- Hardcover: 880 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 3rd Revised edition edition (20 Oct. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 074756602X
- ISBN-13: 978-0747566021
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 19 x 24.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Leiths Cookery Bible Hardcover – 20 Oct 2003
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Leiths Cookery Bible is an old-fashioned cook book in the best possible sense. It's not that the recipes are out of date--though the traditional favourites such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding are present and correct--but that this isn't a volume written around gorgeous colour photographs so perfect they actually put the average home chef off even attempting the dishes for fear of failure. That said, there are 64 pages of very nice pictures.
Leiths concentrates on information: a 100-page primer covering conversion tables, cookery terms, menu planning, calculating quantities, presentation, serving, healthy eating, nutrition, food safety, storage, leftovers, freezing food, equipment and wine, and a further 740 large pages of very detailed recipes that are unambiguous, precise and easy to follow. Especially helpful is the fact that all measurements are given in imperial and metric, and all temperatures in Fahrenheit as well as Celsius.
Written in a practical, straightforward style, Leiths doesn't try to entertain and the recipes are as free from gimmicks and pretension as the prose: you won't learn here how to prepare anything which looks more suited to a contemporary art gallery than a dining table. Instead there are hundreds of recipes for every occasion from a quick and easy family meal to an upscale dinner party, all of which have been tested repeatedly during 27 years of the Leiths School of Food and Wine.
The result in this third edition is the inclusion of dozens of "new classics"--the fresh, imaginative cooking that has been such an inspiration for today's chefs. It has meant that Oriental, Indian, South American and vegetarian dishes have come into their own. It has meant due regard for healthy eating, alongside the "haute cuisine" of rich butter sauces and high-cholesterol puddings and the hearty, homely cooking of the modern brasserie.
Also included are useful sections on the preparation of all the main types of meat and fish, though for more detailed coverage of kitchen craft Leiths Techniques Bible is the place to go. Otherwise, this is the perfect one-stop shop for anyone wanting a practical, functional guide on how to cook just about anything. --Gary S Dalkin
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Top Customer Reviews
As for the suggestion that some of the receipts are archaic - most normal people would call them classics because they have stood the test of time. No, the book isn't cutting edge, but it doesn't pretend or seek to be so. It gives the user the ability to produce the standard, classic repertoire, with a few new things thrown in. Some receipts are complex, some are easy.
There are occasional infelicities, especially in terms of cross-references, and I wish that the receipts were not always in quantities for 4 people, but those are very minor quibbles. The best thing about the book is that it gives the user the scope and the wherewithal to experiment and develop.
I cook and entertain a lot, and this book is my constant companion.
I've knocked it down from a 5 to a 4 because I've come across errors so obvious I have no idea how they went unnoticed. Take the Spaghetti Bolognese entry for an example. It tells you you'll need a 100g/14oz can of tomatoes. 14oz is 396g! In the same recipe there's no mention of celery in the ingredient list but the recipe says 'Add the onion and celery'.
Despite the errors I still recommend this book. Just be sure to read both the ingredient list and recipe thoroughly. If you find an error you should be able to use your judgement to make the right call.
Get over that perception and you have a cook book that is a joy to use and learn from. The technique sections give the basics of what you need to know (yes, there are some that need practice). The recipes build on the techniques using a no nonsense approach that is easy to follow. The results are consisently superb.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good as a reference book. I found some of the recipes quite dated but that is most likely because it was created a while ago.Published 1 month ago by Miss Kate Negus
You only need one cook book and this is it. Compressive list of recipes, all concisely but very clearly explained. You'll be a good and confident cook in no time. Read morePublished 2 months ago by star gazer
Probably one of the best cookbooks going. Easy to follow, something for everyone, with a good range of diverse dishes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr C.
Never as there been a more aptly titled book.
A cookery bible it is suitable for both experienced and new fledgling cooks alike
This book has everything you need to know about cooking. From conversion tables to knowing your veggies, meats and fish. My pastry has never looked and tasted so good. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Nikki
Bought this as a present for someone who needs a good general book on cooking. I choose it because I use mine a lot for good honest food, and its my go to, and has taken over from... Read morePublished 9 months ago by J. S. Brown
Brilliant book. Goes over basics in the first section (you may find you have been doing something wrong for years). Read morePublished 9 months ago by James
Was my first cookery book I have given to me - is great and still use it.Published 10 months ago by Lisa Hamilton