for spicing and flavour combinations is spot on. --The Bookseller, 30 July 2010
Gyngell presents a hearty and tasty menu of dishes
--Image Interiors, September 2010
One of our most elegant chefs reveals her home-cooking secrets --You magazine (Mail on Sunday), October 3 2010
This collection of seasonal recipes is Gyngell's third book, and her best
--Culture, The Sunday Times, November 28, 2010
About the Author
Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond, Surrey, and an established food writer, contributing regularly to the Independent on Sunday, Vogue and delicious. Born in Australia, Skye has worked as a chef in Sydney, Paris and London. Since 2004, she has been pivotal in establishing Petersham's reputation for excellent food and an impressive number of awards. A Year in my Kitchen was named the Guild of Food Writers 'Cookery Book of the Year' in 2007 and 'Best Food Book' at Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards. The sequel, My Favourite Ingredients, was published in 2008. Author Location: London
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Top Customer Reviews
Some readers get annoyed with recipe books that offer them yet another recipe for ratatouille / dauphinoise / scrambled egg / marmalade, saying "I already know how to make that, offer me something new". They think that means they have wasted their money. I am in the other camp, absolutely delighting when a great chef offers me their own take on a familiar recipe, so I can see how they interpret and make it their own.
If you are in the former group, this book might be best avoided, as it does definitely err on the side of simple dishes (though there are some DELICIOUS original things like Creme Caramel with Ximenez sherry, for example, that you still might not be able to live without). On the other hand, if you are like me you will delight in this book. Enjoy being reminded to cook shortbread, or how to make the best ever potato salad, corn on the cob, or bread and butter pudding. Gyngell is a great and creative chef and her tips alone are worth having, let alone the actual recipes.
If I have any criticisms at all its that I could have lived without the rather glib non-recipe bits which I suspect have been written to her publisher's orders to make it more supermarket friendly or something - "Cutlery and crockery need not be matching - sometimes they are more charming if they are not", etc.Read more ›
The book is well presented with beautiful photography, clear text and most impressively, three book marks, so that if you are cooking several things at once you can keep tabs on them all as you go without having to turn the pages down. The recipes are broadly organised into meal categories, and a special occasions section at the end. Within each category Gyngell offers you meal ideas, with say, roast chicken with anchovy sauce alongside the vegetables and dessert she would serve with it. This gives the reader nice ideas, although it does make the book difficult to navigate if you are looking for a particular recipe. I tested the book extensively, and used the index at the back constantly.
The recipe instructions were for the most part fine, although there were a couple of moments mid recipe when I had to reread an instruction. In one cake recipe she uses the word cream as a verb, and it is not entirely clear. I had a moment's panic when I thought I had left a key ingredient out of the mixture, which was not terribly helpful.
The book is an odd mix of recipes. It claims to show how Gyngell cooks at home, which may explain why there are recipes for tomato salad (which I was amazed even needed a recipe) next to bouillabaise, and simple roasted fillet of beef next to how to prepare a lobster. It is not an ideal book for the amateur chef, nor for anyone curious to recreate Gyngell's restaurant fare.Read more ›
'How I Cook' is a beautifully illustrated (though not every recipe is pictured), intelligently written, and highly inspirational cook book, which goes beyond the ubiquitous formula of listing starters, mains and puds. Instead, Skye offers her own personal ideas for menus, for every occasion. Not didactic in any way - if any of the menu she describes might not suit your tastes, there are suggestions for alternatives.
Recipes range from the simple Parsnip Puree to the more complex Belly Pork. Clever hints and tips abound within recipes for delights such as Shortbread (I love the illustration showing how to cut up the mixture), and Cucumber sandwiches (de-skinning, de-seeding and salting the cucumber).
There is something in here for all occasions, all tastes and all abilities. Despite lacking a few photographs for some dishes, I had to give this delightful and delicious book 5*. Highly recommended.
The alfresco suggestions include roasted quail with red peppers & tomatoes, and a lovely dish of grilled aubergines with mint and basil, followed by meringues with strawberries & cream. Or perhaps roasted sea bass with lemon & thyme, served with roast fennel, green beans and roasted tomatoes appeals, with its mint ice-cream for dessert. There is a late night meal suggestion of bagna cauda, gnudi with sage butter followed by roast persimmons although this could just as easily be served as lunch or dinner.
You obviously don't need to follow the menus in their entirety, and can take recipes at will. I like the Italian-style Easter cake (made with risotto rice rather than flour), the Earl Grey sorbet and the lemon sorbet with crushed mint, and also the very simple to make blackberry crisp.
For the most part the recipes are straightforward although occasionally there are more complicated elements e.g. the preparation of lobsters. There are times too when the recipes are overly complicated for no good reason. For instance, I am never going to grate butter into a pan to prepare scrambled eggs: given that the butter is melted it won't matter whether it melts as gratings or as a block.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first of Skye Gyngell's books that I have come across (she has also published My Favourite Ingredients and A Year in my Kitchen ) and it is a very appealing work. Read morePublished on 27 April 2013 by bomble
How I Cook is a lovely cook book that is a pleasure to browse through, but I didn't particularly want to use it as a cook book. Read morePublished on 27 Mar. 2013 by TheLibrarian
The title f this is "How I cook" and I can well believe that this is how most people cook or at least how most people who have some interest in food and who are not just buying... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2013 by J. Brand
There are some recipes in this book that are a bit different using some different ingredients which you wouldn't normally use on a daily basis, however most recipes are quite basic... Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2012 by K. Young
"thoughtfully considered, beautifully photographed, adaptable & arranged by starters, mains, suppers etc,.
there is a wealth of knowledge here. This is really her best book!"
I'm a big fan of cook books though I'm not the greatest cook. I'm more of a Jamie Oliver level than a Gordon Ramsey level though I will cook Gordon Ramsey stuff for special... Read morePublished on 25 May 2012 by Binka