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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 26 May 2016
Others have described the contents of this book more than adequately. Here, I give my general response to reading this book without trying any of the recipes. This may sound a bit odd, particularly when I give it 5 stars, but all will become clear.

Normally when I buy a cookbook, I do so because of knowledge of and respect for the author, and because I look forward to cooking their food. This applies to this book, of course, but it has a deeper value. Just in the Introduction, for example, you can learn more of the truth about restauirant food than in most cheffy cookbooks. This is fancy cooking without the pretension. It is also, and almost by accident, a generous teaching manual written in entertaining style by one of the greatest chefs the UK has produced, Back to the Introduction - there are also some heartfelt truisms about restaurant critics - bitter, but very funny. Now, to the back of the book - Basic Recipes. There are 78 recipes here that alone are worth the price of the book. These are the essential backbone of good cooking written by a master - each with concise instructions and invaluable insights into usage, storage etc. I should point out now that there is not a single photograph in this book - heaven! - just the useful stuff!

Perhaps you can see now why I haven't jumped feet first into the main recipes. There is a lot of stuff I want to read and absorb first. However, a quick skim through the other sections reveals, as might be expected from this source, a wealth of recipes ranging from the interesting to the positively exciting - and many that are both of these! Typically, these are well-written and cross-referenced where relevant with the Basics. There are also the usual snippets of invaluable advice from this chef and often recommendations what to serve with a dish. I will give just one detailed example using the dish I intend to make first when I have finished reading and absorbing. This is Roast Saddle of Rabbit with Langoustines. This cheffy-sounding dish is actually quite simple to make and includes instructions for presentation that should result in a restaurant-quality meal that, hopefully, will impress my lovely wife! The list of ingredients may appear daunting at first sight, but then you realise that seven of them are for garnishing. Marco suggests serving the rabbit with a Harb Risotto from the Basics - and why not? The recipe is followed by a variant accompanying the rabbit with Étuvée of Asparagus and Leeks and Jus of Rosemary.
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on 27 September 2014
Obviously these are not recipes for the everyday household chef to re create at home, but thats not to say you can't use elements of the recipes to great effect at home. As with "White Heat" there is a large section at the back of the book called "Basics" and as you can guess it provides recipes for individual components such as pomme puree, sauce velute and creme anglaise, which are easy to follow and with a little practice can give your dishes a lift from the mundane to something special. After you have used a few of these and perfected them then why not take on a full dish, they are really not that hard if you give yourself the time to prepare and cook them.
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on 17 June 2015
Marco is God!!!
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on 2 April 2013
Its a cookery book by probably the best chef of our time what else would you expect. I am looking forward to trying more of the dishes.
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on 28 February 2007
celebrity arguments and his fast-living as he is for food, MPW is the original celebrity chef.

'Wild Food from Land and Sea' contains over 80 main recipes, plus sauces, vegetables and garnishes, many of which can be made in advance.
Marco's innumerable tips on adapting recipes to suit your ingredients, and his secrets of life in a professional kitchen, ensure that even amateurs will be able to serve delicious food with style and entertain in confidence.'

'Six years ago my first cookery book, `White Heat' , was published. Since then I've left one restaurant and have started three more, I've gained three stars and a son, and I think I have calmed down somewhat.
My cooking has probably mellowed too, and this second book of recipes reflects this.....There are the old favourites here, which appear in almost every cookery book - the stocks without which a sauce would not taste right, and the sauces which are the making of any dish, whether simple or elaborate. There are also some more creative ideas, combinations which have worked well for me, and which I hope will do the same for you.'

175 quality matt pages, split over 5 chapters:-

Starter dishes
Fish dishes
Meat dishes
Basic recipes

sandwiched between an introduction and an index.

The layout is understated, with simple occasional pale blue out-line drawings interspersing the text, rather than photography.
The main text is in quite a 'fine' blue font, with a bolder recipe title.
A clear list of ingredients and method accompanies each recipe, along with relevant notes for each.

Recipes include:-

Soup of red mullet with saffron
Oysters with scrambled egg and caviar
Terrine of foie gras
Grilled lobster with garlic butter, sauce choron
Daube de boeuf bourguignonne
Braised beef brisket in a barley broth
Stracci pasta with rabbit
Champagne jelly
Crème Brulée
Tarte tatin of pears
Tarte au citron
Cadeau de chocolat
Basic stocks
Madeira jelly
Basic sauces
Tomato fondue
Basic risotto
Pomme fondant
Vichy carrots
Crème anglaise
Vanilla ice cream
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on 28 August 2002
White heat is said to be the start of the glossy cookbook era, but this book is so much better. Many of the rather heavy courses in his first book (White heat) has been refined to perfection, adding to the value of this "must have" cookbook. His puddings are simple, yet very subtle. Classics like tarte tatin, crème brulee and panna cotta makes you wonder if this is the ultimate recipes (no doubt better than the French and Italian originals). And this is just the end, the beginning is even better. Entrees like lobster on marinated potatoes and scallops with sauce vierge are genius.
The recipes are quite easy to follow (at least if you are a rather skilled home cook), the pictures are stunning (especially if you consider that this book was issued in the early nineties) and the compositions are vibrating. The only thing that can be criticised is that the main courses are a bit too heavy (at least from my point of view). You should definitely buy this book, I guarantee that it will be one of the jewels in your collection!
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